On ne change pas une formule qui gagne. Après l'étonnante
adaptation de L'homme au masque de fer avec
le chien Wishbone dans le rôle de Philippe, frère
jumeau de Louis XIV (voir The Mutt
in the iron muzzle), voici la réécriture
selon le même principe des Trois mousquetaires.
Wishbone, entré dans l'école de son maître
Joe, se livre à une course poursuite frénétique
avec un rat échappé dans les locaux.
Un affrontement qui le fait penser, tout naturellement, à
celui de d'Artagnan et de Richelieu. Wishbone s'imagine alors
à la place de d'Artagnan et raconte l'histoire à
sa façon (en la déformant abondamment, bien sûr).
Les épisodes tirés des "ferrets de la reine"
alternent ainsi avec le récit de la chasse au rat.
Extrait du chapitre 2
Wishbone imagined that he was D'Artagnan, living in France
in the 1600s. He was young and filled with the spirit of adventure.
D'Artagnan lived in the French farming province of Gascony. He
was determined, however, to go to the big city of Paris, which
was north of his home. In Paris, he would do his best to become
a musketeer, one of the men whose duty it was to serve France
by protecting the king and his royal circle of people.
D'Artagnan's father was in full agreement with his son's desire.
"I have taught you well the art of the sword," his
father said on the day D'Artagnan was to leave the countryside
and head for the French capital. "You are quick and graceful,
and you are strong. Never fear quarrels, and always seek adventures."
D'Artagnan's whiskers twitched with excitement. "Adventure
is my middle name. I can hardly wait to get started!"
"And remember," his father continued, "take insults
from no one, and always have courage. It is by courage alone
that a man can make his way in the world."
"I will remember your teachings well," D'Artagnan said.
He was so excited he felt chills running up and down his fur.
"I am sure you will," his father said. He held out
his own sword, along with a letter of introduction to Monsieur
Tréville, the captain of the highly respected musketeers.
Then, his father put the letter in D'Artagnan's satchel and strapped
the sword on his son. "Monsieur Tréville was my good
friend when we were youngsters. This letter will introduce you
to him and help to gain you a place in his elite command".
Then they went outside their simple house to where D'Artagnan's
horse was waiting to carry him off. The animal was, in fact,
quite old, without a single hair on its tail. The beast was a
strange yellow color. To young D'Artagnan's sensitive nose, the
animal smelled quite odd. D'Artagnan leaped to the top of a barrel,
and from there he sprang into the saddle, taking the reins tightly
into his mouth. He and his father exchanged farewells, and then
D'Artagnan trotted off into the distance.
He smelled the sweet scent of the fresh country air, and he felt
the wind rustle against his fur. His sense of excitement grew
every moment. Big things were about to happen for him; he was
sure of it.