The Legend of Mont Saint-Michel (Maupassant)

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The Legend of Mont Saint-Michel
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A cunning saint tricked the devil into giving up his fertile lands, and when the devil tried to retaliate, the saint chased him away, leaving the saint victorious and in control of the lands.

In Lower Normandy, Saint Michel was the patron saint who watched over the people. He built a magnificent residence in the open ocean to escape the malice of his neighbor, the Devil.

Saint Michel — patron saint of Normandy; cunning, resourceful, and determined.
The Devil — antagonist; lazy, greedy, and easily deceived.

However, Saint Michel was poor, as he only ruled over the sands, while the Devil was rich, owning all the fertile lands in the area. Tired of his poverty, Saint Michel proposed a deal to the Devil: he would take care of all the work on the Devil's lands, and they would share the crops equally.

Give me all your lands. I will take care of all the work, the plowing, the sowing, the fertilizing, everything, and we will share the crops equally.

The Devil, being lazy, agreed. Saint Michel then tricked the Devil by planting crops that only had valuable parts underground, leaving the Devil with nothing. Realizing he had been tricked, the Devil took back his lands and refused any further deals with Saint Michel.

Once more Satan received nothing, and this time he completely lost his temper. He took back his fields and remained deaf to all the new overtures of his neighbour.

However, Saint Michel was determined to get revenge on the Devil. He invited the Devil to a lavish dinner, where the Devil ate and drank to excess. Saint Michel then chased the Devil through his residence, eventually kicking him out and causing him to fall heavily in front of the town of Mortain.

He shot through the air like a javelin and fell down heavily in front of the town of Mortain.

The Devil, now crippled and defeated, limped away from the area, leaving all his lands and wealth to Saint Michel. This story demonstrates how Saint Michel, the patron saint of Normandy, vanquished the Devil and protected the people of the region.