Pont de l’Alma



There is another city under Paris.

No, I’m not speaking of the Metro, with its trains, slow and fast, ferrying thousands of people across the city to work or play.

(The residents of this city rarely take the Metro.)

Nor am I speaking of the famous city of the dead, that starts under Denfert-Rochereau and continues, and continues, mile after mile, full of bones and ghosts, under the city’s surface.

(None of this city’s denizens are buried there.)

You are far too romantic. Get your mind back into the gutter.

I speak, of course, of the sewers of Paris.

I see that I have lost you already, but I promise you, this is important. Iron is always important.

The sewers of Paris are a mirror of the city that lies above them. No, I’m not being romantic now – I’m telling the simple truth. Every boulevard, every street, every laneway or alley, has its shadow and reflection in the sewers. And every corner and intersection is marked with the same dark blue signs, with their white lettering and their green borders, so you can’t get lost. As above, so below.

Go and have a look. I’ll wait.

Oh, come on, the smell isn’t that bad. Mostly, it’s just damp. Except when it isn’t, but you get used to that. Now, the sound, I’ll grant you, is truly abominable – an endless shout of rushing water that echoes and redoubles and grows and never stops until you think you will go mad with it. Nobody gets used to that – it’s too much.

And I’ll have none of your cheek, thank you. You need to know this, and to understand.

It’s a beautiful city, if you close your ears and nose, and if you can see in the dark – a labyrinth of tall hallways made from dark stone, with high arched ceilings that fall somewhere between gothic and romanesque. A cathedral to plumbing.

The sewers are less busy than the city above, of course.   Not so many people live there. A few of the goblin uncles, who are older and a little bit deaf and don’t mind the damp. You get a few of the dirtier naiads, too, of course. Rebellious teenagers, bad sorts, that kind. And there are a couple of colonies of migratory trolls who nest there from time to time.

Oh, and there’s the odd human, too – revolutionaries, troublemakers, would-be scarlet pimpernels, beggars, people who are lost, and people who are hiding. None of them stay long. Their ears are too sharp, and their eyes not sharp enough.

There was a crocodile for a while, but the zoo took him away.

(We don’t tell the zoo about the others. They belong here.)

And there are the boules, of course.

Ah, you have not seen them yet? Not even the photos?  Well, the photos do not do them justice, in any case. You will see. I will introduce you to them, when it is time.

The boules are not like the others who live in the sewers. The others are visitors, temporary residents, tenants. But the boules were made for the sewers, and the sewers are made for them.

Oh yes, they are alive. Anything that is truly needed will awaken eventually, and Paris needs its boules, even if many Parisians don’t know they exist.

The boules awoke almost immediately, when they were barely cool from the forging.

What are they?

Cold, round, heavy iron, is what they are.   Smooth and black and slow, at least at first. Steady, certain, steadfast. You will learn to know them. They have sung for you already, though you have never heard them.

(It’s why the naiads and trolls never stay long. Too much cold iron, and iron that lives and sings, at that. The goblins don’t mind iron so much, but then the goblins were always different.)

They were forged when the sewers were first built, each boule just a fraction smaller than the dimensions of one of the sewer tunnels. The engineers who made them gave them the task of cleaning the sewers by rolling down the tunnels, pushing anything solid before them.

Really, are you twelve? I’m telling you something serious here, and you are giggling because you think I’m talking about excrement.

There are other solid things that find their way to the sewers. I’ll let you think about that.

In fact, the boules are really the only creatures that know exactly what has been through the sewers. That was a mistake on the part of the engineers, if you ask me. They didn’t want the task of cleaning up – and that’s understandable – but it’s the cleaners who know the secrets. Where the bodies are buried. That sort of thing.

Let me tell you about the boules.

It is hard to communicate with them. They can hear us, but we cannot truly hear them, except in our bones and in our dreams. Their voices are too low.

Oh yes, they have voices – surely you have heard of the Music of the Spheres?

Yes, alright, that was Pythagoras and Paris didn’t even exist then. It doesn’t matter; he was still right. As above, so below.  Each of the boules has its own note, too low for the human ear to hear, and as they roll through the avenues and streets of the sewers each night, they sing to each other, a lullaby that only they can hear.

What does it sound like? I’m beginning to think there is something wrong with your hearing. What part of ‘only they can hear’ did you fail to understand?

