I've decided to start doing a weekly recap of a short story this summer. Every Wednesday will be short story day on this blog, until I get bored of it.
Today we are going to look at a Guy de Maupassant 1881 short story that is ALLLL ABOUT DICKS, called, aptly, "Cockcrow". It can be read here.
As usual, I swear and am flippant in my recaps. Possible triggers for issues of sexual consent.
Baron Joseph de Croissard is avidly pursuing the exceptionally beautiful Madame Berthe d’Avancelles, and she had refused his sexual advances so firmly that he has no choice but to mope and throw hunting parties in her honor. I assume Guy de Maupassant means that the Baron hosts these parties and she’s the guest of honor, not that he got a bunch of friends together to go hunting and, with every shot he took, went “This one’s for Berthe!” That would be morbid as shit.
Anyway, her husband has no choice but to overlook these advances because 1.) The dude’s a baron, and 2.) Monsieur d’Avancelles feels bad because he’s got a teeny tiny penis that cannot satisfy his wife:
“It was rumoured that they lived separate lives on account of a physical shortcoming of his which Madame could not overlook. He was a fat little man with short arms, short legs, a short neck, short nose, short everything in fact” (1). God, I love French literature for saying things so frankly.
The Baron is like, “I’m tall, better endowed, handsome, and spending a fortune on entertaining you. What gives, lady? I clearly have purchasing power over your hoo-haw. That’s how desire with men works: I put in enough coins until sexual consent falls out.”
She says, “I’m too busy this summer to have an affair. I’m not going to fall until the leaves do.” So now that it’s autumn, he’s just biding his time, because they have a verbal contract that she MUST fulfill.
Finally, they go out to hunt a boar. She tells him that if he manages to kill the boar, she has something to give to him, nudge nudge, wink wink. Wow, Parisian high society is nothing but cavemen in waistcoats. “Kill the big animal and you will be proved worthy of mating!” So of course he gets all alpha male and is raring to go, except Madame goes on the hunt with him and is not going to make things easy. She demands that he stay at her side, while she walks her horse idly down a gentle path.
In the words of Christian Grey (probably), his penis started shouting obscenities at her, and we must always appease the penis! The hunt was moving farther and farther away, and she’s leading him slowly away from it, only she says she won’t ‘give him something’ unless he kills the beast with his own hand in front of her eyes, and then she chides him for paying more attention to the sounds of the hunt than he is to her conversation.
He’s like, “Baby, of course I care about what you’re saying, but not as much as I care about finally getting to have sex with you.”
Then they make out on horseback for a few minutes, which is the preferred mode of making out for the aristocracy. In case you didn’t know. She gets embarrassed by their smooch and rides off to catch up with the hunt. As they do, the boar runs by them. The Baron jumps at the opportunity, and follows it. By the time Madame catches up with him, he’s covered in blood, with his knife rammed up to the hilt in the dead boar, which is not a metaphor for sex AT ALL.
A party rages on that night to celebrate the hunt, and Madame is really turned on and the Baron is really turned on, and they go for a walk in the park and start making out again, and Guy de Maupassant says basically that they almost start humping right there under the trees. Under-tree-sex: the preferred mode of sex for the aristocracy. Anything outdoorsy, really. The aristocracy love their outdoor exertions.
They go back to the house and she says she’s exhausted and going to bed, but he can join her if he wants. He sneaks up to her room later when everyone is asleep. He comes in and starts kissing her nightgown (which is 19th-century code for kissing her naughty places). She goes to slip into something more comfortable and tells him to get into bed.
He waits and waits and waits for her, but is so tired from the hunt that he falls asleep and sleeps until dawn. When he wakes up at the sound of a rooster crowing, she is in bed next to him, still unsexed, and PISSED OFF.
He asks what the noise is, and she says, “Nothing . . . it’s a cock. Go back to sleep, Monsieur. It’s nothing to do with you.” (6).
A few morals for the story:
1.) If you are super hot and spend enough money on a woman, she will eventually have sex with you.
2.) If you actually WANT sex from a man, but he needs to prove his worth before you do it, make sure he proves his worth with something not physically exhausting. Make him solve math problems or go fishing or something.
3.) Buy a vibrator. It will solve all your problems AND you won't have to deal with the Baron's entitlement bullshit.