ISSN : 2266-6060

Feathers

Paris, february 2011.

This sunday, it’s time for the agricultural fair. Have to take the kid to see cows and pigs. Leaving dowtown, taking the subway, getting off at Porte de Versailles, passing behind the barriers, validating the bar code of our invitation cards as a hostess asks for them. We are not the only ones entering the Hall 1 which signboard reads it houses breeding activities. A great many parisian kids are here. Some small ones who are not literate, some who do not yet walk, some who already cry. Fortunately there are maps, so we are able to find our way in this maze. We saw where the cows are, near the H mark. Kid says it stinks here, he’s not wrong. We are at sheeps place, I read him the board that indicates what is hidden under the straw. I’ve only seen ewes like that in books. Going past the pigs stall, we’ll find the cows. Hard to make him believe they are similar to ones in the Three Little Pigs book. Above a huge cow, the weight is written in large characters: this Charolaise weighs 1200 kg… a feather. Above all, she has a blue-white-red ribbon around her belly. I now understand the two big labels hooked up to her ears: numbers that will enable to track this beauty and her meat. I avoid explaining to the kid that these same numbers will end up one day on a steak in his plate. We move back to poultry and find the brats again: ducks and roosters are at the right height, face-to-face with no mediation. Don’t ask me what it is, labels have been put on the top, unreadable. The bestiary comes to an end. To think that three weeks from now, we’ll be back for the book fair!