Ah. Yes, the dreams.

They have not sung for me, and I do not think they will, now. But the man who taught me my job, as I am teaching you yours, told me that once upon a time the great men of Paris – the writers and the musicians, the statesmen – would tour these sewers for pleasure, and he believes the boules sang to them, and whispered to them and haunted them. The great romantic composers of the 19th and 20th century lived and died in Paris, slumbering in their apartments as the boules rolled endlessly on, night after night, and you can hear it in their music, if you listen. Especially in Poulenc. He was a great transcriber of their song, or so I’ve been told.

I suppose you think I’ve never heard that joke about heavy metal before.

No, no, by all means, get it out of your system.

That’s what sewers are for, after all.

Right, I’ll be taking you down to visit the boules in a little while, but you need to know a bit more about them first. A bit of their history. Like I said, we don’t hear them too well ourselves, but they are good at hearing us. It stands to reason – once they learned to hear past the rushing water, their hearing became acute indeed.

When did they learn? I’m not so sure. They were forged back when Baron Haussmann began engineering separate passages for drinking water and dirty water, in 1850 or thereabouts, and it would have taken them some time to learn. They were certainly moving around on their own by 1855 – the sewer workers thought someone was playing practical jokes, and they started chaining them up – but we don’t know if they started listening before they started moving, or whether that came later.

We don’t know, really, how objects that are supposed to be inanimate come to life, or what their developmental stages are. It’s probably different for different things.

Surely you didn’t think that the boules were the only living iron in the world?

Well, you’re young yet. Lots of things develop intelligence, over time. Even apprentices.

Anyway, the boules didn’t like the chains. There were accidents in the sewer – what we thought were accidents – and the chains would be broken. Other things got broken, too. New projects always have accidents, though, and this is Paris – we pride ourselves on being rational, unsuperstitious.

Well, it turns out that sometimes there is actually nothing superstitious about it. Some things really are alive. The Romans knew it – think of their genii locorum.

Spirits of place, that means. No, I suppose they don’t teach Latin a lot now. But hopefully you were paying attention in history? September 1870 ring any bells for you?

Yes, there was a lot going on in the 19th century. I’m going to take it that you weren’t paying attention in that class either. 1870, my boy, was the start of the Franco-Prussian war, and the fall of Napoleon III. Followed pretty shortly by the rise of the Paris Commune in March 1871.

And yes, that is relevant to sewers.

A lot of blood ends up in the sewers when there is a revolution.

Oh, for goodness’ sake. Of course the boules don’t drink blood. What do you think this is? Next you’ll be saying the blood is the life and that’s why they are sentient.

But you see, the blood did mean that the boules knew a bit more about what was going on. Iron understands blood.  It understands blood very well indeed. And they could hear what was going on above them, too, and they understood more than you might think.

The boules heard all the arguments in cafes and elsewhere – plenty of sewers in the Latin Quarter, and just as many near the town halls and parliament and the Champ de Mars, where the soldiers were quartered – and they got to thinking about models of government.

They started thinking about dictatorships, and Emperors, and republics, and revolutions. About equality and fraternity. Above all about liberty.

They really didn’t like those chains.

Napoleon III had granted all workers the right to strike.

The boules were workers.

And so, on March 19, 1871, the boules went on strike.

Yes, exactly. You’ve seen what it gets like when the rubbish collectors go on strike – piles of rubbish bags on every corner, and heaven help us all if the weather is hot. But we are a modern city, with good hygiene and working sewers.  You have to remember that in 1871, it had only been thirty years since the last cholera outbreak in Paris. People still remembered that, and nobody wanted to go there again, especially with the Prussians still on the doorstep.  This was much more than an inconvenience.

Oh certainly, the first time they went down the ladders and found all the boules lined up, blocking the tunnels in every direction, they thought it was another move by the Prussians. A form of biological warfare, I suppose you’d call it now.

But it wasn’t the Prussians.

The next day, it was another set of corridors that were blocked – the ones underneath the Palais Bourbon, in fact, where the Assemblée Nationale still meets. That certainly captured their attention. Everyone stopped arguing long enough to agree that the army should lend a unit to the sewer workers, to go down into the sewers, move the boules back to their proper places, and guard them from any further attacks.

