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by Chris
Rated: ASR · Fiction · Children's · #2263045
French-to-English translation of the eighth 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 8th chapter, by Christopher Peck, Jr.





VIII - Cut Eyebrows

Something else that Sophie really wanted was to have thick eyebrows. One day, she heard that little Louise de Berg would be beautiful if she had thick eyebrows. Sophie’s were small and blonde, so people didn’t really notice them. She had also heard that, to make hair grow thicker, you had to cut them often.

Sophie looked at herself one day in the mirror and felt that her eyebrows were too thin.

“Since hair becomes thicker when you cut them,” she said, “eyebrows, which are patches of short hair, must do the same. I’m going to cut them so that they grow back thicker.”

Sophie grabbed some scissors and cut her eyebrows as short as she could. She looked at herself in the mirror, felt that that gave her a weird face and did not dare to go back to the sitting room.

“I’ll wait,” she said, “until dinner is served. They won’t think about looking at me while we’re eating.”

But her mother, seeing that she hadn’t come yet, sent her cousin Paul to look for her.

“Sophie, Sophie, are you there?” Paul yelled as he entered. “What are you doing? Come to dinner.”

“Yes, yes, I’m coming,” Sophie answered while walking backwards to prevent Paul from seeing her cut eyebrows.

Sophie pushed the door and entered.

She had just barely stepped into the sitting room when everyone looked at her and burst into laughter.

“What a face!” Mr. de Réan said.

“She cut her eyebrows,” Mrs. de Réan said.

“She’s so weird! She’s so weird!” Paul said.

“It’s astonishing how much her cut eyebrows change her,” Paul’s father, Mr. d’Aubert, said.

“I’ve never seen a more peculiar face,” Mrs. d’Aubert said.

Sophie stood there, her arms hanging, her head lowered, not knowing where to hide. She was almost happy when her mother said:

“Go to your room, young lady. You’re being silly. Go. Don’t let me see you the rest of the evening.”

Sophie left. Her maid had her turn to laugh when she saw that big face all red and with no eyebrows. As much as Sophie got angry, everyone who saw her burst into laughter. They advised her to draw some eyebrows in with charcoal. One day, Paul brought her a little package all tied up and sealed.

“Here, Sophie, a present from father,” Paul said a little mischievously.

“What is it?” Sophie hurried to grab the package.

She opened the package. It contained two black, thick eyebrows. “It’s so you can stick them where your eyebrows used to be,” Paul said. Sophie blushed, got angry and threw them at Paul’s face, who fled while laughing.

Her eyebrows took more than six months to grow back. They never came back as thick as Sophie wanted. So, since then, Sophie no longer tried to get her beautiful eyebrows.
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