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Main > France folktales > Ourson > Fairy tale "The Conflagration"

The Conflagration

Ourson now forbade Violette to go alone in the forest. She was no longer allowed to carry him his dinner so he always returned to the house at midday. Violette never left the farm without Ourson.

Three years after the event in the forest, Ourson saw Violette arise in the morning pale and exhausted. She was seeking him.

"Come, come," she said, drawing him along, "I have something to say—something to relate—Oh, come!"

Ourson was much alarmed and followed her precipitately.

"What is it, dear Violette? For the love of Heaven, speak to me! What can I do for you?"

"Nothing, nothing, dear Ourson; you can do nothing—only listen to me. You remember the dream I had in my childhood, of the toad! the river! the danger! Well, last night I had this same dream again. It is terrible! terrible! Ourson, dear Ourson, your life is menaced! If you die, I will die also!"

"How! By whom is my life threatened?"

"Listen! I was sleeping and a toad—still a toad—always a toad—came to me and said:

"'The moment approaches when your dear Ourson is to resume his natural skin. To you he is to be indebted for this change. I hate him! I hate you! You shall not make each other happy! Ourson shall perish and you cannot accomplish the sacrifice which in your folly you meditate. In a few days, yes, perhaps in a few hours I shall take a signal vengeance upon you both. Good-bye—do you hear?—till we meet again!'

"I awoke, suppressed a cry which was about to issue from my lips and saw, as I saw on that day in which you saved me from the water, the hideous toad creeping upon the shutter and gazing at me menacingly. It disappeared, leaving me more dead than alive. I arose dressed myself and came to find you my brother, my friend to warn you against the vengeance of the fairy Furious and to entreat you to seek the aid of the good fairy Drolette."

Ourson listened in great alarm. He was not frightened by the fate which menaced himself—he was agitated by the sacrifice which Furious announced and which he understood but too well.

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