Baron des Ravots, a champion sportsman of his province, was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair for the last five or six years. He spent his time reading and shooting pigeons from the window of his drawing room or from the top of the great flight of steps in front of his house.
He loved hearing anecdotes and true stories from his friends and neighbors. The baron would often ask, "Well, anything new?" whenever a friend came to visit him, showing his interest in hearing new stories and anecdotes from his friends.
Well, anything new?
During the shooting season, he invited his friends over and enjoyed listening to their accounts of their hunting adventures. They would spend hours at the dinner table, recounting their experiences and laughing at each other's stories. One of the traditions in the house was called "The Story of the Snipe." Whenever snipe was in season, the guests would each eat one, but the heads were left in the dish.
The baron would then anoint the heads with fat, stick a pin through them, and balance them on the neck of a bottle. The guests would count loudly, and the baron would spin the heads. The guest at whom the long beak pointed when the head stopped would become the possessor of all the heads, a feast fit for a king. They would toast to the winner's health, and the winner would be obliged to tell an anecdote to entertain the others.
This tradition continued for many years, with the guests sharing their stories and enjoying the camaraderie of their fellow sportsmen. The baron's love for anecdotes and storytelling brought joy and laughter to his friends and helped to keep the spirit of their hunting adventures alive.