Sunday, April 14, 2019


Be careful of who you jump over!
This handsome unicorn, the central figure of one of two fountains flanking the entrance of Saint John's Cathedral in Valletta, evokes an old Chinese proverb, translated to French, that could well apply to the short-lived French occupation of Malta: Le sage ne joue jamais à saute-mouton avec une licorne. The wise man never plays leapfrog with a unicorn.

In 1798 Napoleon Bonaparte ordered Malta to be attacked after the Maltese Order of Saint John refused to allow his fleet of more than 30,000 men to enter the Valletta harbor. Bonaparte, who had been seeking to reprovision his forces on his expedition to Egypt, left a garrison to occupy the island. The occupation ended, however, after two years of an ongoing Maltese rebellion.

The Fontaine de la Licorne was sculpted in native limestone by Mariano Gerada in 1820.

jouer à saute-mouton:  to play leapfrog
un mouton:  a sheep
sauter:  to jump, to hop, to skip
une licorne:  a unicorn

Imagine that!
A fanciful, and fully-illustrated children's story written by a busy and imaginative French mother, Marianne Lecron, has appeal for young and old alike! Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille, and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog, carry on the old custom of telling fairy tales in an original story that renews the folklore tradition. A treasure! Both are available on worldwide Amazon sites. Click on the titles to take a peek!

©2019 P. B. Lecron

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