Sunday, April 12, 2009

Who got the money?

Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch. ~Ramona C. Carroll

In the forest there is a small stone cross, and I was curious about why it was there and the inscription upon it. Fouteau de Poulailler. I discovered this week in one of my library books a little more about this cross.

Raillier a republican historian of the revolutionary period, wrote that in pagan times if an inhabitant of the countryside had a fever one of their close relations or friends would go to the fouteau (beech tree) make a prayer, engrave the figure of a cross on the bark of the fouteau and dig a small hole in between the roots where they would leave an egg or a coin.

The effect of this pious deed was the healing of the sick. It is said that beggars came from time to time to look for the offerings but it was fruitless.

The historian noted that that the superstitious practice described did not entirely go out of fashion.

The Church in a way restored the pagan ritual by erecting a cross at the Fouteau Pouillailer, then in 1937 a granite cross replaced the wooden one.

Link showing hêtre or fouteau.

Buried Treasure

So who took the money and eggs?

Fouteau Pouillailer = Beech tree henhouse, sounds like one of Tina Turners songs!

The French word for beggar is mendiant

The French word to dig a small hole is creuser.



Blu! You know it was you! So confess your sins. Do it now before I get cross ;-)

Great story btw


LadyFi said...

Perhaps the money and eggs are still buried underneath the cross?

Blu said...

I confess I it that easy?

The eggs must be a bit off by now, and the money wont be in euros!

Belinda said...

I'm guessing foxes got the eggs and local children dug up the coins. I know *I* would have, if I'd been young in that era!

bindu said...

That's interesting! Must have been the wild boars that dug out the eggs (according to Asterix & Obelix comics, your forests used to be teeming with wild boars :)).

Kitty said...

bindu: The forests still ARE teaming with wild boar, at least around my parts, in Central Brittany. The terrine or pâté de sanglier is one of my favourite bits about Autumn. I wonder if, as you sensibly suggested, the boars dug up the eggs and the local Magpies made off with the money?