Tháng Tư

In April, Uncle Cat climbs the tall tree, up up up, to visit the squirrels.

tháng tư:  the fourth month or April
chú:  uncle (father’s younger brother); a way to address or refer to an older male acquaintance who is much younger than your parents
trèo cây cao:  to climb up a tall tree.
hỏi thăm:  to ask after; to visit

In the nursery rhyme “Con mèo trèo cây cau“, the cat climbs up an areca palm to ask after a mouse:

Con mèo mà trèo cây cau,
Hỏi thăm chú chuột đi đâu vắng nhà.
Chú chuột đi chợ đường xa,
Mua mắm mua muối giỗ cha con mèo.

Since mice don’t live in trees, the story takes on an ominous tone, with the mouse having fled and left words that it is at a faraway market to buy condiments for the death anniversary of the cat’s father. The message can be interpreted as an insult, if the cat’s father is still very much alive.

In our story, Uncle Cat just wants to run around in trees with the squirrels.

Noodle’s book of Month Names by Mứt

Tháng Ba      → Tháng Năm