“That’s quite a get-up,” I said to Fido. “What’s up with the beads?”
Fido got up on his hind legs and did a little jig.
“Is that really a jig?”
“Heck no! It’s a Fido-doh. A dance just for me-me-me.”
“Something tells me a cup of coffee would be a good thing right about now.”
“You make the coffee. I’ll just keep on dancing! Put on some of that Gator Beat! Spin one of those old Hackberry Ramblers records.”
“Oh, I get it now,” I said. “Isn’t it a little early for Mardi Gras this year?”
“How would I know? I’m a dog!”
I put the coffee on the burner and shuffled through the LPs until I came up with an old Hackberry Ramblers record.
“Fido, I’d be happy to dance.”
And so we did, Fido with his big red paws on my chest, me with my arms tucked around his head.
“Do these beads get in the way?” I asked Fido. He was all decked out in purple, red, and gold beads. I had to hand it to him. For a big, red, chow-retriever mix, Fido is actually pretty light on his feet.
“Fido, I have to tell you something you might not want to hear.”
“We’re out of biscuits?!?”
“No, no, no. It’s the dance—the thing you call the Fido-doh. It’s not what you think.”
“But I don’t think! I’m a dog!”
“You old red cur, the name of the dance is Fais do-do. I can see why you think it’s the Fido-do, given the French pronunciation. The pastry chefs in town make jokes and call it the Fais dough-dough. It’s a play on words. “Fais” in French means “make” in English.
“I thought it was Fido-do,” he mumbled.
“So what’s with the ‘do-do’ in Fais do-do?”
“It’s a kiddy term for ‘Go to sleep,’ and it’s an offshoot of the French verb ‘dormir.’ It’s kind of like what ‘beddy-bye’ is in English.
In Louisiana, the Cajuns kept the term, then made a dance out of it, and that’s why, at Mardi Gras, they dance the Fais do-do.”
“Got it,” Fido said. “Sort of. After all, I’m a dog.”
“It really doesn’t matter, Fido. Dancing is a good thing, no matter which day or which occasion, what dance or what tune. When it’s windy, even the trees dance.”