Re-reading my last post, I remembered an anecdote that a wonderful American friend of mine once told me, about Notre Dame de la Garde.
A lot of the paintings that hang inside the church depict sorrowful situations from which La Bonne Mère has saved her ill-fated followers. Many include shipwrecks, storms and even seamonsters.
My friend was told (by one of those reputable Provençal sources) that somewhere, in some forgotten dusty corner of the church, admist images of heroic sailors battling with giant squid and braving 100ft waves, is a painting of a goat looking forelornly up from the bottom of a well. The story goes that a young goat herder let one of his goats stray from the herd. Later that day, he caught the sound of bleating on the wind, and followed it to his father's well, where he found the goat, unharmed but very much stuck. The story-teller left quite how the Bonne Mère helped him to retrieve the misfortunate beast to the imagination of his audience, and to this day I have been unable to find the portrait to match the tale. Perhaps he was having my friend on, but nonetheless I will continue to look for that little goat every time I go to the church (please tell me if you find it!).