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Before I proceed to the description of the connubial scenes I was destined to witness on this my first evening in France, I think it well that my readers understand something of the nature of my species. We Fleas have been much maligned throughout the centuries, principally because we are said to be conveyors of the great outbreaks of bubonic plague. I shall not attempt to contradict the learned men of science and medicine who thus denounce us; I say only that we have conveyed these germs unknowingly, since they are not fatal to us. And I submit that if these same learned men were to examine our annals, they would find that there has never been in all of the Flea history a civil, much less an international, war. I submit that our morality is far less suspect than that of the species that condemns us. But so much for that...
But you may ask, how is it that a Flea can survive on the human body without detection and without the constant peril of extermination? Well, let us consider the Flea. In an era when there are complaints of expanding human population and decreasing food supplies for their nourishment, I and my brothers in no way deplete the world's supply of food. Consider that an unfed adult Flea may remain alive a year or more without the slightest nourishment. In some way, indeed, we may be said to resemble the camel in being able to sustain ourselves on a very minimum of nourishment. We adult Fleas have a flat hard-skinned body, very thin from side to side, which permits us to slip between the hairs or the feathers of the animal on which we feed. And our large hind legs permit us to jump as much as thirteen inches horizontally and almost eight inches high. Moreover, we Fleas have instincts that enable us to anticipate the slightest threat to our safety so that we invariably alter our hiding places when danger is imminent. We need not always remain attached to the lovely bodies of young girls and women whom we have come to admire for their energy and amatory zeal. For example, I myself could have well remained all the night long atop that beam. It was only my innate curiosity--and that is...
About an hour later, my hostess' spouse came in from his work in the vineyard. He was about forty years of age, lean, bronzed from the sun, with a strong jaw, a long nose, and a high forehead. His brown hair was liberally streaked with gray and his expression was dour. Yet you would have thought him the most handsome Casanova in all the world from the way his good wife welcomed him. With much cooing and giggling, like that of a schoolgirl, Dame Lucille hastened to him, flung her arms exuberantly around his neck and bussed him resoundingly on the mouth and cheeks and eyes and nose. one of the most powerful of all Flea instincts--which made me decide to follow the comely Dame Lucille into her cottage.
Finally, in my own defense, let me add that while there are at least five hundred species of Fleas, almost half of which are found in North America and the West Indies, only a very few are really troublesome or dangerous to man. I am not one of these, happily.
And now that you perhaps understand me better, let me tell you what took place in the bedchamber of the auburn haired matron whose hospitality I had chosen for my first night in France.
"Mon amour, how did it go today?" she inquired as she continued to hold onto him and to arch her loins against his in a most suggestive manner.
"Well enough, ma belle," he remarked in a gruff voice while his hands roamed over her back and down to her plump, spaciously rounded buttocks, which he began to squeeze with lingering enjoyment. "It will be quite an event tomorrow afternoon. Master Villiers has promised that the winner of a contest, she who treads out the most wine from her vat, shall have a month's rent free as well as a dozen bottles of the finest wine."
"Never fear, dear Jacques," his wife purred as she wriggled about in his embrace, "I shall win the prize for you, my dear husband."
"Now that I do not expect of you, Lucille," he chuckled, as he at last disengaged himself from her embrace. "Go get my supper, that's a sweetling. With all due respect, I do not much suppose you can best the maidens who will compete against you. They are naturally younger and stronger in the limb, for all your good intentions. But I am well satisfied with you, nonetheless."
With this, he gave her a lusty clap on the behind which made her squeal, and in great good spirits he strode off to his own chamber to remove his working clothes, which were soiled and stained from his work with the grapes.
When he returned, I saw somewhat to my surprise that he was clad only in his nightshirt. At first blush, this seemed singular, since the sun was only just setting and it certainly was not time to retire for the night. But I quickly divined that the worthy vintner was suffering from the pangs of two different hungers, and wished merely to be in a state of readiness for the satisfaction of both. His auburn-haired spouse hovered about him like a cooing dove as he seated himself at the table, nor did she think it amiss that his attire for the evening repast was so informal. She brought him first a bowl of lentil soup, together with a crusty loaf of freshly baked bread and a bottle of red wine. Graciously he deigned to pour out two glasses, one of which he took and clinked to hers.
