“DAMNED!”, I thought, almost out loud, at the sight of tourists wading in the water of my secret spot; no longer secret. I’ll just go and take a look further down river, beyond the bend. Because of yesterday’s rain storm, the path alongside the river was invaded by broken branches which rendered it as difficult as one often finds young pubescent girls difficult. So I decided to bear away from the river to the interior path (which was no problem, I know area like the back of my hand).
But that day, my proverbial sense of direction must have been on an limited strike, because after 15 minutes of hiking, I was really lost in what I considered “my garden”.
Me, the great Fleche, lost in a little wood as big as a handkerchief. What can I say… I was filled with shame!
And you can imagine my surprise when, in a sort of clearing, I find an unknown branch of my river transformed into a sort of disgusting swamp. Certainly it was that shock that made my poor brain, chemically, take-off like a kite with it’s string cut by perverse little devils.
Suddenly, maybe because of the heat, I found myself transported into that superb film “HELL IN THE PACIFIC” close to TOSHIRO MIFUNE, or with TOM HANKS in “CAST AWAY”, both of them lost on desert islands. I would have to, if I wanted to survive my misfortune, learn to make fire by rubbing two sticks together, to capture fish with my poor fly rod in this swamp, which is certainly infested with hungry alligators who are in line, waiting for me, like at the number six bus stop.
I would need agility and strength to leap across the backs of enormous galloping rhinoceros, those savage animals are legion in the countryside of the south Ardeche ; I would have to spear them in the throat like Tarzan does, so proficiently, in the Zambeze jungle. I would find shelter in grottos whose ceilings are covered with vampire bats thirsty for my blood and I would cover myself with foul-smelling clay for protection against the mosquitos that are as big as Andean vultures…
Sitting at the base of a big tree, I dwelled on all sorts of adventures, each one more dangerous than the other, that I would certainly confront for several years, before being rescued by british explorers wearing colonial uniforms and helmets.
I’ll marry the daughter of the chief (a hot blonde), I’ll force myself to learn a language other than that of the seagulls and end my days in a castle in Scotland (dark ending!). That was when I noticed a familiar sound that made me instantly collect myself. It was the inimitable sound of a car (Citroen DS 21 1967) that backfired behind me on the road to RUOMS (07120). Saved! Finally, freed from the claws of the Ardechois green hell.
A quarter of an hour later I was safely ensconced in my house.
“My poor darling” said my wife, “you’re so pale… What happened to you?”
“Oh… nothing… nothing, just a little mishap… enough to write a little story for “Le Mouching”! Tell you what though, I’d gladly accept a double bourbon… a KNOB CREEK, with two cubes of ice!”