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Djan de la Bolyèta

Djan de la Bolyèta was the kind, helpful goblin who served the pasture land of Tsuatzô. He served it well, it was one of the best most appreciated of the alpine summer pasture lands.

Every summer he provided innumerable services to the "armailli" at Tsuatzô and all he required in return was a small bowl of cream daily. One year, an "armailli" called Franz had been appointed to tend the cattle at Tsuatzô. He was not a nice man : arrogant, miserly and very self-centered. He had no respect for the kind goblin who was always ready to help out so, once, instead of cream, he filled the bowl with excrement.

Dire retribution came that same night when Franz was woken up abruptly by a screeching, mocking voice calling down the chimney of the chalet. Bewildered, he suddenly realized that he could no longer hear the familiar cowbells clanging. Greatly alarmed, he left hurriedly to search for the herd. There were no animals to be seen. Then, as the clouds drifted away from the moon, he was sure he could discern a contorted face mocking him. In the pale moonlight, he finally found the herd at the bottom of a steep cliff where all the animals lay in a pile of mangled bodies.

Franz was devastated. While he sobbed in despair, he again heard the screeching, mocking voice that had awoken him. In utter despondency, he hurled himself down the precipice to his death. Ever since, a despairing, wailing female voice can, occasionally, be heard echoing around Tsuatzô. It is said that this goes to show that only a weak man gives into despair in the way Franz did. He showed no strength when faced with disaster...

In punishment for Franz's craven action, his ghost was made to carry water daily for 1000 years, from the stream up to the high chalet of La Tremettaz. To this day, a wet patch can be seen on the stones where he stops for a break.

Thematic route :
A Country of Legends

Text :
Clément Fontaine, from "Sous la bannière de la Grue"
Translation :
Stella Bonnet-Evans

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