And so a deputation of fifty soldiers, under the supervision of twelve sewer workers, descended the steps below the Pont de l’Alma to see what could be done. It was an awe-inspiring sight, or so I’m told.   Row after row of iron spheres – some three, even four metres in height – dark and silent and still, crowded together in the tunnel before them. And on the ceiling above them, six words were scratched in a blunt hand:


This might have given them pause, but the corporal in charge was a man of strong mind and weak imagination, and so he stepped forward to do his duty.

That was when they found out that the boules had somehow chained themselves together. It’s not easy to move a 4-metre diameter iron ball if it doesn’t want to be moved. Moving one that is chained to a dozen of its fellows is impossible. No amount of duty will shift it.

Iron knows how to resist.

They tried their hardest, but all that happened was that somehow the boules rolled closer to the foot of the ladder, so that there was hardly any room for the soldiers to stand. Nobody quite knew how this had occurred, but it was clear that nothing could be done about the boules from this angle. They retreated.

The corporal was made of stern stuff. Perhaps there was not enough space or leverage to move the boules from the Pont de l’Alma, but an approach from the other side might yet be effective. Preferably with boltcutters. He sent a man to requisition the later, and led his troops along the Quai d’Orsay, towards the Pont des Invalides.

But by the time they descended the ladder, the boules were once more before them, somehow menacing even in their silence. A new message had been scraped on the floor before them:


“Very patriotic, I’m sure,” remarked the corporal, grimly. He stepped forward, bolt-cutter in hand.

The largest of the boules rolled forward, too, pushing him off balance, and knocking the boltcutter to the floor.

The other boules followed, pulled by the chains that held them together. One of them rolled a little further than the rest, crushing the boltcutter which the corporal had been reaching out for. He snatched back his hand, and backed up quickly.

The boules moved forward again.

There was no purpose, the corporal later told his superiors, in risking the lives of his men in a battle they could not win. For how could anyone fight against an army of giant iron spheres? How could they even harm such an enemy?

They retreated, in good order, and with exemplary efficiency.

All but one, that is.

Jules Reynard had been working in these sewers since before they were sewers. He had been one of the labourers who built Belgrand’s great tunnels and aqueducts, and he had worked in the foundry where the boules were forged.  These days, he worked under one of the sewer inspectors, driving the mechanical carts that they used to transport tourists and laborers around the sewers, and keeping the carts properly serviced.

Reynard was not a man of great skill or brilliance, but he knew how to appreciate good workmanship. And, he’d been on his share of barricades. A working man should show solidarity for his fellows. And – perhaps more to the point – a man with breakable bones and a bad leg, who couldn’t climb ladders as fast as a bunch of fit young soldiers, could do worse than show solidarity for the four metre high iron spheres who could crush him as soon as look at him.

Iron knows all about solidarity.

The last of the footsteps sounded on the ladder above Reynard, and he heard a clang as the manhole cover was dropped back into place. The sewer tunnel, never light, was plunged into darkness. It was not reassuring. Still, Reynard thought, at least he couldn’t see the spheres that towered over him so threateningly. That was something.

He did wonder if they could see him, though.

He waited.

The rushing water sound was quieter here. Mostly, he could hear his own breathing. Iron knows how to be silent.

He wondered if anyone above would realise that he was missing. If they would come down here again. He had a shrewd suspicion that he’d know if they decided to climb down elsewhere – the boules could clearly tell when someone was entering their domain, and he doubted they could move without him hearing something.

Maybe if he waited, they would move away, and he could climb the ladder and bang on the manhole cover until someone let him out.

Maybe not.

He heard a slight clanking sound. It wasn’t as far away as he might have preferred.

“Hello,” he said.

If there was an answer, it was too low for him to hear.

“So,” he tried, “It’s freedom you want, is it? Seems odd that you’d chain yourselves up to get it, though it’s effective, I’ll grant you that. Trouble is, I’m not sure anyone knows it’s you doing it.”

There was a small noise in the silence. Something touched the small of his back, very lightly. He jumped forward, and his chest hit metal.

It was metal behind him, too.

Reynard swallowed. “Hey. You don’t need to do that. I’m on your side.”

The silence became impatient.

“I don’t know what I can do for you, though.”

The light touch at his back became a firmer pressure. He was going to be crushed to death talking to a bunch of iron balls and wasn’t that a stupid way to go?

“Alright. Alright. I’ll try to help, but I’d rather not be a crèpe so if you could ease off a bit… Thanks,” he added, as the pressure was relieved.

