EDNOTE. My thanks to Yannicke Chupin for checking this out. Interesting. Was there an accompanying illustration in the original printing?
----- Original Message -----
From: Yannickec@aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 1:13 PM
Subject: Re: "Burning Barn" Query/Kveree

EDITOR'S ORIGINAL QUERY: ADA contains at least one allusion to Comtesse de Segur's childrens books. Does anyone out there know whether there is a "Burning Barn" scene in any of them?


There is a  chapter called "L'incendie" in Mémoires d'un âne by la Comtesse de Ségur which bears a few similarities with the Burning Barn chapter. No barn is burning in Ségur though  a castle and its stables are. Both narrators are awoken by the same cry :

MdA: "Un soir que je commençais à m'endormir,je fus révéillé par des cris: Au feu!"
Ada: " We were roused in our separate rooms be her crying au feu!

The donkey then proceeds to rescue the little Pauline (who is wearing her nightgown)  from the flames (in Ada: Van was "ready to save Ada and all her larvae") by taking her to a safe cellar where they will have to spend the night together until the fire is extinguished.

Once safe, Pauline kneels down and prays to God: ("Quand elle se vit sauvée et à l'abri de tout danger, elle se jeta à genoux et fit un prière touchante pour remercier Dieu de l'avoir préservée d'un si grand danger") which reminds me of the "Praying children in a very bad picture" in Ada.