’Toine (Maupassant)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A paralyzed, bedridden tavern-keeper was forced by his wife to hatch chicken eggs under his arms, amusing the villagers and causing tension between the couple.

In a small village called Tournevent, there lived a man named Antoine Mâcheblé, who was also known as 'Toine. He was a large, jolly man who owned a tavern and was well-known for his good humor and ability to make people laugh.

Antoine Mâcheblé ('Toine) — narrator; bedridden, paralyzed tavern-keeper; good-humored, fat, and jolly.

His wife, on the other hand, was a tall, thin, and ill-tempered woman who spent her days raising chickens.

Mother 'Toine — ’Toine's wife; ill-humored, skinny, and skilled in raising chickens.

’Toine often said to his customers, "My fine is the best in all France," referring to his cognac. It shows his pride in his product and his ability to entertain his customers.

My fine is the best in all France.

One day, 'Toine suffered a paralytic stroke and became bedridden. His friends would visit him and play games to pass the time, but his wife grew increasingly frustrated with his inability to help around the house. One day, a friend suggested that 'Toine could hatch eggs like a hen since he was always lying in bed. His wife took the idea seriously and forced 'Toine to hatch eggs under his arms.

As the days passed, 'Toine grew more and more anxious about the eggs, constantly asking his wife about the progress of the hen that was also hatching eggs. Finally, the day came when the hen hatched her eggs, and 'Toine's wife eagerly awaited the results of her husband's efforts.

To everyone's surprise, 'Toine successfully hatched all of the eggs under his arms. The villagers were amazed and delighted by this unusual feat, and 'Toine's friends celebrated with him. Despite his wife's initial anger, she too was pleased with the outcome and took the chicks to join the hen's brood.

In the end, 'Toine's friend jokingly asked if he would be invited to a fricassee made from the first hatched chick. 'Toine, overjoyed at the prospect of a delicious meal, happily agreed.