The silence was not very illuminating. Reynard hesitated, not knowing where to go next. “Do you want to go… up above, then?” He had no idea how this would be managed. And the idea of giant iron spheres rolling all over Paris’s boulevards was… well, he supposed it would get rid of the Prussians, alright.

There was silence. No pressure. No response. He sighed. “I can’t tell if that is a yes or a no. You obviously understand me, but if you are speaking, I can’t hear you. Come to think of it, how can you even hear me? You don’t have ears!”

A pressure at his back indicated that he was straying from the point. He could hear a loud rushing sound in his ears, but whether it was the water rushing through the sewer or his own blood, he could not tell.

“Alright,” he said again, a little helplessly. “You can obviously hear me. But I can’t hear you. And in this darkness, I can’t see you, either. I’m willing to listen, to tell my supervisors what you want, but we need to find a way to communicate.“

The silence was more thoughtful, now. The pressure against his back eased further, and Jude heard a scraping sound. Something tapped against his boot. Slowly, though he couldn’t imagine how any movement he made could be construed as a threat by these beings, he bent down to find out what it was.

His hand met something metal and boxy – a lantern, he realised, though rather dented and damp. Probably lost by a former worker. His hands found the opening. The wick was damp, too. Reynard sighed. A gesture of goodwill, clearly, but a futile one. He wondered, briefly, if the boules understood about sight – the words scratched on the floor suggested that they did, at least to an extent (and how, he wondered, had they learned to write?), but the mechanics of sight was clearly beyond them.

He cleared his throat, reaching into his pocket for matches. If the boules could see him, they would want to know that he appreciated their gesture. “Thank you,” he added, belatedly, and struck a match.

Light flared, briefly, illuminating the towering spheres gathered so closely around him. They gleamed in the dimness, then faded – the wick really was too damp to take the flame.

The silence became more impatient. Reynard struck another match. He had, he thought, a dozen or so on him, though open flames were discouraged underground. Too much of a risk, with all the gases in some of the tunnels. But a man needed his smokes occasionally.

(He thought, wildly, that flame and gas, could indeed be a weapon against the spheres – iron had been smelted and could be melted and re-forged again – but this would be no fair repayment for their attempted kindness. The air around him grew hostile, and the pressure at his back increased, and Reynard blew out the match hastily, returning the others to his pockets.

Iron does not have a sense of humour.)

“I’m sorry,” he said, aloud, though he was beginning to wonder if the boules could sense his thoughts. Time for a better mode of communication.

“So, we don’t have sound – or at any rate, I don’t – and we don’t have light, not that I can see that it would help us much. I have no idea how you wrote those messages, but I don’t imagine that it was a fast job.” Reynard paused, thoughtfully. “I can’t see how smell or taste are going to help us communicate, and frankly, I don’t even want to imagine how that would work down here. That leaves us with touch, at least as far as you are concerned.”

The sphere behind him nudged him again, then moved back, as if in agreement.

That probably was the only way, Reynard realised.  He sighed. “Alright. What if I ask questions, and you nudge my back – once for yes, and twice for no. And gently, please – I’m a lot squishier than you, and no use as your spokesman if you turn me into coulis.”

There was a long pause, then a gentle nudge at his back. Reynard sighed in relief.

“Right. So, if I’m understanding you, it’s liberty that you really want. Did you want to go into the world above, then?” And wouldn’t that be a logistical nightmare if they said yes. He tried to imagine a family of four metre tall boules rolling down the Champs Élysées, and failed.

Behind him, there was shuffling and clanking, as if the boules were in some sort of discussion, then there were two gentle nudges at his back. And a pause, then a single nudge. Whatever that meant.

“Are you trying to say mostly no, but occasionally yes?” he suggested.

One nudge. Communication established.

“Alright. So we’ll think about that. But the main thing is more freedom down here?”

Another single nudge. They might be getting somewhere.

Reynard had no idea how long he spent in the dark, caught in a surreal sort of conversation in which his was the only voice that could be heard. Over time he grew hoarse, but did not dare to drink the water the boules offered – while he didn’t think they would offer him bad water on purpose, he wasn’t entirely sure they understood the difference between good and bad in this instance.

