world Eric Chevillard’s confinement column. Days 18 and 19

Eric Chevillard’s confinement column. Days 18 and 19


[L’écrivain Eric Chevillard tiendra pour « Le Monde » la chronique « Sine die », les trois premières semaines de restriction des déplacements.]

Skinny radishes. Yagi Studio Co, Ltd / GO Premium / GraphicObsession

In these times when the blade of green grass is priced more expensive on the black market than the cannabis boot, I am well aware of boasting of an outrageous privilege: I enjoy a small garden. A border of this plot usurps the name of vegetable patch. I dig it entirely by hand since we had to separate from our pair of oxen (and even roast these poor animals on a spit) and it rewards my efforts by sometimes producing a radish that I give up delivering to the vagaries of the export. Cut in four, it makes us an appetizer decorated with a sorrel salad, which on the other hand grows profusely on the English lawn that I have jealously maintained for twelve years: there is not even to bend down to pick so many of its stems.

It’s the start of self-sufficient life. We are preparing for it. In a corner of this garden, against the wall, a lean tree twists which answers nothing when I call it hazel in my sweetest voice, however, and refuses to give hazelnuts without giving mangoes, otherwise perhaps at night, in secret, to the marauders. But its thin and flexible branches provide at least arches. I cut two for my daughters.

So yesterday my daughters went hunting. I recommended that they crawl between the bushes. But there is only one bush in the garden, pointed out to me Suzie not without insolence

The collars I put on in the garden in the evening are indeed poor. I was happy to have finally found a use for the ties that I am sometimes offered and that I never wear, but wasted effort: I did not take anything with it, not an upper or lower frame, not the least Human Resources Director. I’m going to have to stock up on fresh meat otherwise, I told myself then, and that’s why I armed my daughters with these bows.

I cut arrows out of the same wood for them. I sharpened the tip, which I hardened in the fire. I hesitated to dip it in curare, but it was not, this time at least, to exterminate a threatening enemy, but to feed the family. Avoid injecting into our prey the poison that will kill us, this is the lesson that the pangolin is bringing us these days with undoubtedly excessive vigor, but man is so slow to educate himself.

So yesterday my daughters went hunting. I recommended that they crawl between the bushes. But there is only one bush in the garden, Suzie pointed out to me, not without insolence. Consequently, they only crawled between the stones of my English lawn, it is no less effective in soiling and tearing a sweater and pants.


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