Rumpus Book Club Excerpt: Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary by Laura Stanfill


An excerpt from The Rumpus Book Club‘s March selection,
Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary by Laura Stanfill
forthcoming from Lanternfish Press in April 2022



In Avril of 1718, a traveling salesman visited the drizzly village of Mireville, France, to sell the locals on the charms of the flageolet, a reedless predecessor of the clarinet. He kept his demonstration instrument tucked in a loop his wife had sewn onto his pants, lest it get mixed up with the ones in his pack. He decided not to write home about how the flageolet banged his thigh and knee when he walked, nor did he remove it from the loop, because he missed his wife, who did the best she could.

On this particular day, nearly a century before our story starts, it rained. It always rained in Mireville. The seasons cycled from foggy to gloomy, with an occasional spell of heartening summer haze. Most crops sluiced themselves off their roots and died before producing any sort of yield, leaving limited options to the farmers: peas, watercress, the heartiest of tubers.

The rain encouraged work. The women of Mireville embraced their feminine calling to turn thread into bobbin lace: thick, sturdy pieces suited to tables and windows. The men made musical instruments, violins and violas and violoncellos and barrel organs. Every day the villagers snapped, nailed, or stitched parts of their work to someone else’s in an effort to export beauty to kindlier climes. They thought of the future owners of these goods with wonder: to want something—and have the means to send away for it!

Mireville’s reputation lured our traveler to the old stone bridge, which he crossed with hope, flageolet banging. Perhaps these music lovers would buy the rest of his inventory. Then he could go home to his wife. He missed her footsteps, how she meandered from room to room, hunting for her comb or extra pen nibs. The traveler worried she might replace him if he stayed absent too long.

In the town square, he announced to the assembled men that he had brought the latest fashion: an instrument for training canaries to recite popular chansons. He pulled the flageolet out of the loop and launched into a prickly little étude, followed by a sprightly march—and then he quit, for the rain was getting in his ears.

The men applauded. The traveler proceeded to lecture them about which canaries could best be coaxed to memorize such music. “London Fancys, Lizards, Yorkshire Spangles, Norwich Yellows, the Belgian Fancys, Border Fancys, Glocester Fancys, the Turncrest, the Green, the Cinnamon, the Yellow, the Pure White,” he said. “I myself prefer the Cinnamon. My wife keeps a pair.”

It was as if the traveler spoke of something as farfetched as the sun—London Fancys and Norwich Yellows!

“You are much mistaken, sir.”

“We don’t have any canaries here.”

The traveler assured them that hatchlings could be ordered from Paris. “Your wives will love learning the fingerings of the songs so they can teach their birds.”

The men looked wonderingly at each other. The flageolet was obscene in shape, and they didn’t dare imagine their wives putting their mouths and fingers on it.

“We have no time or money for such amusements.”

“Why would anyone want to train a bird?”

“Canary contests,” the traveler said. “You want your wives and daughters to be winners, don’t you?”

The music-makers did not. But fulfilling whims had always proved more lucrative than questioning them, so they conferred among themselves. What if they could invent a mechanical alternative to the flageolet that didn’t need lips, training, or breath control? Surely such an instrument would please the husbands: no wrong notes. Barrel organs with short pipes would produce a high-pitched, piccolo-like tone. If they could invent such an instrument, they could add one more pleasure to their list of exports; the traveling violin and lace salesmen who frequented the village could spread the word to their wealthy clients. Whispers attached one person to another—an idea, we have an idea.

“You’re not lying to us?” they asked the traveler. “Canaries are popular?”

“Absolument. Especially across the ocean.”

The men pooled their money to buy one flageolet. After securing the lousy payment in his pack and slipping his demonstration instrument back in its loop, the traveler sighed and made his way toward the next town, hoping for better luck.

The music-makers tinkered for a fortnight, each contributing spare parts, much like their wives gathering ingredients for a communal soup. The men sawed barrel organ pipes in half to produce higher pitches. They passed cups of pins around to add jaunty ornamentation to a favorite danse. They experimented with the size of the bellows and soon enough produced a prototype barrel organ with ten tin pipes. The men named it the serinette, for le serin, the canary. With the turn of a crank fitted into a notch in the back of the case, the instrument poured forth twittery versions of ten concise but well-known songs. The local terns, grebes, and wagtails gathered to listen when the music-makers tested it outdoors.