But by the end of it, he had learned some things, at least. He had learned, for example, that the boules couldn’t hear him, precisely – it was more a matter of interpreting vibrations. He had learned – as he had rather suspected – that he was not the first human with whom they had communicated, though he had been unable to learn anything about his predecessor. The boules did not have a very strong sense of time.

He had also established that the boules were, on the whole, quite content with the city that had been built for them. They had no intrinsic objection to doing the job they had been crafted for – he even had the sense that some of them enjoyed the sensation of being swung back and then bowled down the narrow pipes at speed. They just wanted – and it was not, he thought, an unreasonable request – the freedom to roam as they chose when they were not on active duty.

“That’s going to be tricky during the day, though,” Renard pointed out. “There’s a lot of us down here, going about our business. Having you boules bowling around too – well, that doesn’t sound very safe to me. And, you know, if someone does get crushed, the reaction won’t be pretty.”

The boules gave him to understand that this could not happen. They were exquisitely aware of their surroundings at all times.

“Still, I can’t see anyone feeling safe in those circumstances. And it’s going to be hard to run our other machinery around you. But look, we’re mostly only here for eight hours during the day. If we gave you the freedom of the city by night, could you undertake to be still while we are here and working?”

There was a long pause, filled with shuffling and clanking. Renard held his breath. Finally, he felt a single nudge at his back.

Iron is not always uncompromising.

The agreement had been made.

Oh, you think that’s unlikely do you?

Well, it is true that Reynard had a few difficulties convincing his bosses, and then the government, to see it his way, but he did have a few things going for him. You see, when he got out of the sewers, it turned out that he was the only one from that original deputation who did. The others had gone back down into the sewers on the other side of the Seine and been trapped there – very politely – by a second convention of boules. Nobody had been hurt, but nobody could get out, either, and while the people of Paris couldn’t hear anything the boules had to say, they could certainly hear the outraged shouts of a company of soldiers trapped in the dark under Paris for twelve hours.

Apparently, the corridor they had been trapped in was one of the smellier ones. Nobody is quite sure whether the boules knew this or not.

(Iron may or may not understand about irony.)

So the fact that Reynard appeared to understand the reason for all of this trouble, and had a solution that didn’t cost anything and wasn’t going to cause much inconvenience to anyone, made people more inclined to listen to him. I mean, all he was asking was not to chain up the boules at night. Effectively, this was one less job for the sewer workers to do each day.

Of course, there was grumbling. Few people really like change, and the military very much dislikes being made to look foolish. But nobody was hurt, which helped a little. What helped more was the sense of adventure of some of the younger boules, whose desire to see the world above led them to volunteer willingly as cannonballs for the French Army. Much was made of their patriotism, and the utility of a cannonball that will, under cover of darkness, return to its point of origin, was undeniable.

Iron knows about warfare.

But the boules had other uses, too – too many to mention here, though it is notable that some of them took a great and personal interest in the work of Foucault, and other physicists who were working on motion, and have been of great assistance in both science and industry to this day. The great Géode at La Villette is in part a monument to their work over the last century and a half.

They make very good citizens, the boules.

Iron understands about duty.


In the city that lies beneath Paris, the boules of the sewers remain, as solid and patient as the day they were forged. The city above them may change, but the boules are iron, and iron knows how to be steadfast. When day dawns, and the first workers arrive for the day, the boules are sleeping, still and silent, in their accustomed places, quiescent in the hands of the human sewer workers – waiting to be called to the task for which they were made.

Then, when their time comes, they awaken, like a stone statue returned to life, rolling through the tunnels faster and faster, pushing all before them as they gather momentum, rejoicing in their task, in their speed, in their freedom.

Few of the sewer workers know their nature, but it is a rare man or woman who does not feel a stirring of joy, even exhilaration as the boules are released into the tunnels to do their work.

The older sewer workers learn, over time, to sense their moods, feeling through the boules the life of the city. Nobody who has worked in the sewers ever leaves the city, if he can help it.  Some even retire to the sewers themselves. Paris is in their bones, they say, but it would be truer to say that the boules of the underground city are in their hearts, and their hearts cannot be left behind.

But it is at night when the boules truly awaken and begin to inhabit their city. Trundling slowly at first through the tunnels and halls, they gather beneath the banks of the Seine to share the news of the day before they begin their nightly wandering. Singly or in groups, then, they roll through the underground streets of Paris, visiting every arondissement, every boulevard and every laneway, congregating from time to time beneath République, or Monmartre, or in the Latin Quarter, then gliding further afield to the distant arondissements near the Bois de Boulogne or Vincennes.

