I know you were all panicking about the cows going up the hill in September, so I wanted to let you know that this week, the same cows descended. The warm weather allowed them to graze in the field just up the road one last time before heading down the valley to lower fields and eventually into a shed for winter. Welcome to October in the Aravis. How do I know they were the same cows that I mentioned in September? By the bells.
Hearing the clanging of the bells coming down the road gave me plenty of time to grab a camera and get a close-up of a bell. This one has the Savoyarde flag with studs representing the white cross (le croix de Savoie). Below the flag is Bambi! Okay, maybe the craftsman had a particular type of deer in mind — no doubt the ones that I sometimes see at night around these parts — but when I see them, I say “Oh there’s Bambi”. This also works with any large-winged bird for me (“Look, an eagle.”), even if it’s an owl.
The Bambi thing all started in a bubble/télécabine/gondola in Méribel one day, when some Italians said something to me in Italian and pointed down. Realising I didn’t speak Italian, they said “Bambi” and pointed to a brown, horned thing below. For a moment, we all spoke the same language. A few days later, a Bambi was below the same lift, so I used the same word to point it out to the French people sharing the bubble with me. For a moment, we too spoke the same language even though I knew no French back then. Bambi allowed us to share an experience that we otherwise would have missed.
The cows, however, need no such international word. The clanging bells announce their arrival without any tourists pointing and calling them Bambi. Pity.