A marvel of engineering.

As close to birdsong as anyone had ever manufactured!

One more thing to make.





Chapter One

An extraordinary occurrence.

Our story begins with the grandparents of our hero, who believed their village to be as normal as any other, despite its pervasive gloom. Mireville had a tailor, a jail, a church, a baker, a doctor who did the best he could, and a midwife who did better. Violon scales mingled with the waftings from the baker’s oven. The nuns patrolled the perimeter of the convent, keeping their eyes peeled for miracles. Gallant music-makers wooed pretty lacemakers, producing another generation.

An ascending path on the west side of the river curved upward alongside the Cocteau farm, forged its way through a small wilderness of scrub and damp loam, then passed by the Rigoniet cottage, steepening its climb. Close to the German border, where travelers often paused to take stock of how far they had come, perched the Blanchard home, adjacent to the family’s serinette workshop.

Upstairs, in the bedroom, Cérine Avieux Blanchard stuffed her fist in her mouth. Between squeezes, she inspected her knuckles, watching the color come back to the spots she had bitten until waves of pressure began pounding her hips—how odd for her hips to bear so much when they had little to do with this predicament—and in mid-thought, more pressure came until an embarrassingly long wail burst from her lips, and it was this that alerted the servant girls, one of whom rushed down the hill for the midwife.

Pregnancy had turned her body into a mechanical instrument, each part with an intended purpose: producing the next generation. Cérine realized she had no choice but to continue what had begun as a painless—though also mostly pleasureless—procedure nine months ago. She pointed at her mouth, and the remaining servant girl found a cloth and gagged her. Only the worst sounds proceeded past the cloth, through the door, down the stairs, past the kitchen hearth, and into the parlor, where her husband, M. Blanchard, kept himself busy by stitching white leather that would soon become a bellows.

It was easy work, sewing, something he usually made the new apprentices do, but today it soothed him, this pouch, and the air that would soon be expelled from it. Turning the serinette’s C–shaped crank inflated the bellows while the worm gear rotated a barrel studded with pins and bridges—each poised to sound notes of varying length and temperament. As the pins brushed against a suspended wooden bar of keys, those keys opened the slender passages to the pipes, letting the air transmute itself into melody.

Monsieur imagined this slender passage from downstairs in the parlor while listening to his wife’s accelerating bellows from the bedroom upstairs, a clean white run of sound, which was nevertheless unnerving enough to make him prick his finger and bleed all over the leather. It took courage to listen, but he would think less of himself if he left. Soon his child would be born, on this, the very auspicious last day of 1815. With several turns of the crank, this babe will grow to father our hero, but M. has his role to play yet, and hurried songs do not linger as sweetly in the heart.

Upstairs, Cérine pressed her hands against her hips to keep them from flying apart until it struck her that the midwife would not arrive in time. She plunged deep into the currents of her body, imagining the river coursing through her veins, pumping silt and algae through her desperate heart, riding the bright crescendo out of the liquid center of her very own self.

Soon—though not fast enough to circumvent a series of shrieks, grunts, and insults to the poor servant girl (who perched by the bedside, legs firmly crossed)—the baby’s head was followed by the shoulders, the shoulders by the torso, the torso by the bottom, the bottom by the feet, the feet by the spongy placenta. When she had completed the process, Cérine found herself as saddle-worn as if she had ridden a head of cabbage down a waterfall.

The servant girl slid downstairs on her stocking feet to deliver the good news.

“Un fils,” she said. “Your wife apologizes for the ruckus.”

“No matter,” M. said, feeling suddenly charitable. “I shall name him Georges.”


Monsieur’s tolerance did not last. Want, want, want—his infant son filled the house with unfulfilled desire. Had his young wife made this ill-tempered child with another man? It seemed that unlike him. Even serinettes, with all their complex mechanical parts, had such a fluid, pleasing tone that the listener hardly heard the clicks of pipes opening or the subtle puffings of the bellows.

This baby, though, made all his noise at the same impossible pitch and timbre. Monsieur couldn’t stand it. He held the boy at a forearm’s distance and half-hoped his wife would leave the room so he could let those tiny fingers dangle into his mouth and bite them off. Give the boy something real to cry about. Yet he was not a cruel man; M. knew this about himself. Which meant, of course, that he ought to blame his wife for such barbaric fantasies.

