Xena’s Story: Halloween in Paris

“I’m so glad my Mommy and your Sissy let us stay in Paris,” woofed Xe.
“Yep, even if Sho did send little Missy the mouse to keep an eye on us. As though we wouldn’t notice her hanging around, spying,” laughed Tye.
“I’m also glad Missy agreed to only send good news back to Sho and Mommy when we offered to include her in everything we did!” exclaimed Xe.

“Hey, Missy,” the pair yelled out together, as they were often wont to do. Let’s head on over to the river bank and see what’s going on. The café let us have the night off from tasting food, er, I mean waiting tables, and licking, er, I mean washing dishes so we could enjoy Halloween! They’re so nice there. They even said please, please take the night off, take several nights off. We can text Gigi on the way to meet us there,” finished Xexe.

A short while later, the foursome met up on the bank of the Seine.
“Look at that friendly pumpkin,” observed Tye. What fun we are going to have tonight! I bet we get lots of treats, too!” she added.
“Gigi, will you take a picture of the three of us?” implored Xe.

“This light is quite flattering,” observed Tye.
“Oh, my,” squeaked Missy, “I forgot to smile. And now Miss Mommy and Miss Sho will know I am in cahoots with you two. I’m sorry, Miss Mommy and Miss Sho!”

Later, after nightfall…

“Let’s go to Disneyland Paris,” suggested Gigi. “They always have a big blast for Halloween. It should be tons of fun. And *giggle* maybe we can sneak in like we did at the museum and all those other places we got thrown out of.”

“Poof” said Mickey the Magician. “You’ll disappear if you enter here.”
“Grrr,” growled the pumpkin. “Turn around or you’ll never be found.”
“Come closer,” enticed the witch. “Turn into wood, rot where you stood.”

“Well, we sure didn’t get very far,” grumped Xe. Who knew they would have this elaborate system set up to make you leave if you didn’t have a ticket!”
“Ooo, that was scary,” squeaked Missy the mouse.”
“Let’s go find somewhere better,” meowed Tye with disdain.

“I know,” said Gigi, trying to make up for the Disneyland failure. “Let’s go to the Eiffel Tower. It is never disappointing, and it is free.

The next morning…

“Wake up, my friends,” woofed Gigi. “It’s time to go home.”

“Where am I?” asked Tye. “I felt this terrible sleepiness overtake me and I laid down and fell soundly asleep.”
“We never made it to the Eiffel Tower,” Gigi answered. “You fell asleep, like you said, and Xe went into a stupor. I could not rouse either of you, so I sat here and watched over you both all night to make sure no one played a Halloween prank on you. It was very odd. It was like the pumpkins acted as the poppies did in the Wizard of Oz.”
“I dreamed I was wearing the Cone of Shame, and JenJen Bear came to comfort me,” said Xe.
“Well, I hate to tell you this,” laughed Tye. “Oh, never mind. You’ll realize it soon enough.”

“But I also had an even scarier dream,” said Xe as she began to shake with fear. “Angel Lexi came back as a Vampire Dog…”

“Bwah, ha, ha, ha. I have come… to suck…your blood.” Lexi’s voice could be heard in the distance, moving away from the four friends. “Man, I love Halloween and the Big Guy letting me come back to have some fun!”

As Gigi, Tye, Xe, with Missy riding on her back ran as fast as they could toward their Paris abodes, their screams reminded all of the terrors of All Saint’s Eve.

Xena’s Story: Paris Part 2

Lucy: So Xena, it seems that your story character Xe has a new friend. What are they going to do? You can’t just leave the story there.

Xena: They’re going to have grand adventures, and another friend is joining them. In the meantime, I made a new page for my blog that has the whole story book up to here, with no silly interuption of Mommy grooming or you doing other stuff. Here’s what happens next.

PARIS REUNION

When last we met, Xe had just met a lovely French poodle named Gigi. They quickly became fast friends. Gigi offered to show Xe more sites in her home town, so Xe extended her stay at the Air B&B for an extra night. The next morning over café au lait, the little schnauzer regaled her hosts with stories of both her day in Paris as well as her adventures with her BCFF (Best Cat Friend Forever), Tye. Xe and Gigi had just returned to the Air B&B to prepare for anther fun day together when Xe got a text.

“It’s Tye!” Xe exclaimed. “She’s’ on her carpet, hovering over Sacré-Cœur. Let’s go!”

