Sur le pont de Nantes

Everybody was talking about the giant party organized by the old bridge that weekend. It was going to be the party of the century and Adele was adamant she would attend. Everyone who was anyone at school would be there and so would she.

But when she asked her mother for permission, she refused. The place was dangerous, the waters treacherous. Adele pleaded and begged in vain. She would be careful, she wouldn’t go near the river. But to no avail. Her mother was obviously trying to ruin her life. She didn’t understand. Adele would be the laughing stock of the entire high school if she didn’t show up. But there was no convincing her mother so Adele took to her bedroom and cried about unfair life on her social media accounts reviling her mother who understood nothing of life.

Eventually her brother texted her; he was coming to the party with some of his college buddies and he would take her. She only needed to be dressed and ready by 10pm. She could get out of the house through his window: their parents never realized the roof was lower and the ladder could be placed there for an easy escape. Adele suddenly understood how her brother had stayed at the top of said ladder in high school, how he could make all the parties.

After dinner, Adele returned to her room and took some pain to dress up. She didn’t want to look too young in case some of college young men came. Thankfully her mother believed she was sulking and didn’t bother her at all. At 10pm sharp, heels in hand, she’d snuck to her brother’s room and was standing on the roof, just as Adam leaned the ladder against the wall of the house. With the living room on the other side, of course their parents never found out about his night escapades. Within minutes, she was down, shoed and they walked half a block to his new chrome-plated motorbike.

They made it to the party moments after it started to get in full swing. Drink in hand, they each went their own way; Adam met some of his friends and Adele took to the ‘dance floor’, which happened to be the bridge. The party was everything everyone could have hoped, but at some point, before anyone could realize what happened, the railing of the bridge collapsed. Some people had been leaning against it. None fell that anyone saw. But Adele did and though she screamed, the noise of the music prevented the attendants from hearing her calls. It was a mere coincidence her brother was watching. He jumped after her to help despite his friends’ warning. He was a bit too drunk to be of any help and with the current being too strong, before the friends could bring back the paramedics, they both had drowned.

The next message on Adele’s social media accounts was from her mother who announced her two eldest children’s deaths. She never read the comments but one person regretted the stubbornness of children who thought they knew better.


In response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Tale Weaver Nursery Rhymes Rifts.
The nursery rhyme is “Sur le pont de Nantes”


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Lorraine says:

    Sad tale — the error of youthful ways can catch you up! Nursery stories in any language are often cautionary tales — I image the French version warns of disobedience.
    Thanks for participating, Stephanie, and translating a nursery rhyme from your youth into modern times and in English. If you ever want to post in French, that’s just fine. I know some things translate easier than others.
    You will have some modern tales to tell your little one, no doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The last line of the nursery rhyme translates into ‘this is the fate of stubborn children’ but it is indeed about disobedience.


      1. Lorraine says:

        Thanks for the translated last line. There are those themes that resonated cross cultures and languages.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael says:

    This is a sad tale Stephanie, but even sadder is this sort of thing does happen. Thanks for contributing to this week’s tale weaver and I did go and translate the title as I didn’t know that tale.


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