The simplest of people are the most interesting.
It was the feast of Maurion. A tiny village with a population of just one family in the winter. The once-a-year church service takes place today followed by a picnic at the church grounds. But instead of joining in the crowd, we went searching for a more private place. Walking on the road, we noticed a sign saying…. “Organic eggs for sale”. We love organic eggs, they are delicious especially when poached.Following the sign, we had to walk through a dirt road then a wooden bridge leading to a property where a chalet stands in the middle. A dozen dogs started barking, then, a short obese lady appeared.
– “Good morning, madame…. Do you have some eggs, please?”
– “ Good morning, yes, come in!…. You want some coffee?”
Surprising, isn’t it? We, complete strangers, are being welcomed like friends!
Right away, thanks to her husband, several choices of aperitif were before us… martini, cognac, pastis and some chips.
The eggs were forgotten…. and we chatted.
Their story: they live with their fifty-something animals – at their big house in Fontan in the winter, but relocates in this rough countryside in the summer. They subsist on vegetables grown in their garden and chickens and wild boars hunted in the mountains. The funny thing is that each animal has its own name!
– A goat called Priscilla
– Dogs: Selda, Cyril, Laura and Lola
– Cat: Leopold
– Chickens: Startrek, Jojo, George, marguerite and Leon
– Ferret: Jospin, after the ex-prime minister who quit office the day the ferret was bought
– And the favourite baby of Madame Toesca…. Daisy, a Vietnamese pig who sleeps in the house, with an air-conditioner if it’s hot because she cannot stand the heat!
They let us have our picnic, at 2pm, under a big tree which Madame Toesca, the short obese lady said was the reason why they bought the land which bounds the river and the mountain.
After lunch, they were so kind to offer us coffee, to share with us a recipe and to give us some vegetables like pepper, basil and squash from their garden.
And before leaving at 4pm, we embraced each other like old friends, not forgetting to take a dozen eggs… all at 3 euros!
It was one of those unforgettable days! To meet people like that… very nice and very trusting!
But the day is not finished yet! While walking on the road, we saw a lady in distress. Her car was half-falling on the edge of the road. She was in a terrible state. We went back to call Monsieur Toesca and before he arrived with his tools, a dozen passers-by were already there trying to help the lady.
That, is the kindness of people in the countryside.
If each one of us makes little gestures like the Toescas or the people who were trying to help the lady on the road, the world will be a better place to live.