I recently took this picture of a ladybird, and I wanted to share it with you. While trying to find something to say on the ladybird, I discovered that this insect was named bóín Dé in Irish, which means “God’s little cow”. In French, it is called “bête à bon Dieu” (“God’s animal”). I like the way the animal in one language is a little cow in another!

I’ve also come across this nice poem by Victor Hugo:

La Coccinelle

Elle me dit : Quelque chose 
Me tourmente. Et j’aperçus
Son cou de neige, et, dessus,
Un petit insecte rose.

J’aurais dû, -mais, sage ou fou,
À seize ans on est farouche, –
Voir le baiser sur sa bouche
Plus que l’insecte à son cou.

On eût dit un coquillage ;
Dos rose et taché de noir.
Les fauvettes pour nous voir
Se penchaient dans le feuillage.

Sa bouche fraîche était là ;
Je me courbais sur la belle,
Et je pris la coccinelle ;
Mais le baiser s’envola.

– Fils, apprends comme on me nomme,
Dit l’insecte du ciel bleu,
Les bêtes sont au bon Dieu,
Mais la bêtise est à l’homme.

And in English… (my own translation):

The Ladybird

 

And she told me: Something

Is bothering me. And I saw

Her snow-white neck, and, above it,

A little pink insect.

 

I should have, – but wise or mad,

At sixteen one is timid –

Seen the kiss on her mouth

More than the bug on her neck.

 

It looked like a shellfish;

Pink back dotted with black.

To see us, the warblers

Were leaning in the foliage.

 

Her fresh mouth was there;

I curved over the belle,

And I took the ladybird;

But the kiss flew away.

 

– Son, Learn how I am named,

Said the bug from the blue sky,

Animals belong to God,

But foolishness belongs to man.

  
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