"May you have luck tomorrow, ma mie," he chuckled as he circled his right arm around her graceful waist and hugged her to him. After he had taken a sip of the wine, he put his lips to the bodice of her thin dress and nuzzled the luscious side-curve of one of those magnificent breasts of hers. "Yet on the other hand," he added, giving her a jocular wink, "mayhap I should not wish you such, for you know it is the custom of the patron who owns the vineyard in which we all toil, to fuck each harvest time with her who is declared the most puissant squeezer of grapes. Hence, Lucille, if you should win on the morrow, I should be compelled to accept cuckoldry from him who pays me my wages. Do you still tell me that you wish to come off victorious in a matter that concerns my own husbandly honor?"
At this, the buxom Lucille promptly left her place on the other side of the table, went around to him, clasped her fair white arms about his chest and lovingly rubbed her cheek against his as she purred, "Dear Jacques, do you think me a faithless trollop, then? I warrant you, even should I win as I mean to--if only to spite that harpy Margot next door Monsieur Villiers shall not pluck my flower nor rob me of my wifely virtue. Do you not know that a woman has ways of denying a man that which he seeks between her thighs? There are manners and methods of exciting the good patron so that he will lose all his juices before he manages to pour them out into that funnel which nature gave all women to have as the receptacle of man's passion."
This salacious retort pleased Jacques mightily, for he roared with laughter and clapped his good wife resoundingly upon her ample buttocks. Breaking the crusty loaf in twain, he tore off a chunk and took an enormous bite, washing it down with the red wine. His eyes sparkled as he watched his handsome spouse return to her seat.
Although hostess and her husband spoke in French, and with that softly slurred dialect which is famous in Provence, I understood them well. The erudition of a Flea is assimilated much as his nourishment; herein is one advantage that my species possesses which man cannot attain save by assiduous study. It suffices for a Flea to bite the flesh of a human to acquire at that moment a comprehension of the language which that provider of nourishment ordinarily speaks. Besides, in England, some little time before I met the fair Bella and Julia, I had partaken of the flesh of a handsome Parisian actress who, during her sojourn in London, had become the mistress of an Earl to whose person I was then temporarily attached. I mention all this not out of boastfulness--for such is not the nature of a Flea, that being an attribute reserved only for mankind--but so that my readers will not doubt the veracity of my tale. I think also that my readers may envy my brothers and me, for surely it is far easier and more delightful to acquire the knowledge of a language by sinking one's proboscis into the white flesh of a fair damsel's thigh or breast or haunch than to ponder over a guttering candle and learn another tongue word by laborious word.
But I digress. There is little need to relate what went on during the rest of the evening meal, though there was much bawdy conversation and laughter as Jacques and Lucille Tremoulier discussed the forthcoming wine-pressing contest and the candidates against whom she would be opposed the next afternoon. I listened with great interest and amusement. It is said that women are catty by nature and that they rip to pieces even their best friends once within the intimacy of their own chambers. Yet, I tell you that men are equally verbose when it comes to denigrating their neighbors. The worthy Jacques went into rapturous and somewhat lascivious expatiations on the charms of the women of the village, and it was evident from this that he had already looked with lustful eye upon Dame Margot, that bold, black-haired wench who had made the wager with Lucille.
However, I could not deduce from all his remarks whether he'd had actual carnal knowledge of the beauties of whom he spoke so knowingly. Lucille even added her own evaluations, and I was reasonably certain that she was not perversely acquainted with these damsels and matrons. She and Margot, it appeared, had once bathed together naked in a little stream down by the mill, and she informed her worthy husband that Margot's thighs were a bit lean, and that there was a dainty brown, oval-shaped birthmark just to the left of the wench's bellybutton.
At the end of the repast, Lucille served her husband a glass of brandy with his coffee and took one for herself also. The good stew, the crusty bread, the red wine, had put them both into a convivial state, and their language was entirely uninhibited as the result. "Tell me, Cheri," Lucille purred as she took a sip of her brandy, "if you had your choice of all the women in this village with my leave, with whom would you desire most to make love?" (Here I might observe that she used the vulgarism, "plonger ton vit," which, roughly translated, means "plunge your cock into.")
"Now of course, ma belle," Jacques remonstrated with a cajoling smile, "it is understood that you will bear me no ill will if I speak my mind. For you know that I am as faithful as any husband to his wife here in Languecuisse."
