• Charlaine LeRoux

Suddenly, A Lump of Coal Doesn't Seem So Bad


Hey Bookworms! The holiday season is upon us and I am here for it. I love all of our holiday traditions but, if I’m being honest, I just feel like the American traditions aren’t creepy enough. Except for Elf on the Shelf. Those freaky little elves are the worst.

Let’s talk about Pere Fouettard aka The Whipping Father of northern and eastern France. Back in the day, before he was the whipping father, Pere Fouettard was a butcher. He was also a horrible dude. One day PF and his wife were hanging out in their shop. The had been eating the same old things every night and were really craving something different. Hello Fresh wasn’t a thing yet, so PF went with the first idea he could think of. Children, of course. His wife thought that sounded both delicious and exotic so they poisoned some candy and lured three little kids into their shop with it. (Never take candy from strangers, kids. Even if they’re wearing a blood stained apron and have a malevolent gleam in their eye. Don’t do it. You just can’t trust them.)

So, Pere Fouettard does his butcher thing and chops the kids up into bite-size pieces and he and his wife are getting ready to make some long pigs in a blanket when they hear a loud bang. One might even describe it as a clatter. About two seconds later someone comes crashing through their door like the dang Kool-Aid man. They were shook. Who could it have been? Why, it was jolly old St. Nicholas! As it turns out he knows if you’ve been naughty, nice, or are about to become an entree.

Santa was hella mad at Pere Fouettard for all that murder nonsense. He stomped right over to the barrels where PF was storing the meat and resurrected the children. That’s right, Santa is a straight up necromancer, y’all. So badass. He sent the kids home and came up with a brilliant plan to punish PF. He realized that Santa himself couldn’t go around punishing bad kids. It wasn’t authentic to his brand. Those damn kids had to learn somehow though. He needed some muscle. What he needed was an Anti-Santa and PF was obviously terrible so it was perfect!

He gave PF a sturdy whip, a big old stick, and a bundle of switches then told him that he wasn’t allowed to eat the bad kids but he could whack the crap out of them with his variety of new gadgets. After that, they fitted him for a long black coat to compliment his long, scraggly black beard and dark, baleful glare. Boom, makeover complete! The Whipping Father was born.

Now every year Santa goes on his trip around the world to deliver gifts to good children everywhere and The Whipping Father skulks right after him taking care of the bad kids. He punishes you on a scale. If you’re just a little bit bad, he’ll give you the stink eye and a piece of coal and be on his way. If you’ve been a real jerk he’ll whip you. He’ll whip you real good.

So, I hope you’ve all been good this year, bookworms. Just remember if you see a disheveled guy in a black coat and a scraggly beard lurking around then you need to be wary. Either Rob Zombie is trying to break into your house for some reason or The Whipping Father has you on his naughty list. Either way it’s alarming. You might be fine with getting your hide tanned by a (hopefully) reformed cannibal but all I want for Christmas is not to get whipped by a creepy, immortal Frenchman.

#folklore #blogger #LynxLeRoux

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