La Foudre et les chèvres

"Les vaches et les taureaux ne manquent jamais d'être atteints par la foudre quand elle frappe les arbres sous lesquels ils ont cherché un abri pendant l'orage. Si les chèvres, au contraire, se retirent au pied d'un arbre que la foudre va frapper, quelques instans avant qu'elle éclate le troupeau s ensuit à toutes jambes; les bergers, instruits de la cause, les suivent en hâte. Aussitôt vous voyez tomber sur l'arbre abandonné la foudre qu'a pressentie l'instinct des chèvres."
"Cows and bulls never fail to be struck by lightning when it strikes the trees under which they sought shelter during the storm. If the goats, on the contrary, retreat to the foot of a tree which the lightning strikes, a few moments before it strikes, the herd flees; The shepherds, informed of the cause, follow them in haste. Immediately you see falling on the abandoned tree the thunderbolt which the instinct of the goats has foreseen. "

From a Book on superstitions, prejudices and popular errors by 'Jaque the Hunchback" :

[Le petit libraire forain ou la morale de Jacques le bossu: ouvrage dirigé contre les royances superstitieuses, les préjugés et les erreurs populaires par Frédéric Rouveroy, Jean-Marie Chopin 1834]

This 'old goat's tale' jacques claims to be 'a fact well known to all the Swiss' - [[A cette occasion je vais vous citer un fait connu de toute la Suisse ]
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: La Foudre et les chèvres

Very relevant, Steve. If the goats were fleeing, it would suggest that even though we don't see the lightning of destruction, those sensitive to such things can foresee it as imminent and explain why the shepherd is in such a panic. It would reinforce the idea that the scene is apocalyptic. But the goats don't seem to be fleeing. Only the sheep on the left are even pointing away from the tree. Perhaps Vieville, a city dweller, was doing his own version and not realizing that he changed some important things.

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