And so it has flown by, this first month of promises, of worries and confirmations. We went from a summer that didn't want to let go to an autumn that hurried itself in, all bossy, only to change its mind and let the warm breeze dance with the golden trees.
Of course we made the most of it: from the tall, bold head of the Hohneck to the marshland around Lake Lispach and then up and down again, all the way to Gerardmer.
That evening we received a message:
"What do you think of a pedalo ride tomorrow on Lake Longemer?"
It was Francesca
"Is Zen coming as well?"
"No, can you imagine him on the water ?!"
Yes, I could imagine him all right, and I could also imagine us finding ourselves in the water: a beautiful, sweet dog, but God had some energy to spare when he was made!
So it was only Francesca and Fabien: her husband. It was such luck to find them in our new neck of the woods (literally), once again thanks to a group on Facebook: Veggie Vosges. Francesca Italian and Fabien from the Vosges, like the forest that surrounds us.
The photographs don't do any justice to the beauty of this small lake surrounded by firs, larch and beech that mirror in its waters. Black like the night or green like envy when they play with the shadow of the mountains.
Fabien and Francesca suggested a new destination for us, in a valley that we had not yet visited: Le Champe Des Pierres, for another day.
Oh ... it was worth it. It should also be added that having nothing to do, we can enjoy these places when the rest of the world is normally at work ... sorry. Le Champe Des Pierres consists of what can only be described as a static flow of stones in the middle of the woods, about forty meters wide and two hundred long, it seems completely out of place, it's born suddenly and suddenly comes to an end. We are not talking about pebbles, but real rocks and boulders, abandoned there at the end of the last ice age when Ice Ice Baby made a retreat and never came back to pick them up.
Another path (splendid, but seemingly endless) led us to the Gorge des Roitelets, a narrow, narrow gorge cut by a stream which, given the rain of the previous weeks, seemed to be boiling over. From there we reached the Fairies' bridge. Rebuilt in the 19th century, but dating back ages, legend has it that fairies still live under its arch, but not those of the cute little variety, quite the opposite. One day, a handsome young man, crossing the bridge, came across one of these fairies and fell madly in love with her. In the impetus of passion he didn't realize that the fairy was dragging him along the riverbank until, holding him in a deadly embrace, she took him with him into the dark depths of the water.
Fortunately, that day there were no other fairies but us. And an elderly couple with a dog.
This morning we finally came across our next-door neighbor, the one we hoped was the owner of the cat that, intermittently, comes to grace our home. We can finally relax, yes: the cat is not a stray and when she has enough of our attention she has another home where she can find food and warmth, but ...
"Excuse me, my French is not very good ..." I smile clumsily to our neighbor who repeats slowly:
"The cat is not a she, she is a boy." He is smiling now.
But how? Just then Chatte (I will have to change her name) joins our group, rubbing herself between our legs with her pretty raised tail, to show it all.
There is nothing there: tabula rasa. Which is not entirely surprising, he might have been neutered, I think, yet unconvinced I ask:
"Are you sure?"
Years and years and years in which I silently cradled the belief that three-coloured cats could only be females... All swept away just like this, on a sunny morning, with a nod of the head and a wipe of the tail.
At least we won't have to worry about becoming grandfathers.
You can find the previous chapters here
You can follow Francesca's blog here: https://sevenroses.net/
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