L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Stories and Tips

The Ear

The Ear Photo, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France

I discovered this oddity during my first pass through the market early in the morning. There wasn’t much to look at yet, as most of the merchants were still busily engaged setting up their stalls and goods. Near where the D938 road meets the N100 (as the N100 turns away from the river), there’s a footbridge that crosses the Sorgue. Looking down from the bridge, I noticed a large rock in the river that resembled . . . well, an ear. Perhaps it’s an actual ear off a statue--it certainly looks like it could be, if the statue were made of granite. It would have to be quite a large statue, though, as the stone appeared to be about four feet across. But there it was, rim, lobe, ear canal. I thought it was interesting, admired it for a bit, and passed on by.

Coming back by this same spot later in the day, when the market crowds had arrived, I noticed an excited group standing by The Ear. As I watched them, it became clear that they were engaged in a game – trying to toss coins into the fast-flowing Sorgue so that they would fall into the deepest recesses of The Ear. The river really rips along, as the plants along the bottom are bent horizontal, so almost all the coins missed. It was clearly considered an achievement to get a coin even to rest on The Ear. I saw a couple people manage to get coins all the way into The Ear, and as the coin vanished into the ear canal, the audience of a dozen or so cheered.

Surprisingly, this activity hadn’t occurred to me when I passed in the morning, in part because no coins were in evidence. Returning to this same spot later in the afternoon, after the market had ended, I saw why. A handful of lively youngsters were splashing in the river, collecting up the scattered change! I imagine their parents don’t need to give them much in the way of an allowance!

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