The maxim drummed in my ear, a refrain that was indefensible. Over and over it revved in my brain, Once is a mistake. Twice is a pattern. Three times is a habit. And over and over I wondered why I never thought of it it until this week.
Why didn’t I include Smokey’s picture in my farm books?
The last sentence of the last page of each book reads, “She got the idea for this book while playing with her kitten, Smokey, who was also born on the farm.” And below the line is a picture of my other picture book, Little Copper Pennies for Kids. Not of Smokey. Once.
In the English edition of Alphabet on The Farm, K is for Kitten. Instead of the orange kitten, I could have used Smokey’s picture. Twice.
Search Quotes (dot com) was relentless. “You can’t make the same mistake twice. The second time you make it, it’s no longer a mistake, it’s a choice. Deal with the consequences!”
That was in 2104. When the French edition, L’alphabet à la ferme, was released this year, the last sentence of the last page was the same, except in French. Three times.
In the French edition, the letter C first featured Chevre (goat) but I immediately thought that a kitten should be there and so “C comme Chaton” replaced the Chevre and the little orange kitten smiled out of the page. Wretched me. Why wasn’t the chaton Smokey? Four.
English Stack (dot com) further conspired against me, ably using the second language to underscore my faux pas. “In French, there is the expression “jamais deux sans trois” (literally: “never twice without a third [time]”).”
Except I had eleven times to my credit if I considered the proofs. Oh la la! I did not possess the stop-before-the-habit-is-formed gene so now I had to face the consequences.
My feeble attempt to redeem my error to immortalize my cat in publishing is the fact that on June 17, he appeared on CTV at the Yorkton station and I hope to embed the clip on YouTube. Another endeavor is a poster ordered from Vistaprint which I will hang on a prominent wall in our house. On June 21 he will attend the book launch of L’alphabet à la ferme at St. Henry’s Elementary School in Melville, a French Immersion school. I’ve been invited to share at the Christian Club’s ladies meeting in August and was asked to bring him along.
Once is a mistake. Twice is a pattern. Three times is a habit. Eleven must be for redemption.
Read how Smokey became a pet and inspired my writing in a free download at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RNV3P10 . The chapter is entitled How Not to Kidnap a Cat in the book 10½ Sketches: Insights on Being Successful Right Where You Are. Smokey has also been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What? August 2014 edition.