Saturday 12 March 2016

Scary bedtime stories

This evening, my wife and had dinner with friends, their ten year old daughter and their daughter's friend (yes, I mean the Ticklers). After dinner, the girls tried to tickle me, without success (I did not laugh, for some reason), so as it was getting late and bedtime was near they asked me to tell them a story, "a scary story." They adore scary stories, especially when I tell them. I even learned that they tell them after to each other and their friends. So I decided to tell them from memory a story I got from La Légende de la Mort by Anatole Le Braz, a story about l'Ankou, the henchman of death in Breton folklore, which you can see on the front cover of the version I have of the book, holding his trademark scythe with the upside down blade. I am fascinated with this character. Without giving too much away, it was a story where a few young drunk Bretons make the mistake to pull a prank on an unknown traveler they hear coming by cart on an old pathway. They throw a dead tree on the middle of the way. Bad idea, as the traveler turns out to be... Anyway, I don't know if I managed to recreate the atmosphere of the original, but they loved it all the same. If they don't have nightmares tonight (and they don't get scared easily), I think I might tell them another story about l'Ankou next time.

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