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French Flea Bites

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French Flea Bites

( George East )

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The fourth collection of tall tales from master raconteur George East, French Flea Bites takes us through another eventful year in and around the tiny Normandy village of Néhou. Along with the regular cast of members of the Jolly Boys Club and other eccentric villagers and settlers, we meet a man who believes he died in 1979, an English lord who is trying to patent his chain mail underpants, and a lethal cat who becomes a werewolf at full moon. Elsewhere, a genetically mutated muskrat is decimating Reggie and Ronnie’s crayfish gang, and René Ribet (the notorious Fox of Cotentin) is drawing up plans to convert a giant compost heap into Néhou’s answer to The Millennium Dome. Obviously, all is quite normale at The Mill of the Flea…

 We are off to visit a neighbour, but not before I have stuck a sticking plaster over a nasty gash on my forearm.

The culprit is Cato the feral cat, who has now become, according to my wife, fully domesticated. Since taking shelter with us in the mill cottage, he has obviously decided that the guarantee of three square meals a day and all found is much more of an attraction than pursuing his former and proper routine of living off the land and following the general job description of a wildcat.

He now spends his days basking in my armchair in front of the woodburning stove, stirring himself only at mealtimes and to attack me when I come on to the premises. If it can be said about a cat, the creature is obviously barking mad.

Cato is clearly devoted to Donella, and I think he has decided that the best way he can ingratiate himself with her is to attack me. I have named him not after the Roman orator, but for Peter Sellers’ oriental manservant in the Pink Panther movies, as he has lately taken to secreting himself around the cottage as I approach, then leaping upon me as I come through the door.

My wife says that all cats like to play mock-fighting games, but I think Cato sees me as competition and will not be happy until I have either been frightened off or despatched permanently.

As I dress my wound, I make a mental note to have a quiet word with the hunting club at the Café de Paris in Bricquebec. I shall draw vivid word pictures of The Beast of La Puce, and tell them that he is decimating the local small bird and mammal population that is their rightful quarry. They are mostly rotten shots, but even they should be able to draw a bead on a lethargic tom-cat.

Seeing how well he has settled in, I think the main problem will lie in persuading Cato to leave the comfort of my armchair and venture outside when the shootists are to hand


Customer Reviews:

A Customer  (Sunday, 28 October 2007)
Rating: 5

For fans of France or first timers this book is a must!, I purchased this book on one of my families many trips to France, for something to pass the time on the ferry. I couldn't put it down. It's a long time since I have been so entertained by a book. The character of France and the French people has been captured in words beautifully and the hilarious exploits of George his wife Donella, their neighbours and Cato the cat(remember the chap from the Pink Panther) will have you laughing nearly all the way through the book. It is now my intention to read the whole saga from the start to the most recent adventures and I'm sure I will be equally entertained by them all. Why not join me and have a laugh at life for a change. Many thanks to George and Donella for sharing their lives with us. p.s. A message to Cato. Keep up the good work!

 

 

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