Mister Belhomme's Beast (Maupassant)

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Mister Belhomme's Beast
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man suffering from a mysterious creature in his ear sought relief from fellow passengers on a stagecoach, leading to various attempts to remove the creature, which turned out to be a flea.

A group of passengers were waiting for their names to be called out to board the Havre stagecoach. Among them was Mister Belhomme, a tall, thin man who appeared to be in great pain, holding a handkerchief to his ear.

Mister Belhomme — tall, skinny man with an afflicted ear; suffering from a mysterious creature inside his ear; dolorous.

As the journey began, Belhomme explained that a beast had crawled into his ear while he was sleeping in the hayloft, and it was now causing him immense pain.

It's not my teeth, it's my ear, right down inside my ear.

The other passengers offered various suggestions for what the creature might be and how to remove it. When they stopped at a café, the parish priest suggested pouring water into Belhomme's ear to flush the creature out.

The Priest — tall, powerful, stout, and kind; tries to help Belhomme with his ear problem.

They tried this, but it didn't work. Later, they stopped at a farmhouse and tried again, this time using vinegar. To everyone's surprise, they discovered that the creature was a flea.

So there you are, you swine.

Belhomme decided to return to Criquetot instead of continuing to Havre, but the coach driver insisted that he pay the full fare. After a heated argument, Belhomme reluctantly paid the fare and the cost of the priest's services, and the coach continued on its way without him.