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As early as dawn of that next morning, it was evident that the day of the grape-treading contest would be serenely beautiful so far as the elements were concerned. There was no wind; the sun was warm even as it climbed in its early journey over the heavens, and the radiant blue sky looked down upon the little village of Languecuisse.
As for myself, I looked down from my little corner of repose to regard Dame Margot and her worthy benedict Guillaume wrapped in each other's arms. The sheets were awry and rumpled and profusely stained with their many offerings to Venus and Priapus the night before. It was evident that both of them were lusty lovers and that Dame Margot was sufficiently endowed with energy and zeal to give a good accounting of herself in the wine vat just as she had done in the bed of love. She had been amply fucked many times that night, returning to each bout with the same frenzy she had taken to the first. Her cunt was hungry for cock without a doubt.
I decided to attend the festival and to examine the contestants before deciding what role I should play. After having listened to the conversation of Lucille and Margot and their husbands, I was not too greatly concerned with their boasting or their wagers. Both couples had a sanguine outlook which would prevent dire deeds of dark jealousy should one or the other persuade the other wife or husband to transfer, temporarily of course, carnal allegiance. Between Lucille and Margot, there was no particular reason why I should choose to befriend one over the other. What interested me far more was this Laurette Boischamp whom Jacques Tremouier had praised as an exemplary paragon of beauty and all the feminine virtues. If, as I had heard, this exquisite damsel was fated to wed a doddering old fool, then perhaps it was best that I intervene on her behalf to protect her tender maidenhood from the ravages and despoilment by this detestable Monsieur Claude Villiers.
I left the cottage and moved about the little village, familiarizing myself with it and at the same time enjoying the good warm French sun. By noontime, the crowd was already gathering just outside the long, low edifice where the grapes were stored and ultimately bottled. This establishment was owned by the patron of the village, the same Monsieur Villiers. It stood about a quarter of a kilometer from the first vineyard, and at a considerable distance from the last of the many little cottages that made up this pleasant panorama. The foreman of the vineyard, who was a sort of overseer--a burly brute of a man with beetling eyebrows, a massive chin and beady, suspicious little eyes--was ringing a cowbell to summon all the workers to enjoy a lunch of bread, cheese, and wine furnished them by their estimable and charitable patron himself. There were tables and benches, and some of the wives of the villagers acted as cupbearers, moving about with jugs of wine and filling the cups of those who sprawled on the benches ogling them.
I saw many a hand reach out shyly under a skirt or into a blouse during this festivity, and it spoke well for the ardent temperament of these villagers of Provence. The warm sun and the good wind and the generous exposures of tempting female flesh began to evoke a kind of bucolic orgy. Several of the couples, after they had eaten and drunk their fill, crept away from the benches and made their way either to a large barn to one side of the storage building or boldly went into the hedges surrounding the first vineyard, where they fell on each other without more ado, and coupled heartily and swiftly. And then, their tensions thus immediately alleviated, they rearranged their rumpled clothing and made their way back to the benches to await the principal ceremony.
At about two in the afternoon, the foreman, whose name I had learned was Hercule Partrille, rang the bell once more to summon the attention of all the contestants and spectators. He announced in a bellowing voice that could have been heard a league away, that the excellent Monsieur Villiers would speak to them all to open the contest and give it his blessing.
I had found myself a place of concealment near a discarded and emptied bottle of wine close to the little platform on which this brawny overseer stood to address his subordinates. When I beheld the patron, my sympathies were immediately with Laurette, though I had not yet laid eyes upon her. He was easily sixty if he was a day, nearly bald with a circular fringe of white hair about his bony skull that gave him a most repulsive look, and his face was cunning and without the least redeeming quality of compassion or good fellowship so far as I could tell. A sharp pointed nose, thin ascetic lips, watery blue eyes that peered suspiciously at his workers as if begrudging this brief charity of dispensing food and wine as well as working time to such a gathering at the cost of his own cashbox. In a word, Monsieur Claude Villiers was not the kind of lover whom maidens would ever thank the Lord for in their prayers; they would be more likely to lament their misfortune at having to bed him.
His voice was reedy and cracked like a broken flute as he mounted the platform, surveyed his menials with a frosty smile, and bade them welcome to the annual harvest of the good grapes of Languecuisse. "I now declare the contest open, and I wish all of you bonne chance!" he concluded. "To the winner, as has already been announced, will go a dozen bottles of my very finest wine as well as a full month of free rental on the cottage in which she is fortunate enough to dwell."
