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Discovering stories

... The Dwarf Arlaches ...

Le Val Ferret, the beauty of its sites made famous in the world of tourism, was totally ignored there are a hundred years. He was more at a time when our story moves, is the mid-sixteenth century.

In this time, the valley called “Comba Farri” (Combe Ferret) and, partly buried under forests Saleinaz and Frumion, had not yet revealed the wonders of ice Neuva and Mount Dolent.

The mid-sixteenth century, lived in a small Arlaches man thirty years, whose size is well taken, only reached barely half that of a man of ordinary size. His name Joson, but it was commonly called in the country : “Dwarf”.

Nothing in this deformed body, until the age of seven, grew normally, and which one of these mysterious phenomena of nature had suddenly stopped growing. All organs were healthy and vigorous, all robust and well proportioned limbs, bones and muscles left nothing to be desired. The face was oval, steady, adorned with a thin black mustache, and pierced with big blue eyes, deep, veiled by long lashes, with strange reflections, detecting or obsessive thinking and hidden, or a huge sadness. we never saw him laugh. But, contrast pair, and by compensation as, Joson was a very open mind, fierce, on the lookout for anything that could develop and enrich. Nothing escaped his observant and wise spirit, and these qualities, so valuable at a time when the people, under the yoke of feudal jurisdiction, languishing in ignorance and superstition, had been the oracle Arlaches.


Be a providential !

En effet, it was feared a misfortune so common in mountainous countries, such avalanches, landslides, floods, we quickly ran from the Dwarf, which, by the resources of his intelligence, found a way to ward off evil. A cow or a sheep they were lost in the rocks, risk of falling over precipices, no possible return issue, Joson was soon required, and the day was not going to come see her without being, bringing the cow by the halter or with the kid on his strong shoulders.

You should know that, early age, his parents died young, small Joson had been entrusted to an aunt old, poor and infirm, who had “allowed to grow” at the discretion of fate, leaving almost entirely left to itself : the hut of the old aunt served him shelter for the night, because the whole day is spent in races wandering through the forests, the Alps and the glaciers, and we wondered, the hamlet, what could live well the poor little during his long absences repeated. Is that the Dwarf was an extraordinary sobriety, which enabled him to live a whole day with a piece of black bread and wild fruits, sprinkled with fresh water sources.


The Cross

A ce jeu, his body had become a force, a flexibility and endurance that nothing repelled. So one day, workers who worked on the construction of the tower Som la Proz, Village posted a sentinel at the threshold of the valley, ask the Dwarf came to take on the placement of the cross on the arrow, none of them daring to accomplish this feat. Joson went without hesitation to call him that was, clung heavy cross on the back, climbed the ladder like a cat, planted some solid iron bolts in the wood of the arrow, he reached easily made and the, effortless, it planted the rooster and the Latin cross. This was, among workers stunned, a cry of joy and admiration.

Le Nain regagna le willows online is slippery, like a cat, along the edges of the roof frames and, without any excitement or smile, received some money for his reward, and disappeared as quickly as it came.


Alert !… Flood !

Another time, was the big torrent Orny that, swollen by snowmelt, threatened to overflow Dranse. This would be done, then, not only the whole village of Arlaches, but the City-d'Issert and Som la Proz. There were in all the countries of the Dwarf Arlaches capable of preventing a disaster.

Joson asked took with him two men armed with shovels and picks. He led, with itself a lot of tools bigger than him, through the steep forest of Mount Giroud, torrent to Guero, which, also, threatened to jump in the valley. He immediately dig a diversion channel and several small side channels, that led the water lost and spread into the flanks of the hill and, danger of being dismissed that side, Dwarf and his two assistants climbed above, reached, after several hours of hard work, small parade “Grépillon Bear”, at the foot of Orny glacier, which escapes the river of the same name.

The riverbed was cleverly deflected through a strong barrier that divided into several branches and gave her over the slow pace of seepage, thus preventing any sudden flood Dranse; disaster was averted since.

When the task was completed, Joson said to his aid : “Now, we can from, imps can do what they want, Dranse not move.”

In fact, Dranse did not move and the inhabitants of Arlaches, City-d'Issert and Som la Proz could sleep safely.


The mystery of Nain !

Increasingly, Dwarf happening in the eyes of the population of Comba-Farri for a mysterious, supernatural, and, although they had the proof that the little deprived of nature used his superiority to do good and be of service, some were jealous, get suspicious, launched against him hints that curled ingratitude and malice.

