JEHANNE

JEHANNE

Status: Finished

Genre: War and Military

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Status: Finished

Genre: War and Military

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Chapter1 (v.1) - At Domremy

Author Chapter Note

This first chapter is about myself, Jean Gretier, living in Domremy at the same time with Jeannette, who later became Jehanne la Pucelle(the little Maid, saviour of France). But when I was 12, my parents moved to Tours.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: June 03, 2017

Reads: 62

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: June 03, 2017

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Domremy first came on the scene around 1070 AD. It is a small village connected with many bosses. It came under the authority of Vaucouleurs; and so was part of the kingdom of France. It is located in the township of Coussey of the district of Neufchateau. Now when we get to where Jehanne lived, we called this the Southern part, belonging to the ''Barrois'' area. Greux is only 0.87km away.

My name is Jean Gretier and I live in the village of Domremy. I was born in the same year as Jehanne on the 31st March 1412. My parents were farmers just like the family of Jehanne. In the village, she was known as Jeannette, but when she later left and went into France, she called herself Jehanne La Pucelle (the little maid). Her father was Jacques d'Arc and he was one of the leaders of the village. A well-built man, good features, solid long nose; and a pleasant face. His wife Isabel Romee was a very deeply religious woman. She had made many pilgrimages. She was a good-looking woman, kindly and sympathetic. Both Jacques and her had five children--three boys and two girls. Their names were:
Jacquemin, Pierre, Jean, Catherine and Jeannette. They lived in a cottage connected to that of Mengette's. Mengette was a close friend of Jehanne. The cottage had a shed-styled roof; it was not far from the church which was located next door, on the road that led to Greux. At the back of the cottage was a fair sized garden, close to the cemetery.
On this day, aged 10, I stood outside Jeannette house with a few other boys and girls, waiting for her to come out so that we could go and play like we normally did on certain days. The river Meuse was about one hundred meters away flowing on its northward journey. There was a big tall tree just in front of the main door; and at the side there were crawling plants making their way across the wall, and up to the top of the shed roof. Around the house were many beautiful trees and plants.
Jeannette finally came out in her patched red dress; and greeted all who had been waiting for her. There was Hauviette and Mengette, her two best friends. Hauviette was very close to her, slept at her house many times. There was also Colin, along with Jean Waterin, and a few others. Inside the door Isabel was saying ''hello'' with a big smile on her face. Normally, the girls always get together and go for walks and visiting shrines, while the boys go off to the woods and play soldiers and see if we could see any dragons. It was told to us that there were dragons in those woods in ancient times. Up to this day we had not seen any. Today, the boys and girls stayed together. We all went up to the beech tree. It was known as the ''Fairies tree''. It was a few hours from noon and we knew that we had to be back for lunch.
Sometimes Jeannette and I would break sticks and pretend that they were swords or lances--we were the soldiers handling them. Jeannette was very good and many times she broke through and touched me with her stick; all the other children would clap and cheer. Sometimes we would play and dance around the beech; and then go and drink from the spring that was nearby. ''Jeannette,'' I said, ''you are very good, if you keep practising, when you get older, you can go and fight for the Dauphin.''
''Yes.'' Jeannette said, ''I'd  like to be a knight on horseback and chasing those Godons back to where they came from. I'd also like to be the one responsible for making the Dauphin a proper king.''
Hauviette said, ''Jeannette, you're a real lover of France, but only men are the ones fighting for the country.''
''Women are fighting as well,'' Jeannette told her. ''They're not dressed in armour as the men are; but they are fighting in other ways. I will be dressed in armour just like a knight.''
Colin said, ''Stop dreaming, Jeannette. You will get married and settle down with children.''
''Oh! No. Colin! I am not going to get married.''
Jean Waterin broke in...''How do you know?''
Jeannette turned to him and said: ''I just have the feeling. I don't want to get married.''
I said to Jeannette, ''By the way, the king is a proper king. He was crowned  at Poitiers the same year his father died.''
''He becomes a proper king,'' Jeannette said, ''when he is anointed with the sacred oil in Riems; just like all the ancient kings before him.''
''That's going to be hard,'' I muttered, ''seeing that the enemy has control over all that area.''
''When I''m leading the troops, it shall be much easier to get through those areas ruled by the Burgundians and by the English.''
The rest of the children started laughing.
Mengette said, ''You, Jeannette, leading the Dauphin's troops? Be serious. Such a thing is not possible.''
''I tell you Mengette, you will hear about it. This day you can laugh, because I'm still young; but it will definitely come to pass.''
I said: ''It would be very hard for a woman to do that sort of work.''
''Why?'' Jeannette asked. ''Are they only good for sewing and spinning, and household work?''
''Some women,'' I told Jeannette, ''are capable of more than that: but have you ever heard of a woman leading lords, knights, squires and noble men into battle?''
