At the top of a hill, in a cave that was completely shut all the year, lurked a sinister flying dragon called
the Vouivre who hoarded a vast store of gold, silver, and jewels. All year, was this cave shut, excepting
the midnight before Easter, when the dragon would emerge to wash herself in the sparkling sea.
Then she would fly about till morning, and her scales, glistening in the moonlight, would give off a
beautiful music. She had lost one of her eyes many eons ago, and in its stead was an enormous glowing
ruby. This she removed during her bath.
Now, it was well known that during the monster's midnight bathe, if one could reach the top of the
mountain and toss a crust of bread into the cave, whatever treasures the crumbs touched would belong
to the taker.
One of these nights a young mother and son dared to attempt this journey. The father had died many
months before due to starvation, and the young mother believed this was the only way to survive.
So up the mountain they went. They hid as the Vouivre emerged. But right as they were about to cast
the crust of bread in, the distant Easter bells began to chime, and the mother fell to her knees to pray.
So tired from hunger was she, that when she closed her eyes to pray she fell fast asleep.
The young boy oblivious to everything ran into the cave, and spent the next few hours playing with the
gold and precious stones.
The mother awoke to a bright red light. "Oh no!" she thought, "Dawn!"
However it was worse than that, for it was none other than the bright red eye of the dragon. The dragon
quickly entered the cave and the stone entrance closed, not to open again for another year.
She wailed and wailed outside the rock, but to no avail. It would not open till next Easter and by then
her boy would be long dead. She cried for many days.
The townsfolk noticed she was missing, and guessed what she had done. They travelled up the
mountain and found her there. But she would not budge. One of the wealthier women, out of kindness,
decided to bring her a bit of bread and milk. The mother ate a small bite and drank a tiny sip but for
reasons she could not articulate decided to leave the majority outside the dragon's cave. When she
looked the next morning, it was gone, and she knew now what to do.
Every single day, the kind rich women would bring her bread and milk, and every single day she would
leave most outside the cave, where by morning, it would be gone. This went on for a year. On midnight
before Easter the Vouivre emerged and the woman quickly ran to the cave and cast her final crust of
bread in. By the grace of God one of the crumbs fell on a small child whom the mother grabbed and ran
out crying, without thinking to take anything else. By the time she had reached the bottom of the hill, it
was dawn and it was too late.
She looked at her son and said "What do I need with those trinkets? You are the only treasure I need."
"Then you won't want this." said the boy, taking an enormous diamond out of his pocket. From that day
on the mother and son spent their lives in wealth and leisure.