If those who felt ill had seen at work, from morning to night, practicing the difficult labors, stimulating nerves and muscles by hard exercises and sometimes violent, where he might break his neck or kidneys, those aims would have changed their minds, unless they were refractory to all good sense. The truth is that no one knew what was going on in the high intelligence and high in the soul residing in the body truncated by an inexplicable quirk of nature.



No, sauf Jacquemine, its neighbor, the same age as him, high side by side, sickly child and abandoned, Joson that had taken a liking and did the only confidante of his thoughts. It was for her that he climbed peaks and glaciers, to bring him flowers in the Alps, of “simple” which should give his health that poverty denied her ; it was for her that he searched the dangerous caves, to report shimmering crystals, he made necklaces and earrings to adorn his beloved.

She knew, it, Jacquemine, Joson that was the best child in the world. He told her all his suffering for staying small, and, an unjust fate, to be condemned to remain a “rebut” the company, while its most cherished aspirations had pushed the more noble destiny, one where the man in possession of all it takes to succeed, travels the world to sow the influence of his mind and his heart.

This beautiful dream was not allowed to ; la nature, by stepmother, in the brutally private. And it was for revenge, sort of, this injustice, he had resolved, while the last of the inhabitants of the valley to the size, to which so many prejudices are attached, to be the first to intelligence and effort.

Can not change anything that blind chance, la fatalité, had foolishly consumed, he heard at least show him that there would stop the tyranny of power, and prove that man, with its single brain engine, is able to dominate the forces of nature.



At the age of thirty, Joson had proved something, miniature is true, in the inner circle where he was called to move, and Dwarf Arlaches had forced the esteem and admiration to dominate, to eclipse even pity his physical inferiority was aroused around him, to the point that only the most complained, but that the jealous. The facts were soon to prove.

One summer day, Joson was gone in the morning, with his herd of goats for grazing Saleinaz. He returned in the evening, at nightfall, loaded with garlands of flowers he brought to Jacquemine, the only person in the world whose disease had the power to light a smile this taciturn face.

Arrived on the coarse girder bridge thrown across the Dranse, to chalets Praz-de-Fort, a shower of stones, launched the forest, fell on him ; he tried to flee, but at the same time a projectile striking the head stunned him and made him drop into the river, fortunately shallow in this location. By a burst of energy, by a superhuman effort, despite the pain and the blood from his wound, Joson could reach the shore when he fell, unconscious. His flock arrived alone in the village. Great was the excitement of Jacquemine, who begged his father from, with it, in search of the missing.

Armed with a torch resin, They began immediately started; a ten minute walk brought them to the bridge Praz-de-Fort, where they found, along the trail, the inert body of Nain.


The Death of Nain

Jacquemine sobbed, repeated by the echoes of the forest, while his father loaded on his shoulders the bloody body of Nain. Arrived at the hut, the wounded are laid on his cot where the attentions revived. He could open his eyes and speak a few words interspersed: “bridge Praz-de-Fort…. shepherds threw stones at me…, Slotted…, fell to Dranse.”

Overnight, high fever broke out, and, in the absence of any physician and any other relief that the despair Jacquemine, Joson, in the morning, had the cold forehead : the Dwarf Arlaches died.

The grief was indescribable Jacquemine and population, a superstitious fear haunted, including everything she had lost, sincerely mourned his small protective. The Dwarf was just buried in the small cemetery Som la Proz torrential rains that fell upon the Val Ferret, overfilling, overnight, all mountain torrents.


Despair and desolation

The Romper ses Dranse say, taking everything she was on her way; several houses and Arlaches City-d'Issert were driven by the muddy waters of the river, who carted large blocks as houses. The storm lasted all night, without no help was possible. In the morning, the wind and rain had stopped, but the show was disappointing. The valley was covered with sand and pebbles, there reigned a dead silence, the appearance of these places, once verdant and flowery, was terrifying.

But what caused the population in deep anguish, It was the disappearance of Jacquemine. We never knew what had become of; the waves had they taken away when she tried to flee, or she had been crushed under one of éboulés blocks to Mount Tchuay ? Mystery ! The locals told them that the flood was the vengeance of Nain, who had returned to earth to seek Jacquemine and take her with him to the other world. The valley was it, henceforth, doomed to misfortune ?

To avert the wrath of heaven and prevent the recurrence of similar disasters, pious souls made building at the confluence of Dranses d'Entremont and Ferret, where flooding had stopped its toll, a chapel dedicated to Saint Eusebius, we came therefore implore, by far, for the healing of sick or disabled children.

The chapel still exists today, but the memory of Dwarf Arlaches completely disappeared.


Excerpt from "Messenger lame", 1925


Stories, tales and legends Dranses,

Publishing the Map, 2001

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