French-to-English translation of the second chapter of Les Malheurs de Sophie
| Les Malheurs de Sophie(in English, Sophie's Misfortunes) is a children's book, written in 1858 by the Countess of Ségur. The original, in French, can be read here: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/15058
The following is an English translation of the 2nd chapter, by Christopher Peck, Jr.
II - The Funeral
Camille and Madeleine arrived one morning for the doll’s funeral. They were delighted, Sophie and Paul were happy as well.
“Come quickly, friends,” Sophie said. “We’ve been waiting for you so we can put the doll’s coffin together.”
“What are we putting her in?” Camille asked.
“I have an old toy box. My maid covered it in pink percale. It’s lovely; come see!”
The children ran to Mrs. de Réan’s house, where the maid was finishing the pillow and the mattress to put in the box. The children admired the charming coffin. They put the doll in it. So as to not see the shattered head, the melted feet and the broken arm, they covered her with a little quilt made of pink taffeta.
They placed the box on a stretcher that the mother had had made for them. They all wanted to carry it. But it was impossible, since there was only enough space for two. After they pushed each other around and argued a bit, they came to an agreement. Sophie and Paul, the two youngest, would carry the stretcher. Camille and Madeleine would walk, one behind and one in front, carrying a basket of flowers and leaves that they would toss onto the grave.
When the procession arrived at Sophie’s little garden, they put the stretcher on the ground with the box of the poor doll’s remains. The children began to dig the grave. They lowered the box, threw some flowers and leaves onto it and then covered it with the dirt they had moved. They raked the area and planted two lilacs there. To end the party, they ran to the pond in the vegetable garden and filled their little watering cans to water the lilacs. This was a time of new games and new laughter. They were spraying each other’s legs and chasing each other around while laughing and shouting. A happier funeral had never been seen. It is true that the deceased was an old, colorless, hairless, legless and headless doll, and that no one loved her nor did they miss her. The day ended on a happy note. When Camille and Madeleine left, they asked Paul and Sophie to break another doll so they could have another fun funeral.