Qui s'y frotte, s'y pique."Touch me who dares" is a satisfactory translation for the devise of Louis XII, who reigned as king of France from 1498 through 1515.
While a crowned porcupine was Louis XII's emblem, the animal is not exactly the friendliest of figures to use to greet visitors at the front door. This one in faïence is on a lintel of a maison en meulière built by the turn-of-the-20th-century Versailles architect, Léon Bachelin.
un porc-épic: a porcupine
frotter: to rub
se frotter: to cross swords with or to come against someone
piquer: to prick; to sting; to sew; to pinch (steal)
une devise: a devise, motto, watchword, slogan; also a currency
©2013 P.B. Lecron