Friday, May 1, 2009

Poe Fridays: Why the Little Frenchman Wears His Hand in a Sling

This week's short story, Why the Little Frenchman Wears His Hand in a Sling, can be read here. Whether you will be able to get through it or not is a different story! This one is written in an Irish brogue that is barely decipherable. Here is a sample passage --
The truth of the houl matter is jist simple enough; for the very first day that I com'd from Connaught, and showd my swate little silf in the strait to the widdy, who was looking through the windy, it was a gone case althegither with the heart o' the purty Misthress Tracle. I percaved it, ye see, all at once, and no mistake, and that's God's truth. First of all it was up wid the windy in a jiffy, and thin she threw open her two peepers to the itmost, and thin it was a little gould spy-glass that she clapped tight to one o' them and divil may burn me if it didn't spake to me as plain as a peeper cud spake, and says it, through the spy-glass: "Och! the tip o' the mornin' to ye, Sir Pathrick O'Grandison, Barronitt, mavourneen; and it's a nate gintleman that ye are, sure enough, and it's mesilf and me forten jist that'll be at yur sarvice, dear, inny time o' day at all at all for the asking."

The unfortunate thing is that, once you decipher the story, you find out that it is hilarious! This Irishman moves into a block where there also lives a Frenchman and a beautiful woman. The Frenchman professes he is in love with the woman and claims that she feels the same. Patrick cannot believe this woman would love the little "frog" and so they go to the woman's house and each take up a position on the sofa on opposite sides of her. Eventually, Patrick has his arm on the back of the sofa and is (seemingly) affectionately squeezing her little hand behind her back. The jig is up, though, when the woman stands up and walks away and Patrick is still holding "her hand". You may easily guess why the Frenchman then wears his hand in a sling!

This was a completely lighthearted and funny (if not very politically sensitive) story. There is no hidden edge, no dark underbelly -- just a hilarious farce. It was a welcome story at this point and I just wish he had given up writing an Irish brogue phonetically -- it's near impossible to read.

Next week's Poe Friday offering will be the poem, To One in Paradise.

An Irishman, a Frenchman and a lady walk into a parlor,

1 comment:

  1. Great post, I have never read anything by Poe, I am going to attempt to read this later! Thanks for the link!