... on a theme.
Here's story, from A La Recherche du Temps Perdu, which strikes me as demonstrating a typical and delightful aspect of French humour. Marcel, to illustrate, how people fail to note the true appearance of others, even when close to them, tells us about his grandmother's drawing teacher. He had, we are informed, a mistress, who had born him a child. Shortly after the birth of the little girl, the mother died and the old man was left to bring her up on his own. After a few years, he became ill himself and was not expected to live long. Marcel's grandmother, with some other ladies, pupils of the teacher, clubbed together to raise some money to ensure that little girl would be well looked after. When the old man brings the little girl to introduce her to her benefactor, the grandmother remarks on the beauty of the child's hair. "Did she inherit it from her mother ?" she enquires. "I don't know," replies the teacher, " for I never saw her when she was not wearing a hat."
In the Grove, I watch a Jack Russell terrier pursuing a ball, which its owner throws for it to chase. The dog hurtles after the ball with exuberant energy and invariably, its mouth already open, catches it on the bounce, and skids on the fallen leaves as it stops and turns to bring the ball back, so that the process can be repeated. I find it hard to drag myself away from this demonstration of athletic skill and timing.