The legend of Frachette's woods

Post n°1

Once upon a time there was a little girl called Frachette. She lived on the edge of the forest with her brother and sister. Her parents had died in a landslide. She lived in a small wooden hut on the heights of Val d'Illiez. She cherished a small music box given to her by her parents, the only toy she had. Frachette had beautiful emerald green eyes and golden braids that glistened in the sun. She had flowers embroidered on her dress.

Her older sister Blanche did not like Frachette. Blanche was pale, as her name suggests. Her hair was coal black. She had gold buttons on her dress. She was careful about her appearance. She dreamed of going to a warm country. She was lazy.

Her little brother was called Thibault. He was called P'tit bois because he loved to play with matches and make a fire. His hair was as brown as wood. He wore a straw hat, a shirt with holes in it, braces and wooden clogs. His shorts were blackened with soot and sticky from the sap. P'tit did not respect nature. He tore up plants, trampled on flowers, crushed insects, carved inscriptions on trees with his knife and threw rubbish on the ground.

Post n°2

Frachette loved walking in the forest. She loved the animals and they respected her:

- the dahus with whom she hopped.

- the deer and roe deer with whom she would leap and climb on their backs.

- the wild boars, which she washed at the wild boar pond.

- squirrels, which she helped to collect nuts and acorns for the winter.

- the marmots, weasels and ermines, who lay down next to her and listened to her singing.

Frachette also took care of the trees and plants. Over the years she had made a book with many delicious recipes and remedies for healing with plants.

She also made wreaths from leaves and flowers which she sold at the market in Monthey. She walked there every Wednesday.

She walked for hours and hours. With the money she collected, she bought enough to feed her family.

Despite all her friends in the forest, Frachette was sad. She missed her parents and her brother and sister kept bothering her.

She often sat down by the majestic fir tree that dominated the valley and cried.

Post n°3

One day, she was surprised to see a grandmother appear. Her dress was a garland of leaves, a shade of red. She had a little hat covered with moss and lichen and carried a deer antler stick. She said to him:

"Don't cry, Frachette!

- Who are you Madame?" asked Frachette.

- I'm the forest fairy protector. I admire your work, your kindness and your goodness every day.

Frachette and the fairy talked for a long time while contemplating the beautiful Dents du Midi changing colour at sunset, varying from blue to purple to red and pink...

The fairy was very pretty. Each season she changed her earrings. In spring, she hung snowdrops. In summer, it was daisies. In autumn, she hung small mushrooms or hazelnuts and in winter, silver icicles glistened in the pearls.

Small elves followed her and helped her in her task. They had long, pointed ears. They wore overalls and green hats with a bell dangling from the end. They also wore small round glasses. They built bridges over small streams to make it easier for the foxes to pass; they replanted the trees; planted the seeds, cleaned and tended the forest.

The fairy promised to look after her.

In the evening, Frachette fell asleep with stars in her eyes, dreaming of flying into the sky

Post n°4

She was awakened from her sleep by the fairy who said to her:

"Run, Frachette, the hut is burning, warn the animals.

Red and orange flames rose into the sky. The heat was stifling. Everyone ran. The hut was burning. The smoke stung the eyes. Frachette, the elves and all the animals in the forest filled buckets with water from the river and threw it on the fire. Skunks, squirrels, foxes, hares, deer, dahus, all helped as best they could. The fairy made a rain cloud appear over the hut but unfortunately it was too late. The hut had burned down completely. How sad! Tears rolled down Frachette's cheeks. She thought of all the happy days in her house with her parents, what memories! Blanche hadn't even lifted a finger to help, what an odious person! She had only thought of saving her dresses. P'tit bois had hidden behind the fir trees, he was embarrassed, he had played with the matches and sparks had flown. The straw had caught fire. But P'tit bois was not the only culprit. Blanche, jealous of Frachette, had wanted to burn her music box, her only present. This fuelled the fire.

Post n°5

The fairy was very angry. She decided to punish Blanche and P'tit bois. She put a spell on them. She turned them into trees. Frachette took refuge in her beloved forest with her companions the elves, her friends the animals and the fairy, who was protective and loving.

Many years passed. Blanche and P'tit bois were still bewitched. Frachette and the fairy watched over the peace and quiet of the forest.

One day, the fairy said to Frachette:

"The time has come for me to leave. I am going to free your sister and brother. They have learned their lesson.

I give you my powers. You will watch over the woods, invisible and benevolent. The animals and elves will help you build a shelter for travellers or to enjoy nature. 

It will be your shelter, Frachette, and it will bear your name.

And what happened to Blanche and P'tit Bois?

Little Wood became a gamekeeper. He protects the animals. He scares away the hunters. He respects nature.

Blanche went to a warm country, as she wanted, to the Caribbean. She works to protect the seabed from pollution. She cuts the fishermen's nets to let the fish out. She protects the corals. They call her Brown now because she is all tanned.

As for Frachette, she always watches over the woods.

If you go for a walk in the forest, listen may hear the trees whispering or Frachette breathing.

You may see footprints light up magically, by stealth.

Respect nature!

Rest under the cover and close your eyes. You may catch a glimpse of Frachette.