“You welcomed him with your own screaming,” he told Cérine on their third night as a family of three. “If you had been more restrained—”

“You are chastising me?”

“Pas du tout,” he said, “but pray tell—how would the boy know loud sounds if not from you?”

“My other lips were more involved,” Cérine said, straightening her back against an unaccustomed milk weight, “and if you had borne witness to the bearing up those lips had to do, you would think me restrained. Besides, I apologized.”

Whenever she cooked, Cérine used wooden spoons in her metal pots to minimize the scraping, as per her husband’s instructions. She checked her kitchen broom for debris lest it eke scritching noises from the floorboards. When it was time to eat, she placed each plate on the table by easing one edge down first, then the other, avoiding a percussive thump. Surely, M. thought, with such a quiet example as a mother, their baby would soon keep to itself with an occasional shushing, perhaps a blanket held over its face as a reminder, after which he and Cérine would do the same as every family in the village: make more babies.

Except Georges kept crying. Monsieur soon removed himself to sleep beside his apprentices in the back of the workshop, isolating himself from that tinny, needy, greedy voice, which in those fragile days of early life had shifted from outraged gulps to all-out cacophony.

Cérine spent much of each day holding her son and sobbing with as little sound as possible, as did her favorite servant, who was too skinny a thing to bear so much anguish from baby and mother, their sniffles like the sound of cloth being ripped down the middle. During mealtimes, Cérine forced herself into some measure of false cheer. When M. returned to the serinette workshop, she and Georges and the servant girl recapitulated their miserable trio.

Of this state of affairs, the new father complained to his friends, who gossiped to their wives, who identified M.—despite his status as a master craftsman and owner of his own workshop—as a lout. The lacemaking ladies of the town flocked in damp quartets to Cérine’s hearth to help her. They could not afford to miss work, so they secured their projects-in-progress to the tops of their sawdust-stuffed lace pillows, then tied the bobbins into a neat bundle lest one get loose and unravel all the way down the hill.

At her friends’ arrival, Cérine exchanged Georges for a drizzle-soaked lace pillow, which did not scream, cry, or snot. She slid it between her knees and began twisting and crossing the bobbins, trying not to shiver from the chill. Each pillow she borrowed blocked the secret place she blamed for her son’s loudness, that hideous place that kept on bleeding and cramping and forcing sobs out of her mouth that would, for the sake of domestic harmony, be better held in. It helped to concentrate on the threads, her training taking over. As the women took turns holding Georges, Cérine moved from pillow to pillow, trying to match the tension of each lacemaker’s work.

“That’s a colicky one, all right.”

“Have you tried a spoonful of strong coffee?”

“Not coffee—Magnalle’s Sedative Solution.”

“Nonsense, it’s gas. Give him here.”

Between them, the women discovered what worked: holding Georges upright while jigging a hop-foot dance, coupled with a singsong eh eh eh close to his left ear, and a finger stuck between the boy’s lips so he could suck.

Soon, though, the lacemakers tired of their own kindness. Getting to the Blanchard home entailed walking uphill in the rain with a heavy pillow and gathering enough green apples to share, there being never enough sun to redden them—all for the sake of a male born into more privilege than their own children. It was not Cérine’s sadness that bothered them, or the baby’s, but the pretense. Why couldn’t she admit failure? Her husband, so quick to brag, had begotten a woeful baby—and worse, Cérine stood there with her mouth tucked up at the corners, her smile as gracious as a princess’s tablecloth.

The lacemakers pushed the baby back into her arms, apologizing that they would not be able to return tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after. The lace cutter would soon return to Mireville. He would measure their pieces’ progress and pay accordingly on the cutoff date. Cérine said she understood and thanked them. She closed the door with her sobbing baby on her hip. Her friends should have known her smile as a poor attempt at bravery, but they didn’t.

How had life narrowed to these tiny shoulders?


Whatever it was that Georges desired, Cérine did not come equipped with it. She spent her days indoors, letting the boy suck on her breasts, her fingers, and, when she could not bear his needy lips any longer, a parsnip from the root cellar. Her favorite servant girl quit, and the other one too. Cérine put a notice in the paper, but no replacements arrived. Neighbors left parcels of food on her doorstep—but never when she was looking. Monsieur quit appearing for meals, or even a change of clothes. Dust collected. Garments wrinkled in the mending pile. Cérine grew accustomed to the sticky heat of Georges’s red wet face pressed against her bodice while she tried not to ruin the stew with the salt of her own misery.

