Ladybugs are Lucky in France

Leprechauns aren’t the only lucky creatures around. Did you know that ladybugs, or la coccinelle, is also a symbol of luck in France?

Below is a well-known French poem, composed by the famous Victor Hugo, about ladybug luck and the follies of mankind.

La Coccinelle (1830) 

Elle me dit : Quelque chose

Me tourmente. Et j’aperçus
Son cou de neige, et, dessus,
Un petit insecte rose.

J’aurais dû – mais, sage ou fou,
A seize ans on est farouche,
Voir le baiser sur sa bouche
Plus que l’insecte à son cou.

On eût dit un coquillage;
Dos rose et taché de noir.
Les fauvettes pour nous voir
Se penchaient dans le feuillage.

Sa bouche franche était là:
Je me courbai sur la belle,
Et je pris la coccinelle ;
Mais le baiser s’envola.

– Fils, apprends comme on me nomme,
Dit l’insecte du ciel bleu,
Les bêtes sont au bon Dieu,
Mais la bêtise est à l’homme.


Translation: The Ladybug

She told me: Something is

bothering me. And I noticed

her white neck and, on it,

a little pink bug.

I should have—but, wise or mad,

at sixteen one is timid,

seen the kiss on her mouth

more than the insect on her neck.

One would have thought it a shell:

a pink back with black marks.

Warblers leaned out from the branches

to better see us.

Her honest mouth was there:

I bent toward the beauty,

and I took the ladybug;

but the kiss flew away.

Son, learn what they call me,

said the insect from the blue sky.

Insects belong to Good God

but stupidity belongs to humans.


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