This is a strange but absolutely true story as told to me by Remy, my neighbour who knows everything and everyone in our area and it illustrates how life in France can certainly be odd at times.
We met Remy at the top of the hill where the little chapel is – it’s dedicated to the memory of the mother of one of our other neighbours. We don’t know his name we just know his as “Chapel Man” and he visits regularly to pray and talk to his maman. He plants lots of flowers including plastic ones and it’s a place where you can feel very quiet and alone with your thoughts.
Anyway, Remy was wandering about near the chapel and he seemed a bit flustered.
Something had happened he told us, it was “Catastrophe, désastre, tragédie”.
A man in a neighbouring village who was a friend of Remy’s had been arrested for killing his friend – but it wasn’t cold blooded murder.
The man had been asked by his friend to help him to slaughter a pig. Together they were going to despatch the animal to cochon (pig) heaven and butcher the carcass and fill up the freezer.
Anyway, the man whose pig it was suggested that the best way to do it would be for his friend to shoot the pig as he was a better shot with a rifle which is what they intended to use, and as the pig was familiar with the owner he would be the one to keep the pig relaxed and peaceful while his mate took his shot.
And the way to keep a pig calm while your friend takes his aim – hold it in your arms…
The bullet hit the pig owner in the chest and killed him instantly.
The gendarmes were called, the unfortunate friend was arrested.
The shooter was, fortunately for him, later released though I am not really sure you could say it was one of those accidents that can happen to anyone.