''You will hear of it one day, I tell you, Jean. You'll definitely see it with your own eyes.''
As we walked along I asked Jeannette, ''Do you believe in fairies?''
She answered. ''I heard my godparent talked about them but I haven't seen them with my own eyes.''
''Ah!, they're those little men and women roaming about in areas around the Fairies Tree, and can only be seen by certain people. Wait a minute...Do you see that?''
''What?''
Jeannette looked at me while I looked in the direction of the green plant. ''Do you know,'' I turned to her and said, ''that if you have one of those plants in your possession, that you can become very rich?''
''That's a long tale,'' Jeannette replied.
''It's a magical plant,'' I told her. I will pull it up and you will see that it's shaped  like a man or a woman at its roots. But here is what I want you to do. Cover your ears so that you do not hear it when it screams."
''What do you mean? The plant will cry out? How's that possible?''
''Because it is magic. Do you believe in magic? Well, put your hands over your ears. I will pull it up and let you see.''
The other children were nearby and heard what I had said. Jeannette, with both hands covering her ears. waited to see what would happen. The other children covered up their ears also. They eagerly watched as I moved towards the plant. I grabbed it just below its leaves and gave it a jank. A strange sort of screeching noise came from it. With the plant in my hand, I turned to Jeannette and the other children, ''You can take your hands away now,  it's ok!''
Colin asked, ''Why didn't you cover up your ears like we did?''
''I wasn't afraid, that's why. Even though I heard the story said that if you hear the scream it can drive one crazy.''
They all began to look at the plant more closely.
Jeannette said, ''It truly looks like  a human being. What are you going to do with it?''
''I will take it back and keep it with me.''
We played around some more, picking flowers for our parents. It was now getting close to lunch time. We got back just in time to see Jeannette's father and brothers coming in from the fields. Her sister Catherine was home and helping her mother. Jeannette's family always invited me to come and eat with them. We sat at the big solid table with stools around it: and on the left hand side was the fire -place with wood burnng furiously. When we were all seated, Isabelle and Catherine brought the soup and the bread, and we started the lunch meal. Jeannette told her father about the mandrake. He said that it was just old tales told; and that there was nothing in it. We talked about other things to do with farming, of Vaucouleurs and Maxey where the Burgundian village was. Then we got unto the Dauphin. Jacques told us quite a lot about what had taken place so far between the English, the Burgundians and the French. He said that France was in a dreadful state, and that it needed a miracle to save it. I mentioned to him that we got some history lessons in our school and that I had taken interest in them. ''What are you going to do later?'' He asked.
I told him that when I reach the age of 12 that I would try to be a page, then work my way up, and eventually become a knight or a lord. Jacques said that he was not able to go and fight because someone had to stay and make sure that the people had food from the farms. Pierre and Jean, Jeannette's brothers, said that they would like to go and fight for France and the Dauphin. After lunch, I said so long, and went down to my parents. Everyday afterwards I saw Jeannette. We continued with our dance and singing, and walking through the fields and meadows, rolling down the hills that were just above us. There was also a wood that was known as the ''Bois Chesnu". It was full of oaks and other trees--thick as ever. When we danced, the boys would hold the girl's right hand up in the air, and with the right hand on the hip, we dance forward, then a jig to the right, then to the left, then a turn-around, with all the others following in a half-circle. The girl is always on the left. You could see on the faces of the parents who were watching that they enjoyed it; then they would all clap their hands.
Later on,Jeannette didn't dance as much as she used to do. She was more often in the church than ever. I approached her one day and said to her, ''Jeannette, is there something wrong? The reason why I asked is because I see that you don't take part in the dances any more, you just stand and watch.''  She said that there was nothing wrong and that she like to go to church.'' 
I knew that she had gone many times with her sister Catherine and some of the other girls, to the chapel of Bermont, just up on the hill. I said to her, ''We miss you taking part, for you are one of us, and you can sing well.''
Jeannette said: ''In the beginning I took part, but now I must ease off a bit, I will come now and then, but for now I'm very busy with the affairs of the church.''
''Yes, I can see that!''
Jeannette asked, ''Don't you like the church?''
I said: ''The church is ok for the community, but it should not take up all our time. I like to be around my friends playing games, playing at being soldiers; and make believe that we are on horses; dressed in armour; and going into battle. Just like when we go down against the other boys at Maxey. You have seen many times how we came back, sometimes with our clothes torn, and with bloody faces''
Jeannette said: ''You came back with the victory. It wasn't nice to see the blood, but the feeling was good to know that you won. Maxey, is part of Burgundian territory, but I am from Domremy.''
We talked some more and then parted..


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