#1Paragraph story... Dec 11

Kickstarter Update #12


We arrived at the location of the Smurf village a little after dawn on the third day of our crowdfunded exhibition through the Ardennes. Colette, my wife and archaeology partner of 30 years at my side; the rest: Head of Anthropology Universiteit Gent, Seppe Claes, and seven backers who graciously donated at the Gnap Perk level. And many thanks to my love Colette for finding such an ingenious way to fund what the community called a foolhardy and juvenile time waster.  But, I knew the moment I spied a feint, almost forgotten, scribble in the margin of one of Pierre Culliford’s many diaries that the search for the actual Smurf village was not going to end in embarrassment and empty hands. As some of you may know, I found in pencil, along the outside edge of the July 30th day in Monsieur Peyo’s date book: Rue de Lavaux, Lavacherie, Sauter multiplié par trios. Now, it was no mystery that Peyo had an Uncle whom he visited in Ardenne most Summers, and an inscription as innocuous as this could easily be overlooked, but the key to it all lay in the translation ‘Jump times three’: Jump, also Hop; also Skip. A Hop, Skip, and a Jump. Collette and I visited the, then, supposed destination on our 13th anniversary some five years ago, and what we found gave us enough pause that it was imperative we move forward with an excavation immediately. Today, I wish to relay, we found tens of twenty obnoxiously sized Mushrooms with rotten holes that could have been where wooden windows and doors had been; small rock wells; almost imperceptible stone foot paths. It was all there, dilapidated and sad, but there. Although, in spite of my steadfast belief that the village was tangible, the largest surprise came after we delicately removed the Mushroom top (roof) to the most lavish home and found an all too alive Papa Smurf. House-bound, and with walker, he scowled at us and attempted multiple defensive magical spells, but he was too weak for them to be effective. What stories this tiny person will tell us. What things he has seen, I hope to learn. What other-worldly connections does he possess. Watch your emails for a link to the video interviews conducted by myself over the the course of this month at our Chalet in the French Alps. “How much longer?” you might ask. “Not far now.”

Adieu, Jean-Luc LeBleu, MA

James C.