Enough I pray, that concerns no one but myself ... and the little cat.
A pretty conquest! It should make you blush—a seven-months-old kitten!
For me she has all the charm of forbidden fruit and no one dare steal her from me. She is slim as a bean-pole....
You old rascal! KIKI-THE-DEMURE
... and long; poised on long legs she walks with the uncertain step common to all young things. She hunts field-mice, shrew-mice—even partridge, and this hard work in the fields has toughened her young muscles and given a rather gloomy expression to her kitten-face.
No, not ugly, but odd-looking. Her muzzle with its very pink nostrils strongly resembles that of a goat, her large ears remind one of a peasant’s coif, her eyes the color of old gold are set slant-wise, and their naturally keen expression is varied by an occasional piquant squint.
With what a will does she fly me confounding modesty with fear! I pass slowly by (one would think me quite uninterested), draped in my splendid coat. She’s struck by its stripes. Oh, she’ll come back, a little love-sick kitten, and putting aside all constraint she’ll throw herself at my feet—like a supple white scarf—
I’ve no objection, you know.... I’m comparatively indifferent to all that concerns love. Here my time’s so completely filled ... physical exercise ... my cares of watch-dog, I ... hardly give a thought to the bagatelle.
Bagatelle!... He indulges in the persiflage of a traveling salesman!
I love—Her and Him devotedly, with a love that lifts me up to them. It suffices to occupy my time and heart.
The hour of our siesta is passing, my scornful friend. Do you know, I like you in spite of your scorn and you like me, too. Don’t turn your head away, your peculiar modesty would hide what you call frailty and what I call love. Do you think me blind? How often, on coming back to the house with Her, have I seen your little triangular face at the window, light up and smile at my approach,—the time to open the door and you’d already put on your cat’s mask—your pretty Japanesy mask, with its narrow eyes.... Isn’t it so?
KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (resolved not to hear)
The hour of the siesta is passing. The cone-shaped shadows of the pear trees grow long on the gravel path. We’ve talked away our sleepiness. You’ve forgotten the flies, your uneasy stomach, and the heat which dances in waves on the meadows. The beautiful, sultry day is dying. Already there’s a breeze bringing perfume from the pines. Their trunks are melting into bright tears....