The dream of the Pastoureau

Here is the story of the shepherd's dream. A young shepherd, Ramon, loved a busty shepherdess; every morning he left Sahorre at the head of his herd, escorted by a watchful dog, and headed for the pastures of Canigou. He often fell asleep at the foot of a tree, thinking of his fiancée, confidently abandoning his sheep to look after his mastiff.

The dream of the shepherd

The dream of the shepherd

Now, one day, when he was plunged into a sweet drowsiness, a beautiful young girl came by, all dressed in white, who stopped in front of him to contemplate him; the divine vision disappeared when Ramon awoke, to the barking of his dog.

The shepherd passed his hand over his eyes as if to chase away a dreadful nightmare and recapture his vague thoughts. Suddenly he remembered having dreamed that a gulf full of ice separating him from Véronique, his beloved, and that he himself fell to the bottom of a precipice for wanting to get closer to her. The cold and Veronique's cries, he thought, had woken him with a start…

This dream passed as the dark clouds pass over a clear and serene sky; Ramon, not attributing any importance to it, did not confide it to anyone.

The following Sunday the shrill, nasal and dragging sounds of the flaviol and the prima gathered young people and girls in the public square of Sahorre. Los balls followed the contrâpas and the couples jumped, fluttered, enjoying this naive merry-go-round which turns the ball into a kind of amorous spite, a mimed pastoral.

Ramon and Véronique, the two fiancés, bowed themselves particularly to this game of love which gave the dance a character as original as it is naive, and, in the midst of joyful laughter, tenderly embraced, they swore eternal fidelity.

Suddenly there appeared among the dancers a Spanish brunette, of rare beauty, who performed a lascivious and graceful dance, as in the land of guitars and castanets. A circle of admirers formed around her, and the ebony-haired stranger charmed her many spectators. Ramon himself was almost enamored. But, after the dance, the couples dispersed and Ramon was thinking of going home, when the attractive Spaniard appeared at his side.

She did so and so well, the divine charmeuse, that the poor shepherd, madly in love, consented to follow her anywhere, in spite of everything. And they both made their way to the snowy peaks of Canigou.

After walking all night, the couple stopped in a cave to take some rest. But Ramon, suddenly tearing himself away from his companion's caresses, resumed the feeling of reality: before his eyes passed the vision of the past, the image of the one he had cowardly abandoned to Sahorre. He thought he heard ringing in his ears the mocking laughter of the young girls of the village, the sobs of his parents and the complaints of his fiancée. The Spaniard redoubled her cajoling, tried to make her forget her first loves.

- "I am a fairy," she confessed, "I saw you one day asleep near a tree and I loved you." From then on, I had no other thought and no other goal than to please you and to possess you. In the disguise of a Spanish girl, I managed to tear her away from your fiancée. If you love me, stay with me and you will be the happiest of men. Ask what you want and your desires will be granted. "

"I want to see my fiancee and my village again," Ramon replied. I prefer the sweet voice of my crumb, I prefer the plaintive bleating of my sheep to all the riches you could offer me. "

In vain the fairy strove to regain the heart of the fickle lover, to show her supernatural power, she touched a snowdrop that suddenly took the form of a carnation and offered it to Ramon. The shepherd, disdainful, refused this flower and quickly moved away towards Sahorre.

- "Well, since you push me away, be cursed, cried the desperate fairy".

And immediately, Ramon was transformed into a statue of snow that the wind demolished and scattered in the valleys. Thus ended, frozen, this too ardent lover.