Wednesday, August 11, 2010

..and they all livd hapely ever after

Munson, Tosca and Smeggs welcome to Jean

Shortly after I arrived in this wee village in the Comminges, young Lucy presented me with a story booklet she’d produced, showing Tosca and Smeggs with their big new friend Munson. A chapter that wasn’t covered in the story’s coverage of their village life and music making, was what happens several times a day when a car enters or leaves the yard.

Malamutes developed over thousands of years in an environment where the only larger predator would have been the polar bear. Polar bears, unlike cars, tend to have a recognisable head, forward direction and don’t carry loads of smiling people (blissfully frozen Eskimo don’t count). Malamutes love people, and so it seems proper to run up to the forward moving end of any vehicle to greet them.

Neither Bondi nor Munson have had any clue about road safety, and it was years before I could have Bondi off-leash on urban footpaths because of the risk of him walking out onto a street to say hello to a bus. When cars come and go from the yard we share, Tosca and Smeggs move out of the way, but Munson runs in front of the vehicle. If the vehicle reverses, he runs around the back. I’ve become de facto gate-keeper so that I can herd Munson to a safe place until there are no moving vehicles.

Munson explores the Gorge

This morning I completed another small chapter in my car registration saga, by having a Contrôle technique (literally “technical check”, analogous to an English MOT) performed at a testing station in Montrejeau. The car passed, undoubtedly helped by having lucky charm Munson along for the ride, although I was worried I might get dinged for “excessive hair on rear uphoplstery”. It was pointed out I should probably replace at least one of my tyres, so we’ll be off to visit a magasin de pneu after the markets tomorrow.

I found an online service for handling carte grise applications which might simplify things for me as they will be more motivated to complete the formalities than the unhelpful official I encountered on Monday.


  1. What a special drawing!

    Perhaps Munson should collect tolls from all that wish to pass!

    BTW, my word is UNWAR


  2. Maybe you could hire Munson out as an official "greeter" at some store.