The Flying Canoe (La chasse galerie)
Note: Legends are a part of many countries. Honoré Beaugrand wrote the following Quebec version of this legend.
“I left my cabin, with my oar in hand, to meet up with six of our men who were waiting. The geat canoe sat in a clearing on the snow, and before I knew it, I was sitting in the front, oar in hand, waiting for the signal to start paddling. I must admit that I was a little uneasy, but Baptiste, who was part of the work gang and hadn’t been to confession for seven years, didn’t give me a chance to react. He was standing waiting for the signal to start. I admit I was a little upset, but Baptiste, who was in the yard, for not having gone to confession for seven years, did not give me time to manage. It was in the back of boat and in a loud voice said:
– Repeat with me!
And so we repeated:
Satan, king of the underworld, we promise to deliver to you our souls, if within the next six hours, we pronounce the name of thy Lord and ours, God Almighty, or if we reach for a cross. Under these terms, carry us through the air to our destination and bring us back to this same site !
We were gliding faster than the wind. For a quarter of an hour or so, we sailed above the forest without seeing anything other than stands of big black pines. It was a beautiful night and the full moon lit up the sky like a beautiful midday sun. It was bitterly cold thunder and our whiskers were covered with frost, but we were all floating.”
Source of extract: Free translation of Honoré Beaugrand, La chasse-galerie : légendes canadiennes, Laval, Éd. Grand duc, 2007.
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