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The Lessoc fountain

A good man named Colin went to the fair in Château-d'Oex to drum up business for himself. On his way home, he stopped at the Jaman Inn in Montbovon, not just for drink mind you, but as a courtesy to his old childhood friends.

Time slipped away as they renewed their friendship, and he was still en route to Lessoc when midnight struck. His wife Fanchon, upset at his late arrival, shamed him for his behavior, declaring, "You think only of yourself, but while you were out drinking, our mare was dying of thirst!" Only then did Colin understand the extent of his error, leading the poor mare at once to the trough.

It was a splendid night, with full moon. The horse, "Cocotte", drank precisely where Colin was admiring the moon's reflection in the water. He dreamed, "It's as if she were drinking in the moon", when suddenly a dark cloud veiled the moon and caused its reflection to vanish. At the same instant, the mare raised her head, thirst quenched. Horrified, Colin cried,"Oh no! My mare has swallowed the moon." He said nothing to his wife, but slept in the stable with Cocotte, rising at dawn to help his mare walk off her indigestion.

As Lessoc awoke, its citizens were surprised to find the farmer pacing his mare to and fro, one haunted, the other bored with the spectacle. Concerned, the mayor finally inquired if the horse was ill. "She's done for," he replied, "she's swallowed the moon!"

The mayor summoned the town council, pleading the gravity of the situation and the urgency for action: "An ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure, we propose installing a roof over the water basin. The basin will be shaded from the sun, and the Colins will have nothing more to worry about." The proposition passed. Besides, the council members saw their own interest in protecting the moon against accidents. They too might one day need its glimmer to light their way home at night.

So goes the true story of Lessoc's picturesque fountain.

Thematic route :
A Country of Legends

Text :
Joseph Genoud, from "les l?gendes fribourgeoises", Editions ? la Carte

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