He was, in truth, a masterful diplomat because his remark implied that he was no better or worse than any other man in this little village, and I am certain that continence and chastity could not be uppermost in a land where the sun is warm and the wine is red and stirring to the senses and there is so much white flesh abundantly revealed. But Dame Lucille did not attempt to read any second meaning into his seemingly innocent statement, for she laughingly avowed, "I have told you that you may speak without fear of my wifely anger, dear Jacques. Pretend, therefore, that you are the ruler of a mighty suzerainty and that to your beck and call come the fairest maidens from every corner of the globe. Whom then would you select to baiser?" (This word, which means "to kiss," also means "to fuck." This is why we say that the French language is full of double entendres.)
He nursed his chin for a moment and frowned, lost in thought. Then he chuckled and declared, "Why, then, since I am the lord and master of all I survey, I should summon the fair Laurette Boischamp. Of a certainty, she is the loveliest in all this village, and her flower has not yet been plucked, if I am not mistaken. Yea, I would fuck her, and fuck her right well."
"For your sake, Jacques, I hope you speak aright," Lucille banteringly responded, "for though I have given you leave to express your mind, if I should ever discover that it was you who robbed that charming hoyden of her virtue, I should drub you soundly and deny you access to my bed for a good month. Harken well my warning on that score. But since we are speaking of imaginary things, do tell me why your choice rests upon Laurette."
"Pour me yet another glass of strong brandy, me belle, and I will tell you why," he chuckled. And when Lucille had complied with his wish, he took a long sip of that potent cognac and exclaimed, "Ah! If ever I fail to answer the summons to your bed, dear Lucille, you have but to give me this cognac to rouse my torpid blood to action! Now as to Laurette Boischamp, this is why she would be the first lady of my harem, were I a pasha. She is but nineteen, she is innocent, her hair is golden and thick and soft and silky, and it falls over two of the sweetest, plumpest breasts in Christendom. You could span her waist with both your hands, and yet her hips are round and firm and sturdy, ample enough, I am certain, to support the thrusts of the boldest prick in all the world. These warm summer days, as she does not always wear hose, I have seen her down by the brook washing the laundry of her estimable old parents, and I will confess to you, Lucille, that her skin is as white and pure as fresh milk. Her ankles are delicate and gracefully shaped, and her calves are fine and slender but with a hint of ardent curves above."
"I trust you have seen no more than that," Lucille sharply interrupted, glowering at him with her cat-green eyes, "or else, even though I have given you leave to speak your mind, your prick will have no work tonight! Is her skin milkier than mine, then?"
He coughed, then sought refuge in his glass of brandy to distract himself before he could take time to weigh his answer. At last, wheedlingly, he placated her thus: "Why, as to that, ma mie, I speak only of conjecture. For I saw only the beginnings of her calves as she squatted down there by the brook to take the sheets from her chaste bed and to beat them with a rock. As she leaned forward, I could see only the faintest glimpse of that enticing valley between her two snowy globes, but I tell you that yours are full, luscious and ripe, solid to the grip of my fingers, and I would prefer them to those of any untried maiden's. But it is man's nature always to covet that which he does not possess, and though I am faithful to you and lust for you heartily, as you well know my beautiful Lucille, I will admit that there are moments when I am fucking you that I close my eyes and imagine that it is the tender Laurette who groans beneath my weight."
"Well, I will not be too irate with you, my worthy husband, for that is a truthful remark, and you would not be much of a man if you were not tempted by that charming hoyden. Besides, she is beyond your grasp, for her parents wish to wed her to your employer, the good Monsieur Claude Villiers."
"I know that well, and it is a great pity. Monsieur Villiers is nigh unto sixty if he is a day, and his way of wooing a maiden is to skulk about and try to pinch her bottom. I warrant you, when he finally brings her to the marriage bed, his prick will be shriveled up and worthless."
"I have no doubt of that either, but look to you that you do not seek to furnish her that prick which she is denied," Lucille tartly declared. "Moreover, though you may not know it, she already has a young swain, by the name Pierre Larrieu, who is her own age. He is an apprentice to the same Monsieur Villiers, and they say that he is a bastard. He would not be able to wed her in this village, you may be sure. But if Laurette were wise enough to taste the pleasures of the flesh before she is bedded to that sour, withered old bottom pincher, I would say that she would prefer young Pierre to you, competent though you are when fucking between a woman's thighs."
Jacques Tremoulier rose from the table and smacked his thigh with a guffaw. "Woman," he bellowed, "with all this talk of pricks and thighs and white skin, you have bewitched me! It is time we were abed! Strip down to your nightshift, then, and join me in the jousts of love, where I will prove that I am as devoted to you as even I was on our wedding night!"