Just over the brow, in a field below a farmhouse, is the most beautiful oak tree in the neighbourhood. Many passers by are compelled to stop and ask the resident if they can visit the oak.
Monsieur was born and grew up in this farmhouse. In time he inherited and has lived here with his wife all their married life, some sixty years. He tells us that when he was a small boy, his great grand aunt told him that the oak had stood there, the same size, for as long as she could remember.
The tree is becoming elderly and weak, but still graceful and beautifully balanced. His only injuries are the unfortunate lopping of his long low branches. His girth is 6.60 metres and taking into account the micro climate of the region, calculations make him about 600 years old.
did’st thou see
martyr’d on a burning stake
our own heroine of France
sweet sacred Joan of Arc?
(born: 1412 and died: 1431)
In past times it was essential for a new husband to plant a sapling oak on the first night of his marriage. When the tree matured and made acorns they would have been fed to the pigs. As always it was a custom of inviting wealth and health to the new family.