This story starts in the south of France, near the Pyrenees. What’s Ricard you might ask? It is a French aniseed flavoured alcoholic spirit, often consumed mixed with water in France. Yuck! It’s better on the rocks.
It’s Saturday morning in May in the little village of Arreau, France near the Pyrenees in southern France. Most Saturday mornings Farmer Jacques goes hunting. Recently on one of his Saturday’s Farmer Jacques went into his favourite forest for hunting with some bags of corn, and spread them round for the sanglier (wild boar) to eat and fatten up, so that he takes home a fat little piggy.
Essential for the trip, his 3 Dachshund for chasing the pigs, his trusty rifle and one bottle of Ricard, to keep his body fluids up. Farmer Jacques sometimes goes hunting later, this means he can visit the Relais Michel before he goes and drink a Ricard with water, before the hunt. He meets his hunting friends at the Relais; Gaston and Robert. He has 2 drinks, which have stripped the tastes buds off his tongue as only a Ricard with water can. This means that he can hardly taste the 2 Gitanes that he has smoked while drinking. Jean Luc the patron wishes them luck on his hunting trip, and the 3 hunts finally leave after their heartstarters. Ricard and cigarettes.
Today it is Robert’s turn to drive, so Gaston and Farmer Jacques, can drink and not have to worry about driving home. It is still morning time so the 3 cross the stream for a short walk through the forest to see, if there has been any signs of boar activity, near the small ridge line. When they get there are no signs of the corn, but no recent marks of activity, so they walk back to the car for lunch.
On the way back Farmer Jacques sees a pigeon and tries to use it for target practice. Perfect shot. He let’s it fall, the Dachshund find it, but he doesn’t take it with him.
At the car for lunch, they have a baguette, some local cheeses and some Spanish ham they got from just over the border. This is washed down with a nice red wine, from near Aix-en Provence, and they finish it with a cigarette.
After lunch Gaston and Farmer Jacques, bring their hunting companion, the bottle of Ricard. They are off to the site where they think the boar are most likely to be, the lower oak forest. The Dachshunds are happy with their exercise. Farmer Jacques takes aim at another pigeon but, just misses. His aims starting to waiver. The boys stop for a rest and decide for practice to take aim at a rock. Robert gets the closest to the mark, but Gaston has really missed his aim. He’s not the best shot out of the 3, but with a bit of Ricard, he does get worse.
Soon they are getting tipsy and the action happens. Jacques is good on his feet but as the Dachsunds start getting excited they start running and Jacques is sometimes loosing his balance, while Gaston just takes it slower and steadier, but starts to fall behind.
Pretty soon they see a boar, and while Robert is in the best form, the best opportunity presents itself for Jacques, he shoots and misses a shoot that he could normally get. The action is keeping them on their toes. Robert gets a sight but too many trees are in the way and he misses his shots. Jacques won’t get a better chance.
The boars disappeared and the 3 men went back to the car. Jacques and Gaston taking swigs of the Ricard and not walking the straightest, and their sight getting fuzzy. Robert and Jacques, talking about the thrill of the chase they had. They like the thrill of the hunt, but they could not relax without their trusty bottle of Ricard. They finish their day with a relaxing pastis at the Relais when Jean Luc greets them again.