Foll de Roll
It was The Venomous Bead who unwittingly reminded me of my father stalking his small children and afterwards his grandchildren and terrifying them as he growled ‘I’m a Troll, Foll de roll’. This might seem a peculiar introduction to a story but I promise you, it has relevance. Possibly tenuous. But a relevance. The picture was taken on Thursday … Two Brains and I were on our way to a light walk near St Etienne de Chomeil of which more in a later post, and this beauty happened to be in the road wondering slightly desparately which way to scamper. We noted that in two days it would probably be a gun rather than a camera it faced since the hunting season opened here yesterday and we wished it winged feet and guile to avoid the orange and camo-clad hunters who will stalk it til the end of February. As you can see it fleetly rehearsed its escape across he fields to the nearby woods.
I’m a Troll? Folldy Woll? What the … ? It’s the story of the ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ for the uninitiated. The Troll that terrifies the goats lives under the bridge and the relevance is this … I have three Billy Goats of my own to tell.
Early summer and The Bean and I walked up on les Orgues de Bort. We do this more than occasionally and it is a lovely walk. We see the massifs in the distance and the Dordogne snakes below.
We have passed a field of pygmy goats often and in fact my youngest daughter has insisted that we need stunted goats when we find our forever house. This day in May I turned a hair-pin bend and came across a baby pygmy in the road. He didn’t want to be there and was bleating loud, plaintiff and continuous. All his field mates were helpfully and gustily returning bleats. There was a fair amount of traffic on the plateau and I didn’t want a squishered goat so I set about finding his owner. Simples – there are only a couple of houses. Cars were bearing down on me so I turned on my hazards (the car was across the road where I had jammed the anchors and leaped out with goat-like agility and it is yellow so frankly unmissable) and walked purposefully to the nearest house. The goat bleats. I shout. In vain as it turns out. The goat bleats. I turn tail and walk down the hill aware of the hostile drivers blocked by my car. They can be forgiven for clearly believing the goatlette is mine. The Bean leaps out of the car. I call her manfully to heal and surprisingly she obeys. The Goat is less obedient so I nip back to the car and grab Bean’s lead thereby reinforcing the illusion that the goat is mine to the increasingly hostile queue of cars. I noose the goat … the goat continues to bleat. The Bean trots purposefully at my side clearly cast in her perfect role and I can’t shake Julie Andrews warbling ‘High on a Hill lives a lonely goatherd Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo’ – my obsession with the songs of the Sound of Music is well rehearsed with my children – in fact it was an effective torture when I wanted to get them swiftly to school as smalls but it proves less effective with actual goats. Lesson learned. I knock at the door of the only other house in the vicinity. A young man answers. ‘Is this be your Goat?’ I demand in my traditional Spanish Cow French ‘Mon Dieu – yes’ he replies (in actual French) … he grabs it, does not say thank you but is clearly overwhelmingly grateful and rushes off to find out how the devil it managed to break free. Though not exactly feted I feel puffed with pride that I have saved this tiny goats life.
That is my first goatee story.
This Friday my husband took me out for dinner. We rarely do this – partly because we are rarely together which is not as we wish it to be. I dressed up. So did he. We looked damned fine to be fair. The Salle de Fete (I have told you this before) is in my garden (actually the garden and the building belong to the village but in my mind they are be mine) …. there was a party brewing. We stood aside as my young neighbour screeched up the drive in his pick-up … he is young, this is his normal modus. As he stepped out of the truck complete with kennels on the back, I said ‘the hunting season starts, no?’ and he responded automatically ‘demain’ (tomorrow) and then I heard it … bleating! From the kennel on the back of his pick-up there clearly emitted a bleating. He noted my noting and said ‘it’s my brothers birthday – that’s the party’ (it was his 25th it turns out) …. a strange explanation for what he showed me … two sweet little black and white pygmy goats in luminous orange collars with bells on. He rushed off wihout further commentary. We drove out for dinner delicious. Today I ran into his girlfriend and asked how the party went (the last men were still just about standing and shouting amiably at 7 a.m incidentally) She rolled her eyes magnificently as she told me it was a triumph – apparently the young birthday boy had been led to believe he was getting a pair of hunting dogs for his birthday. The pygmy goats dressed in their hunting attire were presented to his chagrin and the delight of the assembled gathering.
So there you have it …. three Billy Goats. Though none of them Gruff I would give them all a home any day and the deer can have my sanctuary though I fear I have nothing more than wishes and prayers (though I’m not a praying woman) as we embark on the next six months of hunty mayhem across France.
PS: I took The Bean for a walk in the village today (the first weekend of the season is NOT the time to be out and about walking in the wilds) and a chap bearded me for a chat … down from the Somme he told me he has an Irish Setter with which he hunts. I asked him why he was not out on this important weekend … it turned out that in the North they started the season last weekend and he had come down to join the frollics at the Salle de Fete – his cousin’s son’s birthday … guess what, he said – they promised him two good hunting dogs and gave him a pair of goats – how hilarious is that? … I didn’t disappoint him by telling him I already knew.
I like the idea of a couple of pigmy goats – maybe I’ll convince my better half to have them with our sheep and horse. Can’t imagine the look on the birthday boy’s face when he saw (heard) goats and not the hunting dogs.
BTW, a deer in flight is difficult to capture – especially on the fly. Nice photo.
