A park in Paris. What could be nicer? Or, as we French say, “Qu’a pu être plus gentil?” The weather was lovely. The smells perfect. It was heaven. Pigeons and sparrows to watch. An occasional dog to be ignored. After all, they are beneath me. I have been in shows and have a reputation. My parents had taken me to Paris as a birthday present, and I was going to show those French dogs how a real poodle prances. Others who took no notice of my presence must have never been privileged to my status.
They had taken me to see all the sites, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, L’Arc de Triomphe. We stayed at Hôtel Regina at deux Place des Pyramides with a golden statue of Jean d’Arc in the center of the square, next to Rue de Rivoli and the Louvre. Four star all the way. Dad and Mom took me for evening strolls in front of the museum. Very fitting in my estimation, especially when Dad had to pick up after me. Class all the way, no mess left behind. I do enjoy a good walk. “J’apprécie une bonne promenade avec les humains.” Besides, boring walks are for those beneath my celebrated stature.
“It’s time to leave,” Mom said as she stifled a yawn.
I don’t want to leave!
“Gigi needs to take a nap before dinner.”
No I don’t! Just because you’re tired doesn’t mean I am!
Dad checked his watch. “Yeah, it’s five-thirty. She was a royal pest last night at the café. So overtired, she wouldn’t stay still, kept going from lap to lap.”
I wasn’t overtired. I was bored. Parents can be so misinformed.
My father picked up the bags of souvenirs while Mom gathered her camera and my leash.
“Come on, Gigi,” Dad stated. “Time to get back to the hotel for your nap.”
Nap? Je n’ai pas besoin d’un petit somme; je veux jouer! No nap for me !
A fragrant leaf fell nearby. I investigated with a whole-hearted sniff. Is that hamburger with a dash of béarnaise sauce? The French sure know how to cook!
Mom pulled me towards the exit. I made my objections known.
“Tisk,” I stated. “Tisk, tisk, tisk.” Why don’t they respond? I’m dead serious about my unhappiness. “Tisk, tisk, tisk!”
“Honey,” Mom said to Dad, “isn’t Gigi so cute? She’s upset about leaving the park and is tisking.”
Renversement? Naturellement je suis bouleversé.
“She’s a sweetie,” he admitted lovingly.
I know I’m cute. I’m the Dauphine. It’s says so on my papers—Dauphine Giselle. That’s a royal French title. Since I’m the Dauphine, I shouldn’t have to leave this park. This is Le Tuiliers and was intended for royalty like me! This is MY park.
“Have you noticed all the people who want to pet her? She’s the prettiest toy poodle in Paris,” Mom spoke to Dad.
Prettiest toy poodle? I bet I’m the only toy poodle; all the others are bigger and not nearly as beautiful.
At the crosswalk, Mom picked me up. She gave me gentle kisses on the top of my head. This won’t get you off the hook. All those kisses won’t change the fact that you took me from the park. Waiting for the light to change, I kept tisking. I hoped by some miracle my pleas would cause them to turn around and go back to the park. Then I tried the pout. You know that ploy that few parents can resist. Nope. Not one reaction.
Once we crossed the street on the same block as the hotel, Mom spotted a dog. A nice old lady held a snippy little Yorkie named Luc. He was cute and sniffed at me, but definitely not my type. He was a dog after all and not a poodle. There are some standards, which must be maintained. Poodles are people, and in my estimation, all the rest are dogs. I greeted him cordially and wasn’t rude, but he clearly knew his place in the social stratosphere. Luc’s Mom patted me on the head. She was kind and I didn’t hold it against her that she didn’t recognize the superior qualities that is poodle.
In the lobby, we paused to enjoy the luxurious surroundings. Still very disheartened with my parents, I made a point of stopping at the reception desk to voice my objection, stood squarely and looked up at Jean-Paul, the concierge. “Wow, wow, wow,” in my best French accent. “Wow, wow!”
“Monsieur and Madame, Gigi is adorable,” Jean-Paul replied with a thick French accent as he looked down from the towering desk.
Adorable? Non. Je suis magnifique!
“Merci, Jean,” Mom answered. “We’re off to our room so Gigi can have a nap.”
She’s back to the nap thing again. Mom’s got a one-track mind.
Dad added, “You know how children can be when overtired.”
Mom received my famous eye roll. She didn’t get that message either. Resigned that there would be no more park for the rest of the day, I headed to the elevator.
“Look, after only one night, she knows the way to the elevator,” Jean-Paul mentioned.
Of course, I remember where the elevator is—I am a poodle after all!
When the elevator doors opened, Mom released the leash. I scampered down the hall to room 318. Dad and Mom trailed behind as I sat there giving the cutest tail wag I could muster. It seemed to me, they wanted the nap, and I was merely their excuse.
“Gigi is so smart,” Dad mentioned proudly. “Look, she knows where the room is.”
Duh, Dad. You were holding me when you checked into this hotel, and I remembered the room number. Jean-Paul must’ve mentioned it at least twice. After all, I can read, all poodles can; it’s dogs who can’t read.
Card-key in slot. Familiar buzz sounded. I ran in and around, jumped on the bed and settled between the two pillows. Don’t nap, I told myself, just rest my eyes so they think I’m sleeping.
The next thing I remembered was Mom waking me up for dinner. A nice piece of steak was my reward. I’ll never admit to taking that nap!
Note from author: Is there a real Gigi in our lives? Yes. She’s a breathing, pompous white toy retired show poodle who stole our hearts and runs the roost. The incident described is the truth, as I imagined what thoughts ran through her cute little mind.
© 2013 Cynthia B. Ainsworthe
IPPY Award Winner, Front Row Center, romance
Reader’s Favorite International Award Winner, The Speed of Dark, fiction anthology, Clayton C Bye
The Write Room Blog: http://www.thewriteroomblog.com/?p=366