Base Plein air Jean jeune Vue ciel nuage

The legend of Jean-Jeune

The family of 8-year-old Ti-Jean lived in harmony in front of a large potato field that once occupied the site of today’s lake. The family ate nothing but potatoes at every meal.

One day, Ti-Jean got lost in the forest playing with the animals. He found himself in front of a white house he’d never seen before.

A strange old lady emerges from the house and asks him to help her fetch water from the well. To thank him for his help, she gave him a potato candy. It was the best thing he’d ever eaten!

Then he went home and told his parents the story. Convinced that he had lied, his parents punished him!

Ti-Jean returned to the white house for several days. He helped the old lady with her chores and received potato candy in return.

Several times, he tried to take a piece of candy back to his parents to prove his point, but always succumbed to the temptation to eat them, if he hadn’t lost them on the way home.

One day, the old lady came to Ti-Jean’s parents and offered to look after the child full-time.

She promised to take care of Ti-Jean’s education, to give him a prosperous life and a happy future.

She took out a large parchment, which the parents quickly signed, and then suddenly the old lady took a powder out of her bag and sprinkled it on Ti-Jean’s parents, making them disappear.

It was then that Ti-Jean realized that the old lady was a witch!

The witch made Ti-Jean do exhausting chores during the day.

In the evenings, he was given lessons that were just as exhausting, but he was still happy to learn.

One day, the witch told Ti-Jean that he would have to run the house alone for a few days.

There was only one rule: Ti-Jean was not allowed to enter the witch’s room.

After three days, Ti-Jean succumbed to temptation.

After all, how could the witch know if he crossed the threshold?

After a good eye-wash in the bedroom, Ti-Jean jostled a jar, which fell and broke, freeing the frog inside.

The frog then ran off at full speed. Moments later, the witch appeared in a terrible flash!

“Ti-Jean! You’ve betrayed my trust! As the ultimate punishment, you’ll have to dig me a lake in a year. WITH A SPOON!”

With that, the witch disappeared.

Ti-Jean had to dig his lake alone.

At first, he was highly motivated. As the days went by, his motivation waned. It was almost a surprise to find that a year had already passed since he’d last seen the witch.

The little burst of work in the last few minutes hadn’t been enough to complete his lake.

The witch arrived in a flash of dust.

“Ti-Jean, where’s my lake?”

Frozen, Ti-Jean remained silent.

“Ti-Jean, I want a lake! You’ll have another year! But this time, it will be more difficult…”

She took out the famous little powder and wrapped it around Ti-Jean. The magic worked and the child found himself without legs!

The same thing happened the following year. This time, he lost his arms. The third year, he tried his best to dig his lake, but it was hard to catch up with only one head! He also had to think about feeding himself, and the ground freezes in November!

Ti-Jean was really desperate. He only had one night left, just one, before the witch came back to take off another limb. But he had none left!

Ti-jean’s head was weeping. So much so that it awakened the creatures of the forest. Ti-Jean heard a flute melody approaching in the distance.

It was Cachoukeklac, chief of the gnomes. He offered him the gnomes’ help in digging his lake. This was not enough, as the task was colossal.

The gnomes used their magic to fetch one child each from the land of dreams, so that they too could help Ti-Jean dig his lake.

The work was progressing at a good pace. Suddenly, one of the children could no longer dig. Then another. And another. A huge rock was in the way.

Kashuklak had the excellent idea of borrowing the nearest magic tree to help him: the yellow birch.

Using the birch as leverage, the rock was propelled into the air, where it split in 2. With a terrible crash, one half landed in the forest. The other rolled several metres, crushing everything in its path.

As the group went to bury the birch, Ti-Jean admired the work accomplished. Then he broke down in tears. Cachoukeklac came to console him.

“What’s the matter, Ti-Jean, why are you crying?

“It’s just that… what we’re digging… it’s not a lake… it’s a hole!”

Alas, he was right. The group’s morale plummeted and everyone began to cry, so much so that all the tears gradually filled the hole with water. We cried and we cried! Ti-Jean realized what was happening. He shed more tears – tears of joy.

The lake was filled with salt water and the children were returned to their sleep.

The witch appeared.

“Ti-Jean, where’s my lake?”

“uh… there!”


The witch gasped in surprise and anger…and fell into the lake!

Children’s crying water is not recommended for witches. The witch melted and the water began to bubble. A strange creature emerged from the bubbles for a moment and plunged into the depths of the lake. She looked friendly. We called her Roxy.

Ti-Jean’s arms and legs reappeared when the witch fell into the water. He had high hopes of finding his parents. It never happened. Many believe it’s because of the contract they signed.

The first half of the rock that was catapulted by the yellow birch was made up of several cavities suitable for gnomes. This is where Cachoukeklac and his friends made their home, and where small objects such as utensils and lanterns can still be found today.

The second half of the rock left nothing behind. Today it’s called Mont Pout, and the forest it crushed is now known as the “Champ de Trèfle”.

Ti-Jean left the area for a while. He spent a long time looking for a way to thank the children who had helped him, or the children of those children.

A few years later, he returned to his childhood home to found the Base de plein air Jean-Jeune in their honor.

That was 80 years ago.