Boulôt and Boulotte
by Kate Chopin
When Boulôt and Boulotte, the little piny-wood twins, had reached the dignified age of twelve, it was decided in family council that the time had come for them to put their little naked feet into shoes. They were two brown-skinned, black-eyed ‘Cadian roly-polies, who lived with father and mother and a troop of brothers and sisters halfway up the hill, in a neat log cabin that had a substantial mud chimney at one end. They could well afford shoes now, for they had saved many a picayune through their industry of selling wild grapes, blackberries, and “socoes” to ladies in the village who “put up” such things.
Boulôt and Boulotte were to buy the shoes themselves, and they selected a Saturday afternoon for the important transaction, for that is the great shopping time in Natchitoches Parish. So upon a bright Saturday afternoon Boulôt and Boulotte, hand in hand, with their quarters, their dimes, and their picayunes tied carefully in a Sunday handkerchief, descended the hill, and disappeared from the gaze of the eager group that had assembled to see them go.
Long before it was time for their return, this same small band, with ten year old Seraphine at their head, holding a tiny Seraphin in her arms, had stationed themselves in a row before the cabin at a convenient point from which to make quick and careful observation.
Even before the two could be caught sight of, their chattering voices were heard down by the spring, where they had doubtless stopped to drink. The voices grew more and more audible. Then, through the branches of the young pines, Boulotte’s blue sun-bonnet appeared, and Boulôt’s straw hat. Finally the twins, hand in hand, stepped into the clearing in full view.
Consternation seized the band.
“You bof crazy donc, Boulôt and Boulotte,” screamed Seraphine. “You go buy shoes, an’ come home barefeet like you was go!”
Boulôt flushed crimson. He silently hung his head, and looked sheepishly down at his bare feet, then at the fine stout brogans that he carried in his hand. He had not thought of it.
Boulotte also carried shoes, but of the glossiest, with the highest of heels and brightest of buttons. But she was not one to be disconcerted or to look sheepish; far from it.
“You ‘spec’ Boulôt an’ me we got money fur was’e – us?” she retorted, with withering condescension. “You think we go buy shoes fur ruin it in de dus’? Comment!”
And they all walked into the house crest fallen; all but Boulotte, who was mistress of the situation, and Seraphin, who did not care one way or the other.