"The old fool," murmured a handsome, brown-haired matron who sat at the end of the bench nearest the bottle on which I perched. "He does not mention that he expects to fuck her whose comely feet press out the most wine from the grapes in her vat. If he did, I have no doubt only the greediest of wives would enter such a competition, for bedding with M'sieur Villiers would be worth much more than a month of free rental. It would be an ordeal in itself to make such a withered prick stand at attention, mark my words."
"Have you not heard, Dame Caroline?" her neighbor across the table, a stout, pleasant-faced beldame with graying black hair but yet voluptuous curves of bosom and haunch to boast of, countered. "It is certain to be the fair Laurette, because that old fool intends to wed her. He has told Hercule to put fewer grapes into Laurette's cask than in those of all the others. Doubtless he wishes to sample his prize in advance and also accustom the unfortunate wench to her future duties."
The matron called Caroline threw back her head and laughed, revealing strong white teeth. "Then I would say that M'selle Laurette should implore her dear mama to instruct her in the art of milking a man's prick with her lips, since assuredly that old boar, randy though he may become, will never in the world be able to manage sufficient strength to thrust it into her cunt."
"Especially if, as I am certain she does, she still retains her hymen," was the laughing retort.
Now everyone was in a pleasant mood and awaited the contest. There were fifteen contestants in all, including good Dame Lucille and Dame Margot. The stamping grounds, to speak literally, were placed at the eastern side of this long, low forum, so that the contestants would not have the disadvantage of having the sun in their eyes, for by now it was the full middle of this September afternoon. A long low platform had been constructed and on it stood fifteen large wide wooden casks, broader than ordinary barrels, each with its own spigot and funnel through which would flow the pressings of the purple, red and green grapes that the comely feet of these contestants from Languecuisse would tread. The platform was raised about two feet from the ground, and just in front of and under the platform were fifteen stone vats into which the liquid pressings from the casks would fall, since the spigots and funnels were connected by a kind of heavy cloth hose down into the vats. Thus the judge--who would naturally be the patron himself--might walk along and observe immediately the success or failure of each contestant. The damsels and matrons who were to take part stood off to one side while the burly foreman assigned each to her proper cask, each of which had been numbered with red paint. Dame Margot drew the very first, and her friend and neighbor, Dame Lucille, the second.
I watched with interest as the glowering Hercule led each contestant to her properly assigned cask. Because of his fearsome size and scowling face, his position as overseer undoubtedly gleaned him not only concerned labor in the vineyard, but also, no doubt, enforced surrender to his virile cock whenever his passion demanded respite between the warm suntanned thighs of these handsome matrons. He was of the bullying sort, the kind who might accuse an industrious female worker of not having picked her quota of grapes and threaten her with dismissal or a stoppage of her wages, unless of course, she was willing to give him compensation from her own moist cunny. And when I espied the way in which he would help the contestants to clamber into her cask while cupping a breast or squeezing a buttock or even boldly passing his hand down over her crotch under pretext of assisting her in hoisting up her skirts, I vowed to bite him where he would feel it and so take his lecherous mind off the doubtless orgiastic thoughts teeming in his brutal brain. At last came Laurette, who was to have the fifteenth cask. I noticed, however, that he took her by the hand and led her as a gallant might lead a marchioness through the first measures of the waltz at a festive ball. That was because, of course, fair Laurette was the affianced of the patron, lord of all the village. He tried none of his lecherous tricks with her, I warrant you. All of the contestants showed off their flesh generously to the warm sun. All wore skirts of white cotton that lowered just to the edges of their knees, and their blouses bared the shoulders and were yawningly cut to let the spectators feast their eyes on their favorite fruits of the vine, whether they be round or pear-shaped or apple-like or melon and cantaloupe contoured juicy fruits of love. If one could foretell by the ardent glances alone from the males who watched avidly from their benches, nine months hence those love-fruits would most likely be giving suck in the little village of Languecuisse.
But now I was caught up in my first good look at the beautiful young Laurette Boischamp. All that had been said about the damsel scarcely did her justice. She had soft white skin, which was entrancing to the sight; and where the sun had justly kissed her bare arms and shoulders, a golden tan was satiny soft and enticing on her smooth and gleaming flesh, in the full bloom of her nineteen summers. Her hair fell in two thick plaits almost to her waist, golden and thick and lustrous. She, too, wore the short white muslin skirt and low-cut blouse, and like the others, her feet were bare. They were chiseled, dainty little feet, seemingly much too fragile for such vigorous work as needs must be done. One could better conjecture them stepping daintily towards the nuptial couch in preparation for a good fucking rather than crushing the juice laden grapes.