I’m sure your better half will be delighted to add goats to the menagerie Arby … I too would have loved to see the young mans face and I thank you for the compliment about the deer picture … It was pure luck and there were several duds too 🙂
I sincerely hope that those two pygmy goats have a long career ahead of them as ‘hunting dogs’….after all, in rural France jokes have a very long life….
And it looks as if you saved another little chap from an unwanted encounter with the modern troll – the motorcar driver.
Jokes sure do run and run and run here …. The other goat was certainly a goat in peril and don’t get me started on car trolls, Helen. As for the picture …. It was a bit of luck and the only one that turned out …. The rest were fetching images of greenery and one has a pair of photo bombing antlers in the bottom right corner 😀
what a lovely and charming post, mon amie… <3 I love the pygmy goats, as a Cappy gal, they're my sweet tiny "cousins"… 🙂 btw, I met a couple of Americans in Key West, Florida who lived on their boat and guess what: their pet was a cute pygmy goat called Jackie!!! 🙂
Mille mercis lovely M …. I’ve been off piste for a while – your encouragement means a lot 🙂
I still think there is something primally chilling about “I’m a Troll, Folldy Woll.. and I’ll eat you for my supper!”
I have a little goat (and donkey ) story myself which I will post soon
My dad was the mildest of men but he absolutely terrified us when he gave his Folldy Woll …. The screams were utterly primal!
We’ve had to keep the poor cat in this morning – there are four wheel drives, orange clad men with guns, and hunting dogs roaming around nearby. Roll on the end of February.
Poor cat! Definitely safer indoors though .. I’m afraid they are at their worst for the next few weeks. At dinner on Saturday there was a group of city boys up for the sport getting plastered … They are the worst according to my neighbor – no skill and just as likely to shoot each other as an animal and he often has to ‘clean up their mess’ by putting injured animals out of their misery. I try to be tolerant but I am not a fan!
Hahah great coincidence 😀 Also, great how you saved the goat! “Mon Dieu – yes” will be my new ‘French’ sentence 😉
Glad you enjoyed it! Keep using the Frenglish or is it Franglais 😉
What a great little yarn that was.
A smile stretcher for sure 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it ….. Back on piste so hopefully more smiles to follow 🙂
Good show. More of the same please…!
What a great story….and the Three Billy Goat Gruff’s were one of my favorite childhood stories…who’s that crossing my bridge….LOL I own 2 different copies of the story….what a great story…so glad you saved the goat….by the first story, sounds like you had a fantastic time…can’t wait for more…and welcome home!!! kathy
Thank you Kathy! So glad you enjoyed my Billies …. I too love the real story – it’s one of the greats 🙂 and most of all thank you for missing me a bit!!
This is a lovely post! I had such fun reading and have been waiting for you to come back to write a post! I love the goats, the nature, story at the end of the man, what a beautiful and colorful world!
Thank you Lyn! It was fun writing it and the stories just presented themselves so little effort involved in the telling …. thankyou for waiting for me to come back – it’s been busy (weddings and travel and little time in one place for a while) …. hopefully I can keep you amused with more stories of life in what is indeed a colourful and beautiful place 🙂
ha ha I hope! the first picture was he a goat too? I saw like a beard? so cute
No – he is a deer – we aren’t sure what type … we generally get red deer and roe deer here but he doesn’t look like either so I am going to ask our friend who knows the flora and fauna for a verdict!
Such great pictures!
Thankyou – I was ridiculously excited to finally get a shot of a deer (with my camera you understand)
I love reading your posts Osyth. Here I am, because of you, back again hearing to my dad (or was it Burl Ives) telling the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff although he always said “Folldeeroll”. Wonderful read; thanks 🙂 We are looking forward to our visit to Bergerac next month with friends. Any musts you can recommend.
Oh how funny! I am in Bergerac on Saturday to pick up my youngest daughter coming to stay for a week. Certainly do try to visit Beynac et Cazenac which links to Richard the Lionheart – he seized the Castle which only reverted to the French when he died. Bergerac itself is classified as a ville d’art et d’histoire so I am sure has plenty to interest you and of course the countryside in the Dordogne region is very lovely. I tend to take a look at this website http://www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org/fr/carte-des-plus-beaux-villages-de-france when venturing out of my area looking at it regionally will give you a good idea of the recognised treats around you … bon vacance!!
Merci beaucoup! This is great. Have a lovely week with your daughter 🙂 fol-dee-rol
You have reminded me that it is u deed correctly foldeerol …. My father often messed with words – like remangues instead of meringues for example. It’s the Art student daughter I shall show her your blog – I know she will enjoy it 🙂
Lovely. Send her my best wishes.
Beautiful story and great pictures!
Thank you! I enjoy the animals so much here 🙂
Yes! A few weeks ago there were deers walking on our sidewalk and another pair were sitting in a neighbor’s back yard!
That I would have loved to see!
Yes! My husband thought it might be a bad sign that there wasn’t enough food or water nearby so they had to seek “greener pastures.”
Very possibly – we have two types here and they don’t come near habitation … that said my Uncle, who lived in New England, used to get white-tails in his garden and that was certainly not because of lack of food in the surrounding woods!
Baaah, baaah black sheep… oh, sorry, baaah baaah black goat, have you any … any… milk?? Yes sir, yes sir… three buckets full! o_O
May all your hoofed animals live long and productively happy lives!! 😉