Sometimes she regarded herself in the parlor mirror to make sure she still existed. The baby had sucked the pleasing fat out of her once-plump cheeks and into his thighs. She did not bother to cut nor comb her hair; now it fanned over her shoulders like dirty sunlight. Her blue eyes seemed to be filled with smoke. Bags had formed beneath them, dark sunken cups of skin. She half-suspected tying her hair up would help her look more like herself—with it down, her face seemed short—yet she did not make the effort. Nor could she change her face, though a few times, exhausted, she yanked on her chin, willing the bones to descend.

Sleep came only when she and Georges were together, naps and overnights with Cérine’s body curled around the baby so he could not roll. Her fingers grew wrinkly from his sucking, the cuticles peeling away from the nails, her breasts a place he could safely express his fury. Sometimes she stayed awake to inhale his sweet milk breath and rub the rims of his ears, and she did not regret taking this quiet for herself. She imagined streams of rain pouring out of her nipples and into his belly, finally, finally, satisfying him.

“LET YOUR FATHER STINK!” she shouted one exasperated afternoon, when another set of hands would have been welcome. “I WILL NOT WASH ANOTHER STOCKING OF HIS UNTIL HE MOVES BACK IN.”

Georges opened his mouth, and he burped, then rewarded her with a puckish smile.

“YOU LIKE THIS?” she asked. “WHEN I AM LOUD?”

The baby hiccupped. This was a start—startling him with her own voice—and more satisfying to both of them than the parsnip. The louder Georges became, the louder he gave his mother license to be. Her occasional humming bloomed into constant singing—both nonsense words and real songs that cheered Cérine’s lonely heart. She began using metal spoons in her metal pots. She donned her boots to stomp sturdy rhythms on the stone hearth, telling herself it would be okay, her son would be okay.



At last, on a day that seemed as far from the child’s birth as the moon itself, Georges’s loudness ended.

For the first few minutes, Cérine blundered about the house, sure she had misplaced something. Then she noted the wheeze of air moving through her nose. It had been there all along: her breath. She stood at the open bedroom window and filled her lungs with a moist glad gulp of the world. She felt charmed by the mechanics, how her body had kept going even when she didn’t pay it any mind.

Not that she regretted motherhood, but—oh! Silence! Had the baby suffocated?

Cérine twisted her ankle as she pivoted away from the window. Pain streaked through her leg. She hobbled to the nursery and found Georges happily gnawing on his thumb. Cérine had pushed that digit into his heart-shaped mouth countless times, even sucked on it herself, trying to demonstrate its potential for comfort. Had her persistence paid off? She rubbed a finger against his hair, which was growing in blond as the dark baby fuzz rubbed off.

“FEELING BETTER?” she shouted, out of habit.

The thumb popped out. His lower lip quivered and turned down, so she scooped him up and prepared to launch into the hop-foot routine despite her throbbing ankle. Georges calmed quickly in her arms.

“I won’t be loud anymore if you don’t like it,” she told him.

He grinned. She had waited four months for this: a quiet, happy baby, the kind all the other village women took for granted. That day Georges took six naps. He only fussed from hunger and needing his cloth changed. He giggled before spitting up and after spitting up. Cérine’s body prickled with gratitude. Perhaps she would like motherhood after all.

One good day—and a six-hour stretch of sleep—led to another. Cérine caught up on laundry. She spent the next three afternoons resting her ankle, still a bit swollen, on M.’s bed pillow, which he hadn’t bothered to take with him. This routine pleased her, especially when she left bits of dirt and pulverized leaves on the surface where, as soon as she told him of their son’s recovery, her husband would once again rest his head. She would wash it before he came home—of course she would.

A week went by. She knew she should fetch her husband, but she didn’t need him around now that Georges had become so companionable. She began tying her hair up. Her cheeks began filling back out as she took the time to feed herself better. Another week passed, then another. Her ankle healed, though the constant rain made it ache.

“Do you remember your father?” she asked the baby, who cooed. Monsieur had been absent for three whole months, an eternity of sobbing and cuddling. She decided she must fetch her husband. Today. Before she changed her mind.