Gigi already knew who Tye was from their long talks the evening before. The pair ran as fast as they could to the stairs to the summit and on up to the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. They only stopped once to catch their breath before reaching the basilica.

“There she is! Here I am, Tye! Down here!” Xe hopped up and down and waved frantically with excitement.

Making a smooth four-point landing, Tye had barely hopped off her carpet when she felt Xe’s arms around herwith a big schnauzer hug. They grabbed paws and danced in a hoppy circle with excitement. Tye, in her fancy French beret, suddenly stopped as she saw another dog approach.

Gigi, who had been holding back, shyly approached the happy pair.

“This is my new friend, Gigi,” explained Xe when she finally stopped hopping. I just know you two will become good friends too. She has offered to be my – and now our – tour guide in Paris.”

“Meow, meow, meow! A friend of Xe’s is a friend of mine,” smiled Tye.

“Je suis heureux de vous rencontrer,” responded Gigi.

Tye turned to Xe, and whispered, “Uh, did she just swear at me?”

Gigi, who had very good hearing, said, “No, no, mon amie, that was ma langue français. I will speak your language, English, if you like.”

Having come to that agreement, Gigi offered – in English – to take them to the famous horse racetack, the Hippodrome de Longchamp Moulin. She explained that it is a lesser-know attraction where the locals enjoy losing their money. After paying their 2€  each to enter, they found the best seats, right in front of the track.

Xe, very confident in her running abilities, stated, “You see those horses? They could run faster if they didn’t have men on their backs. I bet I could even beat them in a race right now.”
“Ah, but you could not beat me.” The little poodle said this with such confidence that Xe couldn’t help but challenge her to a race.
As soon as the horses began leaving the track the three friends ran out onto the racecourse to settle who was fastest. Tye decided to let the race be between Xexe and Gigi, taking on the role of “starter.”

“Xe! Stop! You’re running the wrong way!” Tye called out as Tye tried to get her turned around.
“Wee!” exclaimed Gigi. “C’est fantastique! Je vole, je cours si vite!” (I’m flying, I run so fast!)

(A little later) “Wow, quelle fun?” Gigi exclaimed. “I have never before been in a race and I have never before been tossed out of a venue. Vous deux savez comment le vivre.” (You two know how to live it up.)

“I thought you said you would speak English so I could understand you,” complained Tye.
“Je suis désolé, er, I mean, I am sorry,” answered Gigi. “My English is actually very good. I just forget, since I was helping Xéxé practice her French. Now, let’s keep exploring.”

“Here is the Musée Picasso. It is a ‘must see.'” This time, instead of paying the admittance fee, the trio slipped in the dock door as the museum was receiving a delivery– something Gigi would never have done by herself.

“How strange all these paintings and statues look,” mused Xe. “That Picasso dude must have had a really warped mind to come up with all of this. Hey, Gigi, we never got to finish our race. Wanna’ try to catch me?” Xe started running with Gigi close behind. Several statues wobbled, almost tipping over. They stopped and listened at the sound of approaching footsteps.

Tye, oblivious to imminent company, was still thinking about what to do with the big-nosed man in front of her. “Hmm, this doesn’t make a very good scratching post. Maybe I’ll leap onto his head and take a bite out of that huge schnozzle.”

“Hey! You three, what are you doing in there?” a guard asked as he approached. Gigi quickly translated the guard’s French.
“Nothing,” they all said in unison, with wide eyes and ready to flee.
“Sortez!” He gave them all a stern look while Gigi told Tye and Xe that they were being thrown out of the museum.
The friends ran for the nearest exit, trying not to do any damage on their way. They got outside and stopped at the bottom of the stairs, woofing and meowing in laughter.
“That is two times – deux fois – we have been thrown out of somewhere! How fun!” laughed Gigi. “Let us find our next adventure.”

As they travelled through Paris, they came to the pool of water in front of the Louvre. Xe quickly got out her ball and jumped in to cool down.

“Wee! Wait for me!” yelled Gigi. “I have always wanted to do this, but never before had the nerve.” The little French and German-American dogs played ball in the water until – once again – they got thrown out. Tye, not too fond of swimming, watched from the side, and clapped her paws and laughed as they they climbed out of the water. “Here, we will cool you off too,” woofed Gigi as she and Xe shook the water from their hair. “It is getting late,” said Gigi, “and I must go home before Maman wonders what has happened to me. She worries too much.”
“Come on, Tye, we can stay at my Air B&B tonight,” said Xe. “You will like our hosts, and I am sure they will let me stay another night. I have a nice room and big bed we can share. Help me remember to text Mommy to let her know I am OK. She worries about me, too, even though I am a big girl now.”

