I have been meaning to write for some time now about the way French country people look at you. I am referring to those folk you may chance upon in their front garden, looking up from some task in which they are employed or simply watching the world go by from their front door step. Again, I am referring to country people, and not to city or towns folk. These latter types have seen it all and are not phased by visitors who live, say, three miles away. No, I refer to country people here. Those I have chanced upon in the Norvan.
The first look you see on their faces (having stood bolt upright), and in their eyes is astonishment. "Yikes!", their gaze says to you. "Wowsers!". "Take a look at THAT!". Remember here that it is YOU (that is, me) they are looking at. [The Queen would say "One"].
That is only the beginning of what their look says. Astonishment yes, but also, "What the bloody hell are YOU doing here?". That's it, resentment. There is a little tinge of anger that you have entered their lives, even for the tiniest amount of time it takes for you car to whiz by their garden/shop/paddock or doorstep.
So: surprise, astonishment, resentment, a bit of anger (only a small bit) and then wonderment -all rolled into one. And it's not just the humans. While cattle as sheep seem happy enough to let you drive by, the dogs and even the CATS give you the same look. It is truly amazing!
Of course I could be totally in error here. The minds of these people may very well be on other things that produce these 'out there' expressions. Perhaps they are thinking about what they are going to have for tea, or whether they chose the right numbers for this week's lotto draw. Perhaps they have been dwelling on whether to send Oncle Emile an Easter card this year seeing as he hasn't bothered to send us one for the past two years.
So in all probability these expressions are the result of far-off dreaming that has suddenly come to a stop with the roar of your little engine as it 'thunders' through their village/by their abode. The thoughts may not be directed at you at all! But not the cats! These are vengeful, spiteful, hurtful creatures that never should have been allowed on board the ark all those years ago. That particular 'two-by-two' should have been left out and their places given to unicorns - but unicorns are much bigger, I suppose ...
... Just a thought ...