With Georges napping in his cradle, Cérine changed into her best dress, pinched her cheeks for color, added a bonnet for the rain, checked the baby one more time, and proceeded to leave the house. She scurried along the short muddy path—spring showers in Mireville being slightly wetter than summer, fall, and winter ones—to the serinette workshop next door. She entered her husband’s domain without knocking and started down the center aisle of workbenches. The apprentices’ heads bobbed at the disturbance, and three concerned young men rushed over to block her way. She remembered, suddenly, that she had not washed M.’s pillow. No matter. She would once again sleep beside these boys’ master, while they slept on their pallets and dreamed of the future.

“Fetch my husband,” she commanded them. When they didn’t respond, she added, “Maintenant,” at which point one rushed off while the other two stood guard. She wondered what M. had told his apprentices when he moved in with them. Had he complained of the child? Of her? Had he asked one of them to give up his pillow?

Monsieur took his time responding to her summons. He bent over apprentices’ workbenches, suggesting tweaks, offering an exaggerated laugh here, a punch on the shoulder there. Perhaps this show was for her benefit? Or perhaps it was for the apprentices, a reminder that he ruled here and would not be rushed, especially not by his wife. When her husband finally approached, Cérine nearly laughed to see the bigness of his pores. He had a brown stain on his shirt collar. She had never liked his nose. Now it protruded over an untrimmed beard like a warning sign—of what, she would surely find out.

“Georges has quit crying,” she reported.

In a swell of affection that surprised both of them, M. grabbed his wife’s hand and let her lead him back to the kitchen. His house existed for him, it belonged to him, its floorboards ready to absorb his weight, its walls meant to amplify his decisions, its windows to frame views he might find pleasing. How stuffy its air seemed, how unfamiliar. Apple mush and fried meats and an overlay of sour milk. Had she forgotten to air it out once a week?

Cérine pointed up the stairs, wordless, though she wanted to say, “Don’t you dare wake him.”

Monsieur trudged up the stairs and stopped at the transom of the nursery. He balanced there, hands on the doorframe, lifting one foot, then the other, an exercise he performed to clear his head after staring at serinette parts for too long. Better go on, then. He ventured into the room and peered over the plain wood sides of the cradle to find not the red-faced blast of fury he remembered but a small child with uneven tufts of blond hair and blue eyes much too big for his face. He would grow into himself—and those ears—in time.

“Georges,” M. whispered.

The boy had a tiny nose, high cheekbones, and the characteristic blond Blanchard ringlets. Monsieur’s locks, once a brilliant gold, had turned a premature gray. In eyeing his son’s hair, he suffered a pang of jealousy. The boy would grow strong and replace him. Until this moment, he had not thought much of death, but here it was, in his own house: a promise that the future would parade forward without him.

He reached into the cradle and lifted Georges, pulling him tight against his stomach in the horizontal position babies favored, just as Cérine joined them. The boy opened his eyes, fluttering tiny eyelashes. His little mouth turned to a tiny heart that parted in the middle until an ill-tempered chord of frustration flew through the opening and struck M. deep in his chest. He tried to hand the boy to his wife, but Cérine crossed her arms over her bodice and would not take him.

“He prefers a vertical hold,” she said.

Ah, of course. Nothing to cry about! They did not know each other yet. Monsieur took a deep breath and pulled his son upright, smashing him tight to his torso with one hand on his head and the other supporting his rear. The baby reached out and tweaked his nose with obvious pleasure. Monsieur gasped from the unexpected violence. It would serve the boy right if he dropped him—but dropped babies often grew up to be defective, dim-witted adults, and he couldn’t risk that with his firstborn.

“You don’t have to support his neck anymore,” Cérine counseled. “He’s four months old.”

He adjusted again, this time letting his son recline against his forearm. Georges emitted a quiet string of nonsense syllables, steady beats of bah and dah. His chubby legs dangled and kicked. The boy would soon realize his place in the world: he was a future master craftsman.

Monsieur decided to introduce his child to the music-making men in the village that very afternoon. Cérine seized the baby to bonnet him. This was harder than she expected, since his ears had to be pinned back in order for the hat to fit, but she accomplished the matter nonetheless.