“Oh, that reminds me,” meowed Tye, “I promised to te xt Sho when I found you in Paris, and, with all the excitement, I forgot! I’d better do that too.”

And so, another fun day in Paris ended, with plans to meet up the next day.

Oui, Oui, Paris!

Mom: Surprise Xena! We are in Paris for Valentine’s Day!

Xena: Oh. My. Dog. So that’s why you gave me this scarf that says Paris all over it. Quick, take my picture in front of that pointy thing, or nobody is going to believe this.

Mom: Don’t you want to get closer?

Xena: Nope. This is close enough. It’s big and pointy and I’m not sure if it would hurt me.  *click*

Mom: How about this, Xena? It’s not as big and it sure isn’t pointy.

Xena: But what is it?

Mom: It’s a national monument, and it’s called the Arc de Triomphe. Napoleon, the French Emperor, had the Arc built over 200 years ago . He wanted to honor the Grande Armee, the name of the French army at that time. The Grande Armee had conquered most of Europe and was then considered invincible. In other words, no one could beat them at war.

Xena: That’s nice. Now can we go somewhere more interesting?

Mom: Sure, honey. Let’s walk around Paris for a while.

Xena: Look Mommy! It’s a pet store like the Smart Pet place back home, but it’s got my name, “Moustaches.” Let’s go in here!!

Mom: Yes, we can go in, but what do you mean? Your name is Xena, not Moustache.

Xena: My name is Xena the Schnauzer, and schnauzer means both snout and mustache in German. That’s how my breed got that name.

Mom: Huh? How do you know that, Xe Xe?

Xena: Sometimes, when I’m working on my new puter – you know, the one I got for Christmas – I talk to Mr. Google and he told me.  *whispers* But I only do that on my official breaks and at home.

Mom: If you are done browsing in Moustaches, let’s go get something to eat.

Xena: How about here? It’s real pretty and it smells good, too.

Xena: Oh goodness, my chicken salad was good. I thought le garçon was going to faint when I asked for the chicken livers raw. Et la steak tartare, oo la la! C’est magnifique!

Mom: Xena! You’re speaking French!

Xena: Really? The words just sort of came out. Did it sound ok? Could you understand me? 

Mom: Certainement! How about if we go up to montmartre. Are you ready for lots of outside stair steps, like over 300?

Xena: Race you!

Mom: *pant pant* Here is one of the most famous cathedrals in all the world. It is called *pant pant* Sacré-Cœur, or *pant pant* Sacred Heart.

Xena: Ohhhh, let’s go inside.

Mom: Well, if they’ll let us.

Xena: I’m the church puppy. Of course they will let us!

See, I told you they would let us in. My, this is so, so big! Does God live in here?

Mom: No, sweetie. God lives in you and me and all of his creatures. People come to places like this to worship God together, and to feel his love and  his presence within themselves. God is the goodness glue that holds all of the universe together.

Xena: Do you mean the Methodists, Mommy? Cause that’s the only church I’ve been to.

Mom: Not just the Methodists, Xe Xe. God loves everyone: all Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, people of all faiths, and even people who don’t have their own faith. We are all his Valentines and he loves us all.

Xena: Happy Valentine’s Day, God!!

Mom: *smile* Let’s look around, precious girl. Do you see all the little alcoves off of the nave?

Xena: What’s a nave, Mommy?

Mom: It’s another word for a sanctuary, like we have at work at St. Luke. Anyhow, two hundred years ago when France had kings and queens and other aristocracy, those families paid the Catholic Church to have their own little chapels to worship in, right there off of the main cathedral. They could also pay to have a crypt where they would be buried after they died.

Xena: Ewwww. Do you mean someone dead is in that box? Ewwww.

Mom: Uh, maybe we should look around outside some more in montemartre…

Xena: Mommy, I’m really tired. Can we go home now? Will you carry me?

Mom: Sure, Xena. I love you, my little Valentine.

Xena: Happy Valentines Day, Mommy. I love you to Paris and back!

Mom’s note: Please click Xena’s postcard to find everyone else who celebrated in Paris.