Sunday, January 27, 2008

Truffles at Gamone

I hesitated for a moment before writing this article, because I don't wish to find myself obliged to use my vicious self-defense gadget to chase away intruders who might decide to start digging up my lawn. Maybe, one day, I'll write an article about this gadget, which happens to be perfectly lethal at point-blank range. There was even an article in the local press, following an accident, asking why such a weapon should be authorized. I was so disturbed by this article, and my personal testing of the weapon in question, that I went down to the local police station to make doubly sure that I was in fact legally entitled to possess such a gadget, and the gendarme said yes.

Let's get back to the story, which is quite amazing. A fellow dropped in at Gamone this afternoon and asked me if I would allow him and his two dogs to wander over my ten acres of sloping land in a search for truffles. Knowing that he's a descendant of an old Choranche farming family, I immediately said yes. A few hours later [during which time I completed my new electric fence for the donkeys], the fellow returned to my house, and we started talking about odds and ends. Suddenly, he asked me: Do you mind if I take my dogs under your big linden tree? I replied laughingly that the idea of searching for truffles under my bedroom window was a little like looking for fairies and elves under the flowers in the garden. Well, I was wrong.

The splendid little Pyrenees shepherd dogs [a mother and daughter] halted a minute later with their snouts fixed to the ground. The fellow used a screwdriver to unearth a first truffle just a couple of centimeters underground. Within a quarter of an hour, my lawn had produced the following yield:

After each discovery, the two delightful dogs would sit up proudly to await a reward from their master, who had a little bag of goodies in his pocket. My dear Sophia got the message immediately. Realizing that she was in on a good affair, Sophia raced around with the two shepherd dogs, searching for an ethereal but undefined treasure. Each time a truffle was unearthed, Sophia would line up alongside her two companions to receive a reward.

After this fascinating session of truffle discovery, I was disappointed to find that I had run out of eggs. So, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to stock up on eggs and cook my first truffle omelette.

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