Glossary for Rednecks and Yankees
Bon jour [bon joor]—good morning
Beaucoup [boo coo]—very much
Boudin [boo dan]—a Cajun sausage
Boudreaux [Boo dro]—a Cajun family name
Boure [boo ray]—a Cajun card game
C’est tout [say too]—that’s all
Fais-do-do [fay do do]—a Cajun dance party
Feu follet [fee fo lay]—will-o-the-wisp; swamp spirit
Gautreaux [Go tro]—a Cajun family name
Gros Tcheue [Gro Chew]—Big Tail
Joli blond [jo lee blon]—pretty blond
Kokodree [ko ko dree]—alligator
Maison [may zon]—house
Memere [ma mahr]—grandmother
Mon chere [ma share]—my dear
Panier [pan yay]—basket
Pecan [pu kahn]—a nut
Poo-yaille [poo yi]—Cajun expression of surprise, consternation or dismay
Poule d’eau [pool doo]—small marsh birds
Tabasco—Louisiana hot sauce
Ti Rouge [tee rouge]—Little Red
Laissez le bon temps rouler
[lay-say luh bon ton roo-lay]
Let the good times roll
TI-ROUGE AND THE KOKODREE
One time dere was a lil joli blond dat everybody like, an her memere like her so much she done give her a lil red cloak. Dat lil joli blond like dat cloak so much she wear it everywhere she go an so she gots de name Lil Red Ridin Hood, but everyone jus call her Ti-Rouge.
One day her mere say to her “Brought yousef here, Ti-Rouge. Took dis boudin an Tabasco to Memere. She gone and got hersef sick, an dese gonna make her well. Now, mind you, don’t doddle along or you gonna be late, and don’t run or you done fall down an break dat Tabasco. An don’t pass yousef tru de swamp, cause de feu-follet he gonna git you.”
“I do jus like you tole me,” Ti-Rouge promise her mere.
Her memere she live away in de wood, good t’irty minute from de town where Ti-Rouge stay wit her mere. W’en Ti-Rouge pass by de wood she done met a bad ole kokodree dat everyone cal Gros-Tcheue, but Ti-Rouge she don know what a bad fellow he be, so she not one bit fraid.
“Bon jour, Ti-Rouge,” he say.
“Bon jour, Mr. Kokodree,” she answer.
“Where you passin yousef so early, Ti-Rouge?”
“I’m gone to Mamere’s.”
“What you got in you panier?”
“Boudin an Tabasco. Mere an me, we done cook all day fixin dat boudin, so I’m bring some to Memere. She want somet’ing gonna make her well.”
“Where you memere stay, Ti-Rouge?”
“Bout two mile far in de wood. Her maison sit under t’ree big oaks close up to a bunch of pecan trees,” say Ti-Rouge.
Ole Gros-Tcheue t’ink, “Dis tender lil creature gonna be a juicy bite. She gonna taste better dan dat ole memere. I’m gonna be smart an catch dem bot’.”
He walk along wit’ Ti-Rouge a lil while. Den he say, “Look at dem purty fleurs, Ti Rouge. Why don you pull some for you memere?”
Ti-Rouge see all dem swamp fleurs, an she t’ink “I know Memere she gonna like it if I brought her a bunch of dem. I still got beaucoup time.”
So Ti-Rouge she leave de pat-way and doddle off to de swamp an pick dem fleurs. Every time she pick one, she done spy anudder, an so she brought hersef deeper an deeper in de swamp.
In de meantime dat ole kokodree done went straight off to de memere’s maison and knock on de door.
“Who dat out dere?” Memere call.
“It be Ti-Rouge, Memere. I brought you some boudin and Tabasco. Open up dat door.”
“Lift de latch,” call out de ole woman. “I’m too weak to brought mysef up.”
Ole Gros-Tcheue lift de latch, an dat door done jump open. He done go straight in to de bed wit’out passin one word, and done eat up dat po ole memere. Den he done puts on her dussrobe and bedcap, jump in de bed an pull de curtains round de bed.
Ti-Rouge done pull so many fleurs she couldn’t lift no more, an she remember her memere again. She was wonder why de door stand open at Memere’s maison, an w’en she pass hersef into de room everyt’ing seem queer to her.
She feel plum fraid, but she didn’t know why. “Mos time I like comin to see Memere,” she t’ink. “Bon jour, Memere,” she call out. But she don’t hear no answer.
Den she brought hersef up to de bed and pull de curtains back. Dere laid her ole memere, but she done pull her cap down on her face, an she look very queer.
“Memere, what big ears you has,” she say.
“De better to listen you wit, mon chere.”
“Memere, what big eyes you has.”
“De better to see you wit, mon chere.”
“An what big hand you has, Memere.”
“De better to grab you with, mon chere.”
“Poo-yaille, Memere, what big toots you has.”
“De better to eat you up wit.”
Hardly did ole Gros-Tcheue say dis dan he done jump out of dat bed an swallow po lil Ti-Rouge up. He brought hissef back to de bed, and he was soon snore loud.
Boudreaux, de kokodree hunter, pass hissef by and say, “How loud de ole memere snore. I better see if dere’s anyt’ing de matter with her.”
He brought hissef in de maison an up to de bed, where he find dat ole kokodree fast asleep. “Heah you at, you ole lizzud,” he say. “I done hunt all round de bayou fo you.”
He raise his gun to shoot, when it just occur to him dat maybe ole Gros-Tcheue eat up de ole memere, and she might still be save. So he done took a knife an start to cut open dat sleepin kokodree. At de very first cut he done see dat lil red cloak, an after he make a few mo slash, Ti-Rouge she jump out and yell, “Poo-yaille, how fraid I was. It were dark in dat ole kokodree.” Next de ole memere she pass hersef out, jus barely alive.
Ti-Rouge brought some big stone, an her an Boudreaux fill up de kokodree so dat when he wake up an try to jump away, dose stone drag him back an he fall down dead.
Everybody feel happy now. De boudin and Tabasco dey make Memere soon feel so good she brought hersef out of de bed and cook lunch for Ti-Rouge an Boudreaux. Den Ti-Rouge, Memere, an Boudreaux pass de afternoon playin boure an eatin de poule d’eau dat Memere cook. After Boudreaux skin dat kokodree, he ax Ti-Rouge an Memere to pass with him to de fais-do-do at Gautreaux maison dat night. Dey dance all night and “laissez le bon temps rouler” at de fais-do-do, an Ti-Rouge say she never pass tru dat swamp again.