I-AM-NOT-A-ROBOT Reads “Legend of the Wooden Shoe”

Cousin Froid tried visiting Dr M’s Tree house to read a Dutch fairy tale to the kiddies a couple of weeks ago.  For various reasons he failed to get all the way inside so his voice sounded as hollow and disembodied as a robot’s when he told the legend of the first Klompen (or wooden shoes) from outside.  Cousin Ron said it was hard to understand all the words that way.

Dr M invited him back to tell the story again.  This time, on only the third incantation he tried, the tree house materialized and opened its door for Froid.  Once inside he found Dr M, Nana Lou, Cousin Ron, and the children waiting to hear how the first wooden shoes happened to be crafted.  Yes, of course it was fairies who did it, but the story starts long before that.  Here’s Cousin Froid, AKA Jim Stauffer, reading from The World of Tales:


Note: There has been some confusion about Cousin Froid’s name since he introduced himself to the Bergeron family last year. Although the spelling is French, Froid is an immigrant Anglo-Canadian who learned French from bilingual cereal boxes as a teen. While he suspects that all letters after the first consonant may be silent in Québécois French, Cousin Froid and his Anglo family persist in pronouncing his name “Freud” because that’s just how they see it.
Froid is inordinately proud of his distant German ancestry and privately entertains politically incorrect views about other languages (i.e. the French are Germans trying to speak Latin, and the Dutch Language is a corrupted form of die Deutsche Sprache) – hence his inability to form the Dutch words in the story properly.


6 thoughts on “I-AM-NOT-A-ROBOT Reads “Legend of the Wooden Shoe”

  1. I must correct one thing: Dutch is NOT a corrupted form of THE German language.

    Dutch and German were one language with many forms (dialects if you wish to call it that way), both have developed over time into different languages.

    In the east parts of Nederland people speak their own languages (dialects if you insist) which are the same as the languages (dialects) spoken on the west part of Germany.

    So Dutch nedersaksisch is the same as German nedersaksisch and Dutch limburgish is the same as Belgian and German limburgish.

    Borders are artificial. Only people are real !


    • Thanks Ronald L. I was sure that would evoke a reply from you – and thank you for not flaming Froid.
      Here’s why Cousin Froid holds these ethnocentric prejudices more or less “privately”. He fears they may be wrong, but stubbornly persists in clinging to them anyhow. Almost have to pity someone like that. No logic can get through that barrier. Assault by reason only makes him more defensive. (I heard him mutter a response that sounded like, “incomprehensible … letting their kids play too much with them NederLanders”) Only kindness and a broader experience will ever succeed in getting him to question his worldview. By engaging with this caring online community, Froid is cautiously edging closer to a critical examination of his assumptions.


      • LOL
        i understand Froid’s reaction, that’s basically how prejudice works. 😉

        The confusion between Dutch and German goes even so far that the Pensilvia Dutch in the USA speak an old Southern German language and not Dutch at all.


  2. Dear cousin Froid (see got it right that time!),

    A pleasure to read you post – it made me smile after a tough day. And Cousin Ron’s clarification about language taught me something too. I know little about German or Dutch or French for that matter. Spanish and Italian I can do. Glad the tree house worked for you at last. I am keeping the listening to the story for story time later on.

    I promise to not mis-pronounce or mis-write you name in the future and if I do feel free to correct me! B seeing you. Dr. M


  3. Aww….the legends of how clogs came to be! I love this. I did not listen to the Robot Voice for long. Here I am loving the story by ‘I-am-not-a-robot’ much better. We should do a hangout reading of all these stories…. so lovely. Thank you for taking the time to record for us all.


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