For weeks, she had needed to put Georges in his cradle or on the floor to get anything done. Recently she had taken to knotting a length of old curtains to tie him against her chest. Soon he would be able to crawl away—and just in time, another set of hands had presented itself. Cérine handed the baby back to her husband while she donned her cloak and laced her boots.

The couple set off for the village, M. making conversation about a ladies’ society in Bedfordshire, New Hampshire, which had decided to raise and song-train canaries as a fundraiser for a new town hall. They had put in an order for forty serinettes. As they passed the Rigoniets’ house, Monsieur passed the baby back to his wife, his arms already starting to ache.

Heat flamed through Cérine, sparking up and down her arms, welling in her belly with a desperation that intoxicated her. Touching her husband’s forearms, even accidentally, had sprung desire free from the dark corner where she kept it hidden. This reawakening did not belong to her husband or their child. It was hers; a secret. Monsieur would come to bed tonight. She would have to remember to turn his pillow over because of the foot dirt. Maybe this time, she would be brave enough to whisper that he should touch her here, and here, and there.

As they descended the steep path, a curious line opened in the sky over their heads, snipping the gray clouds apart with the efficiency of a practiced seamstress. Monsieur charged downhill, eager to meet the praise and good-natured back slaps waiting for him. He paid no mind to the brilliant blue seam overhead or the sun streaming through the new opening.

Cérine paused to readjust Georges’s bonnet; his ears had popped out. She marveled at the sudden vividness of each rock and tree, how each leafstalk leaned toward the new light, shaking off crystalline droplets with help from a friendly breeze. The heat searing her insides now warmed her shoulders and the rounded tips of her ears. She had expected adulthood to be like this—full of warmth and wonder, like the stars patting her on the head. She looked up and suddenly understood: sun! It blazed with an ineluctable joy. She gasped and pointed the sky out to her baby, who murmured his approval.

Cérine was glad her husband had rushed forward; this miracle belonged to her and Georges. She kept her own pace, chatting excitedly with the boy, marveling as they passed the Niçoises’ and the Cocteau place. The gray continued to pull apart, letting the blue expand. The strange overhead choreography paused whenever the mother and child stopped to look around, and this became a game. She stopped, and the sky stopped above her head. Georges wiggled in her arms with delight. Eventually they arrived in the heart of the village, the cobbled town square, where M. stood checking his pocket watch.

“What kept you?” he asked.

“Everything’s slower with a baby.” Cérine grinned, too dazzled to mind her husband’s attitude. She tilted her face toward the spectacular show overhead, marveling in the brisk and sudden brightness, the sting of unexpected light. She blinked back tears and focused on the irascible tufts of cloud floating across the German border. More dark clumps shouldered their way to neighboring Ambaville, while the new blue seam spread wider than a bolt of cloth—wider than five bolts—broader than the river, than fifty rivers. Gray gave way to blue with an ebullient gold centerpiece. It seemed impossible to call such resplendence sun, and yet incontrovertible proof held court above her, pressing warmth onto her shoulders. Cérine couldn’t help it; she stared boldly up at the orb itself, holding its gaze, for if this experience of brightness was all she’d ever have, she didn’t want to waste a moment.

Monsieur’s mouth dropped open. He had a clear-headed view of the situation. Georges would be all right now—his colic had passed—and look! Here was the sun to prove it.

“Our son moved the clouds,” he mused aloud. “It’s a miracle!”

Cérine couldn’t win her staring contest with the sky. A stabbing headache came with the light. She closed her eyes and rubbed them, wanting to argue with her obtuse husband. Really—our four-month-old? The whole village had yearned for the sun for years. The nuns prayed for it twice a day. Why would the sky listen to a baby?

Georges squinted and fussed and rubbed his eyes at this change in condition. He didn’t even like the brightness! Cérine tugged his bonnet lower and soothed him with back rubs. She didn’t dare correct her husband in public, though, and so his version of the story spread. Villagers out on errands called to each other. Lacemakers and music-makers, hearing the ruckus, ran outside to gawp. The three Blanchards stood in the center of the town square, dazzled by light, the baby tucking himself against his mother’s chest. Everyone clustered around them. Adults peeked over each other’s shoulders at their own leggy shadows. Little ones blinked and begged to be carried back indoors. And word of the miracle spread.

“The Blanchard baby quit crying.”

“He moved the clouds.”

“Cheered up the sky!”


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