Several people have complained to the mairie recently about - get this - the noise of the cowbells worn by Mini-B's cattle. Can you believe it! We're in the French Alps for crying out loud. It's like going on a beach holiday and complaining about the noise of the sea. Turns out that these moaning minnies are citadins (city folk from Paris and Lyon) who have maisons secondaires here. No wonder the locals don't like people with second homes.
You hear stories in the news occasionally about cowbell rustlers. The old ones are worth a lot of money and sell for up to €2000 in some of the posh interior design shops in Méribel and Courchevel.
They were originally used by herdsmen to identify the herd to which freely roaming animals belonged, but Mini-B's cows wear them (very old ones!) more as a kind of GPS system to establish their whereabouts when they escape from his poorly fenced-in fields. He's probably got a new tractor's worth there.
The "proper" farmer, M. Bouger, arrives early tomorrow morning to bring the crane down.