Mademoiselle Cocotte (Maupassant)

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Mademoiselle Cocotte
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A coachman named François became attached to a stray dog, Cocotte, but was forced to drown her due to her troublesome behavior. Later, he went mad after finding her bloated corpse.

A coachman named François found a thin, starving dog and decided to take her in. He named her Cocotte and she quickly became his beloved companion.

François — coachman; simple, kind-hearted, and deeply attached to his dog Cocotte.
Cocotte — stray dog; thin, affectionate, and troublesome due to her constant attraction to other dogs.

However, Cocotte had a terrible habit of attracting other dogs, causing chaos and destruction in the household. Despite François' attempts to get rid of her, Cocotte always found her way back home.

One day, François' employer demanded that he drown Cocotte or lose his job. Heartbroken, François took Cocotte to the river and threw her in, weighed down by a stone.

For five minutes bubbles of air came to the surface, as if the river had begun to boil.

He was devastated by his actions and became ill, haunted by the memory of his beloved dog. François calls out to his imaginary dog, Cocotte, after he has drowned her.

Cocotte, my little Cocotte, come here, Cocotte, come here, my beauty.

Eventually, François recovered and moved to another estate near Rouen. One day, while swimming in the river with a friend, he spotted a bloated, decaying carcass floating towards them. Upon closer inspection, he discovered that it was Cocotte, her collar still intact. The sight of his beloved dog's body drove François mad, and he ran off into the countryside, never to be seen again.