Tonight at dinner my son reminded me how fluidly a young mind can crisscross the language boundary at will, and have fun while doing it.
We were playing the animal game (guess my animal using only yes or no questions). After about 17 questions I had found his animal: a chouette, a feminine word meaning 'an owl'.
My son then asked me (in English): "What's the happiest animal in the world?"
"I don't know...dolphin?" I guessed. To me dolphins always look happy.
" An hibou," he said, (hibou being the masculine form of owl) "because its wife is chouette".
He then giggled one of those contagious giggles because he knew he had just done something really cool - he'd told a multi-layered joke, half in French and half in English - and we all "got" it.
Another meaning for chouette is 'fantastic' or 'lovely'.
So, who wouldn't be happy with a chouette wife? Or if you're an owl, a chouette for a wife.