As the people of Paris eat, and dance, and sing, and sleep, and love, and walk and dream, the boules roll smoothly along the passages beneath their feet, listening to their voices, and adding their own note, a tone as sweet as starlight and as deep as the Seine, to the symphony that sings under Paris.

They sing to the city which gave them life.

When Paris above is sad or angry, full of violence and grief and unrest, the boules sing of peace, of solidarity, and of hope, until minds are clear, and hearts are eased. When Paris above celebrates and plays and loves, the boules sing with them, songs of joy and laughter and inspiration, echoing and redoubling the delight until the city seems illuminated twice over.

And when Paris above is so hurt that it risks forgetting itself and falling into despair, the boules sing through the night, a song of liberty, of equality, of fraternity, and their people remember who they are and who they can be, and reclaim their city for their own.

Iron is steadfast, and iron endures, and iron does not forget.


Pont de l’Alma, and the Musée des égouts de Paris

Pont de l’Alma is a station on the RER C line, built in 1900.  The RER lines run through Paris, and correspond with the Paris Metro in several places, however they are chiefly designed to take commuters from the nearby suburbs and towns outside Paris into the center of Paris for work or study.  the RER C has quite a number of branches, and has termini at Versailles, Pontoise and Saint Quentin to the west and Dourdan la Forêt and Saint-Martin d’Étampes to the south.  La Gare Pont de l’Alma is situated on the left bank of the Seine in the 7th Arondissement, a short walk from the Eiffel Tower, on the Quai de Branly, and close to the Pont de l’Alma, the bridge from which it gets its name.  The bridge, in turn, is named for the Battle of Alma, which took place during the Crimean War.

You might ask what any of this has to do with sewers and sewer balls, and I wouldn’t blame you one bit.  As it happens, the Pont de l’Alma is also right next to the entrance of the Musée des Égouts de Paris – yes, Paris has a museum dedicated to the history and function of its sewers and water processing system, and it’s actually pretty cool.  Or at least I thought so.  The museum is underground, in a section of the sewers themselves. It is strangely fascinating, and rather more attractive, architecturally speaking, than one might expect from such a structure.

The sewers really do mirror the streets of Paris, and they are vast and spacious, with high, arched ceilings.  Both Napoleons liked their architecture to be beautiful, and this carried through even into the least glamourous of structures.  If you have seen Les Misérables and recall the scene where Jean Valjean carries Marius through the sewers, you have a pretty good idea of what they look like, and how very large they are.  Which is appropriate, because Hugo’s own description of the sewers is quite an accurate one – he was friends with one of the sewer inspectors, and while I’m not sure whether he visited the sewers in person, he certainly knew what they were like.

The cleaning balls, or boules, are real, too.  The photo above is in fact one I took in the museum, and the boule is one of the more modestly-sized ones – there are others that are far larger and more imposing.  You can see some of them resting at the end of their pipeline, held back, apparently, by a line of chain.  As a solution to the problem of cleaning out the sewer pipes, it is both elegant on an engineering level, and rather awe-inspiring on an aesthetic one.

Oh, and the crocodile was real.  I didn’t make that bit up.  The museum even mentioned its name, though I’m afraid I have since forgotten what it was.

I began writing this story a couple of weeks ago, and finished it only yesterday, after the terrible events in Nice.  I suspect this shows, in the epilogue if nowhere else.  I don’t really know what to say about Nice, or if it is right for me to still be writing these fictional love-letters to Paris at such a time. But it also seems like a horrible reason to stop.  In any case, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to my French friends and readers, and, if they have read this far, to dedicate this story to them.



Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel
fleurCleft Pont de l’Alma
fleurCright Invalides

2 thoughts on “Pont de l’Alma

  1. Mme. Reynardo

    There’s a story by an American called Zenna Henderson, all about the strange green hills that seem to be alive and which are actually aliens, and only a small child can talk with them and find out what they want. And that’s what M. Reynard feels like to me – someone who is the only one to be able to speak to the Boules, and find out what they want.

    Thank you for a beautiful story. I can only apologise profusely for taking so long to read it.

    1. Catherine Post author

      I’m so pleased you enjoyed it! I think M. Reynard is the only one to actually *listen* to the Boules in the first place…


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