Cats as Cats Can

Chris Cole remembers seeing/hearing this little gem in an old Danny Kaye movie, which was probably made in the 1940’s (black & white film). This bilingual pun was sent to Brian by Lorraine Jacques ( Mercy, mercy! Himie Koshevoy has a version of this story in his “Treasure Jest of Best Puns.”

Young Marie was excited. She was going to visit her cousin Madeline in France. She was going to stay an entire summer and she was excited about meeting Madeline and visiting France, but she was most excited about learning French.

When she arrived, she was even more thrilled because Madeline’s cat had just had kittens, and Madeline gave Marie three of them to raise as her very own. Because Marie was beginning to learn French, she named her three new kittens Une, Deux, and Trois.

Marie played with the kittens constantly, and she took them everywhere she went. One day, Marie and Madeline were playing beside the Seine River. Marie put her three kittens in a small toy boat and pulled them along the river while she walked carefully beside them on the bank. Unfortunately, a large boat sped by, and the wake tipped Marie’s toy boat and the kittens spilled overboard.

Seeing Marie in tears, Madeline rushed up and asked what had happened.

Marie replied, very sadly, “Une, Deux, Trois cats sank.”

[spoiler below]

(For those of us who do not speak much French, try to remember how to count from one to five in French. Sound it out.)

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