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Discovering stories

... The Devil's Stone ...

Bagnes, vallée de légendes
Clément Bérard, RCL Levron et Vollège, A la Carte editions

When, from Charrat or Saxon, we are about to reach the Col du Lein, we notice, right trail, un bloc de rocher que les indigènes désignent sous le nom de « Pierre du Diable ».

Voici la légende qui s’y rattache :

Les gens du Levron passaient autrefois pour les plus enragés danseurs de l’Entremont ; and that's saying something, because Convicts have always enjoyed a strong reputation on this point.

The days of fiestas were expected with bated breath by the youth of the place. For three days, it was the rule, we celebrated worthily, the sounds of violins, les patron saint Jean-Baptiste your saint Antoine. And often, for many youths and maidens, this bacchanalian feast and lyrical extended for a week. It was then the days of merriment, de vie légère auxquels messire Satan n’était pas convié ; but he always found his hand and smiled at the bargain.

I just do not, priests who had succeeded in the parish they had conjured, urged, menacé cette jeunesse frivole ! I just do not, girls become mothers they should make their quarantine Sunday, the church, devant l’autel de la Vierge ! The passion of dance was so strongly transmitted by previous generations it was an incurable disease, atavique ; shame elders publicly exposed to the gaze of the crowd, no more than the priest's words had the gift to turn his indulgence this incorrigible youth.

The two patron saints saw it differently.

Saint John the Baptist, better aware of the needs of the world's austere colleague, ne se souciait pas de crier dans le désert ; he had once, his time was over, he stood silent. The bien him arrivait, par-ci, par-là, drag a look in the ballroom, but it was more out of curiosity. And remembering the other lascivious dances of Herod and Herodias, he forgave and said nothing.

Saint Antoine, by cons, cried foul and regretted the happy time when he lived in his hermitage. A year when the pranks of youth had gone too far, the old hermit could not contain himself and, beard in the wind, ran all of a trait knock the lair of a servant of Lucifer.

Pan ! Pan ! Pan !

– Holà ! Messire Satanas !

– Que me veut-on ? called from within a broken and hoarse voice.

- I need you for an important task that will earn you big. Will, sors ! et dépêche-toi !

 

 

Convict, Valley legends

 

At the instant, a hideous countenance, gaunt, wrinkled, parchment, split by a wide mouth leaving see a double row of sharp teeth, appeared between two boulders. His slanted eyes, scary to see, throwing flames and horns, that his forehead was armed, projected phosphorescent gleams. A long goatee beard ended his chin pointed and fell in curls on his hairy chest, while two large ears, tapered like swords at their peak, limited right and left this scary face.

Soon a skinny body, vaulted, hunchback, dissimilar, a thinness which showed all the projections of bone, ventured out of his dark cave.

- You, Antoine ! the demon said with an accent of deep astonishment. It is important that you have changed a time that you come visit me. Que dirais-tu si je te recevais comme tu le fis avec moi lorsque tu vivais dans ta solitude ?

– Satan ! tell me, as-tu besoin d’âmes humaines ?

– Eh mais ! n’es-tu plus l’ermite Antoine ? exclaimed the astonished demon such a question.

But the holy, all his thought, continua :

- Listen. Tonight, midnight, take a rock, précipite-le sur le village du Levron ; tu pourras compter les victimes ; they belong to you. But, if you fail in your task, you leave the country and there never reparaîtras.

The agreement was reached between the two parties, the saint returned to his niche in the chapel and the devil entered his lair.

From nightfall, we could see the devil in all directions exploring the pastures of Lein, looking for a big enough rock to do the work to which it is destined. Finally, he found his business, sat on, caressa sa barbiche et ricana d’une sinistre façon :

– Ah ! ah ! gens du Levron ! long enough I watch you and watches. Je vais vous préparer un bon petit feu de braise pour chatouiller vos nerfs ! A new dance, when you are not prepared, vous attend ! Ah ! ah ! ah !

At the agreed time, the demon instructed the rock on his shoulders and set off. He was up a steep hill before reaching the col, but despite its heavy burden, He walked briskly, savoring in advance the next triumph.

A few more minutes and the block will roll on the unfortunate inhabitants, unsuspectingly, even waltzing in the ballroom. The neck is, two steps, on l’aperçoit à travers la clairière ; as the evil face lights up and flourishes.

But !… qu’y a-t-il ? Trébucher neglect Satanas et, however, il n’a heurté aucune pierre du chemin ; then it seems to bear much heavier… Encore un choc ! and legs are unsteady demon under the weight. Yet he argues, but his forehead dripping, his body bent double. Voilà qu’il ressent tout à coup une nouvelle secousse suivie d’une autre encore ; it is now a real storm that book on his back, unwittingly. Le fardeau devient si lourd que la pierre s’écrase sur son échine ; the demon staggers, choir leaves the rock and ran roaring.

Que s’est-il donc passé ? What was the good of the village guardian spirit, plus fort que Lucifer et que saint Antoine ? Voici :

Despite the small sin which so much irritated the austere saint, people of Levron exercised to the larger hospitality all unhappy. And it is that hundreds of beggars came knocking on doors every fall and all hands opened for them. It is this virtue that had saved the people.

En effet, John was aware of the purpose of his colleague and he had promised to prevent the execution. He appealed to all the poor souls rescued by the charity people. They had arrived in numbers and all, one after the other, avaient sauté sur le rocher ; as they had once brought the alms offered by Levronins, the block had become so heavy that Satan lost the game and ran satisfy his impotent rage in the rocks of stone See where, night and day, it runs huge blocks in dizzying precipices.

The stone was to be fatal to the village is Levron, comme un monument irrécusable du pouvoir de la charité ; in its lower part, it is pierced by an excavation in which we see very well, dit-on, footprint of the vertebrae of the devil. The people of Levron kept a grudge against St. Anthony. As the chapel was in ruins, ils en édifièrent une nouvelle qu’ils placèrent sous le vocable de Saint Jean ; on ne danse plus guère à cette fête patronale ; by cons, à la Saint-Antoine, we entertained three days beard of St..

 

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