Once all of the contestants were ensconced inside their casks, Hercule took hold of the cowbell and shook it as a signal. Whereupon all the damsels and matrons promptly hoisted their skirts to their waists and pinned them up out of harm's way. A roar of admiration went up from the male spectators on the benches at the rapturous vision thus granted them. For at least six of the contestants wore no undergarments, so that the furry thatch between their supple, flexing thighs boldly appeared. Laurette, however, as befitted a maiden of her tender years, wore dainty pink cotton drawers. Yet, they fit her so snugly as to be virtually a second skin, molding out the beautifully plump, closely set cheeks of her behind, and evincing an exquisitely tasty, plump mount of Venus in front. The patron himself deigned to stare longingly at Laurette, who promptly flushed and hid her charming heart-shaped face in the crook of one beautiful bare arm. Her eyes were wide, well spaced apart, of a sky blue hue in which any man might lose himself. She had the most exquisite little nose with just a hint of upturned tilt to it. Add to this a pair of full, ripe red lips meant for kissing or for engaging the head of a vigorous prick, and I trust that no lusty male in all the world could ask for more beauteous or winsome a sweetheart.
Indeed, I, a humble Flea, could understand the desire that a man could feel for such a wench. I could understand also that a scrawny and senile person like the patron did not deserve to bring her to his bed, no matter how wealthy he was. Now that everything was in readiness, I could see also that the charming contestants stood in the cask up to about their lower thighs, since grapes filled the casks and rendered the height at which they were presented to the spectators. There was an hourglass at the edge of the platform, which Monsieur Villiers now took up in his bony hand, and Hercule promptly announced that the competition would last precisely for one hour. At the end of that time, she whose vat below her was most filled with the liquid squeezing which her naked feet had trodden out would be declared triumphant and would bear off the prize.
Now, of course, as the contest would proceed, and the level of the grapes would be lowered, the luscious bodies of the females competing for the supposed honor would be more and more revealed. Perhaps this is why from the outset, the bolder ones decided to present themselves without undergarments for the occasion. I caught sight of many a man winking and making gestures to this or that female in her cask, evidently with the idea of arranging some sort of copulatory assignation with her when the evening shadows fell.
The hourglass was reversed, Hercule rang the bell thunderously again, and amid the cries and exhortations of the spectators, the contest began.
Now I observed that there was some truth to the rumor I had heard that the elderly vintner had contrived to give Laurette a more facile task by putting fewer grapes into her cask, since at the very outset I could see her body exposed only to about her hips, where in all the other casks the loins whether bare or bedrawered--were plainly visible. It was an amusing spectacle, nonetheless. Margot and Lucille faced each other, their eyes sparkling, their fine bosoms heaving passionately, as they put their hands on their hips and began to tread, their naked legs splashing up and down like pistons, trampling the soft pulp beneath, the liquid began to run down into the vats below. They started at a merry clip, so that their bosoms jiggled lasciviously, as did their bottoms and their fine thighs. Such a sight naturally encouraged the eager male spectators to call out encouragement, many of which, I fear were too salacious to permit inscription here. The consensus of these, however, was that every male who watched would have gladly given a month's pay to be mounted between the thighs of either Lucille or Margot, and promised each of them in turn so vigorous a fucking as to leave them bedridden for a week at least and of no use to their natural husbands. Jacques and Guillaume, sitting side by side on a bench which faced that side of the platform where their wives toiled, exchanged quips and ribald advice to their lovely spouses, so I concluded that even without my aid or without the victory of either of those handsome trollops, it would not be long before the two husbands would be sampling the forbidden delights of the other's wife, and without the least acrimony. After deciding what was to be the end of that friendly rivalry, I felt myself free to devote all my attentions to the beautiful Laurette, and by thus doing, although I could not of course know it at the time, I altered my own destiny. Laurette did not face the crowd, but turned to one side and kept her eyes on the heavens, as if to render herself impervious to the lewd catcalls of the ardent men of Languecuisse. Her beautiful bare thighs flexed and tremored as her legs moved up and down with a measured gait. So did the sweet rounds of her bosom, which I was sure were unconfined beneath her low-cut blouse.
The wench who was in cask Number Nine was one of those who had not seen fit to cloak her loins in drawers. She was about twenty-eight, I would say, with thick chestnut hair that fell in a voluptuous cascade to her hips. She was Amazonian, at least five feet, nine inches in height, with a magnificent pair of big, muskmelon-like breasts set close together in the thin and widely dipping stuff of her blouse. Her waist was surprisingly slim, but her haunches flared and her bottom cheeks were spacious rondures that jiggled tantalizingly each time her legs moved up and down in the assiduous work of crushing the grapes beneath her naked feet. Her name was Desireé, which means "Desired," and it fitted her like a glove. From the conversation which I overheard, I was informed that she was a widow--her spouse having died of a heart attack at the last harvest time. It was said also that his death was caused by an excess of carnal passion while riding between her thighs. It was said as well that it was a beautiful way to die. There were several men there who shouted out, "Eh, ma belle Desireé. I would gladly wed you tonight if you would but promise that I could survive the night!" To which this bold jade called back without losing a step of her tread, "Pooh! You would not last long enough to take off your trousers, for the sight of my cunt would make you lose your juice before you could put your prick between my legs!"
