Yes, dear readers, it's an exciting diet breakthrough, and you heard it first from your pal Minnie here on Newsvine.
When last seen on this column, Stocky was one pudgy varmint after pigging on French pastries and boozing it up all over the British Isles and the former Gaul. But now, after a diet heavy on French bread and raw nuts, he is slimming down.
That Stocky was so fat –
How fat was he?
He was so fat he couldn't get into his jeans which his mom Soovie had packed in his lil backpack when I dashed off to rescue him from the clutches of the chief evil femme, Kara and a rather disreputable proprietor of a wine shoppe in the low-rent district.
And here I was feeling guilty because I ate the donuts that I was going to feed him after we rendezvou-ed in front of the donut shoppe! Yeah, I was feeling guilty! But not after he waddled up to me at the seedy tavern I found him in and looked up at me with his lil pouchy face, looking like he had them all stuffed in his ample, very ample cheeks!
So anyway, I fortunately thought ahead and brought a carrier for him – much easier for me to dodge squirrel-snatchers with the handle firmly in one hand as I used the other to – well, to do whatever I had to do to get away.
We dashed up Rue Dunkerque to the railroad station where we gazed upon the imposing edifice. Ooh la la, le Gare Du Nord station is sooo lovely, it was a shame I had to leave it behind. You know they have wi-fi there? That was how I could send a quick note to Soovie before le departure. I proffered le Eurorail pass and was permitted “a bord.” (on board to you and me)
Whew! That was some getaway. It was just about too much excitement for me so I hoped the ride would be pretty uneventful.
First, we had to find out what still fit him. The jeans, as I told Soovie later, were not gonna fit over his butt graisse. At least for now. Mom Soovie did pack some lovely fall sweaters which came in very handy now. Hand-made – avec amour -- too. I luckily also had a couple sweat pants which I thought might too large for him but they fit just barely, over his pull-ups.
Our current target is to continue the rail journey through le tunnel sous la Manche aka the Chunnel, which will deliver us to Folkestone, England. Unaware as I was that the Chunnel included rail as well as auto traffic, I had worried how we were going to cadge a ride with someone over to the English side of the Strait of Dover.
It seemed like it was taking a long time to get to the crossing. It should take only 2 hours and 15 minutes to get from Paris to London! We had plenty of time to play patty-cake, and count the vineyards. But you know what happened?
I went and got on the train going the wrong way. Boy oh boy is that just like me or what?
And it isn't like I would have known right off that I was going the wrong way. You see one part of France, it pretty much looks like the rest of it. Away from the cities, it's vineyards or rivers. A mere five hours and . . .
We got all the way to Lyon. We could have zigged from there and gone to Switzerland, or kept on going and hit Nice and those lovely resorts dans le soleil. Ah well, maybe some other time?
A panicked tossing of everything into my bag, plus Stocky in his carrier, and we made a MAD dash off the train at the Lyon stop. Ask le porter in broken French what train would go to Paree. He points. I dash again in the direction of a train about to depart.
We get on, by that I mean both me and Stocky, and get settled in.
An attendant offers le aliments and so I take the opportunity to ascertain if I am on le right train.
Alas, I am close but no cigar. This train will go to le Bordeaux. A very lovely city, oui, and at least it is not further from Paris than we were. OK, we are merely taking the scenic route from Paris to London. The long way around, but we will get there, oui. So we see a few more vineyards, oui, that is fine. I can live with that.
Meanwhile, once I had confiscated the rest of the French euros that Stocky had been tossing out the window on the first leg of our journey – to the wild acclaim of the crowd, I might add – we had plenty of dough to buy a French boule every couple of days and whatever else was on special for a splendid taste of French cuisine. I buy a nice meal and share it with Stocky, who can have as much as he wants but is not allowed to bury anything.
Stocky says to tell you I am mean because I do not let him bury anything!
I promise you, Soovie, we will get to le Paree and then to le London and finally to your front door!
Not to worry!
Stocky is less pudgy by now. I don't know if it is just because he is not pouring hundreds of excess calories down his maw in the form of ale, stout, whiskey and vin. Or if it is because his liver is recovering from the weeks of abuse.
At any rate, the sweat pants and sweaters are not so tight on him anymore. He looks almost fashionable, for a squirrel, anyway.
Le conductor has taken rather a shine to Stocky. He finds him so cheery and comical. Ha! If he only knew! But he gives Stocky a few nuts for chattering on cue. He acts as if he understands squirrel talk. In fact, Stocky acts as if he understands French perfectly. Has he been here before? Is Stocky an international man of mystery?? Questions, questions.
But we continue to Bordeaux, a very historic city. The whole city is a UNESCO Heritage site, you know that? The conductor tells me that they have been making wine in Bordeaux since the eighth century. I guess that means they must have gotten the hang of it by now.
Switch to a Paree-bound train. Puff puff. At least carrying Stocky is not so much work now.
Made it! And boy was there a lot of wine for sale here. Too bad I could not tarry. Maybe next time??
Another three and a half heures and we will be in Paree – again! And this time it will be straight thru to London, no stopping us now!
I don't know if Stocky misses his conductor or what. But he has been acting like un enfant terrible on this leg. Chewed up a bar of soap! What's up with that? Tossed a bunch of my undies n stuff out the train window! He got a spanking for that!
He may be entering his terrible teens, according to Soovie. It last forever, I'm told. Well! I don't have to take that – I am not his MOTHER for cripes sake.
Anyway, I will be so glad to get back to Paree, I can't tell ya. Um, what if Kara is still there? Uh-oh.