Friday, February 17, 2012

The suspense is over.

All this week, you've been thinking,

That is normal.
There is,
as far as I know,
only one Trappou in the world,

and it lives under our house.

Probably, you had decided that
a Trappou is a saddish kind of lizard,
one that belches fire
and then feels embarrassed about it,
and worries about its weight,
and hates to dance in public.

That is not the case.

Our Trappou's full name is "La Rue du Trappou."
People who know it just call it "Le Trappou."
But its origins are a mystery.

In 19th century Lyon, the word "trabouler" meant
"to perambulate, to walk through,"
and the little covered passageways
that connect Lyon's medieval streets to one another
are called "traboules."
We amble through the Trappou quite regularly,
as it connects (the only) two
streets in La Roche,
and is the fastest way to get to our favorite neighbors' house.
My husband, not ambling, has pushed all the building materials for our house
through the Trappou on a little wheeled platform.

So maybe our Trappou was attempting to give itself
city airs, but got tripped up by the spelling.

Then again, the French adjective "trappu"
means "short and stout" which is quite an apt
description of our Trappou, and of the size you have to be to fit in it comfortably.
Trappu, if you were wondering (I know you were)
comes from the old French "trappe,"
which means "short and crude,"
and before you get any ideas, I'll just point out that this is probably
a deformation of the old French "tarpe"
which means "big fat paw" or "big fat hand."
Anyway, don't tell that to our friend the lizard.
He's already worried about so many things.

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