I thought her most likely to emerge the victor because of her magnificent build and powerful legs. She had full, firm, round calves browned by the sun, and her thighs were of the same sunset tinting, rippling with muscles. But most dazzling of all was the thick mane of dark chestnut curls which entirely hid the plump mouth of her slit, and even old withered Monsieur Villiers stared greedily at that superb lodging place for a virile cock.
The sands in the hourglass continued to trickle and the contestants began to tire, for they could not keep up the relentless pace at which they had started. Dame Margot, being goodly of girth, was first to tire, and beads of sweat ran down her cheeks. From moment to moment she would catch the sides of her cask and hang her head and pant to regain her breath, then go back to her treading. Lucille, svelte and lithe, mocked her and declared, "You have pressed only half a liter! I will press more than that from your Jacques' prick tonight if you can do no better when the hour is up!" At the edge of the crowd of spectators, many of whom were standing up to get a better view--for by now the grapes were lowered in the casks and the bodies of the fair participants were less visible than at the start--I could see a forlorn, but very handsome blond youth wearing a shepherd's hat, a rough cloth coat, and patched trousers which badly needed replacement rather than mending. A heavy-set bald man seated at the last bench at the back raised his wine glass, turned to the young fellow and guffawed, "Look your last upon fair Laurette, poor Pierre, bastard that you are! It will not be long before the banns are read in the church by Pere Mourier."
The youth, the same age as Laurette, clenched his fist and half made to throw himself upon the fat gossip but restrained himself with an effort. He stared longingly at beautiful, golden-haired Laurette. So this was Pierre Larrieu, the unfortunate apprentice to the patron who owned the village and who would soon own Laurette's delicious titties and virgin cunt, and all her other charms. I confess a sympathy, though I am not usually one to play Cupid. But contrasting him to the withered, juiceless vintner, I felt that somehow he should be permitted to have his fill of beautiful Laurette, even if he could not hope to wed her. Besides, it was in my Flea-ish nature to enjoy intrigue and plots and also to pay off this Monsieur Villiers in a way that would not cause his subjects, the villagers, to suffer. For if one of them had dared affront him, his reprisal would have been swift and merciless, whereas if I, an invisible, infinitesimal insect without thought or personality--for that is man's common concept of my species--were to pay him off, he could blame no one. At last, the hour had run out, the Hercule sounded the cowbell a final time. The spectators sat back on their benches while their women passed among them pouring out more wine to drink the health of all the contestants and then that of the noble patron himself--which last was a waste of good wine, indeed. He, meanwhile, nursing a bony chin with an equally bony hand, passed slowly along the platform, not without casting many a covert glance upwards--especially at those wenches who had been shameless enough to bare their cunts. Finally, he stopped at Laurette's vat, looking upwards and forced what passed for a beaming smile to his dry lips. Then he turned to the crowd and announced in his reedy, dry voice, "I declare M'amselle Laurette Boischamp the winner, since from her vat came more wine than from any of the others. Hercule will lead her to my house this night to claim her prize."
There were jeers and hisses, but those who uttered them took care not let the patron catch them in the act, lest they pay dearly for such contempt of him who paid their wages and collected the rents on their humble cottages. As for Margot and Lucille, they angrily burst out into a tirade, each accusing the other of coming out second best, and both called upon their husbands to judge. Both those worthy men, after peering at the vats, came to the conclusion that it was Dame Margot who pressed more juice. And so Guillaume helped Lucille down while Jacques, grinning from ear to ear, assisted Margot out of her cask and let his hands roam over her jouncy, oval bottom cheeks. Yes, I had no doubt that there would be a change of marital partners that very night--one accomplished in full harmony and with the accord of all concerned.
As for far Laurette, it was the brawny overseers who, at the order of the patron, aided her to emerge from her cask. He was most circumspect in handling her luscious charms, for though he was probably a terror with the women when left to his own devices and making full use of his authority, he could not risk offending his master. Laurette blushed, her eyes downcast, sensing what prospect awaited her at the patron's house this night. Her parents came forward to congratulate her. Her father was a thin man with spectacles, who looked like a cleric, and her mother was stout and something of a virago. No doubt it was the latter's insistence that had compelled poor Laurette to accept so meager a husband.