Paris - The inhabitants of the quiet little village of Trou de Dieux, nestled in the luxuriant forests of the sprawling Ardennes, probably thought they would never again return to the heady glare of the worlds media spotlight. A place they once briefly occupied during the 1927 Camembert shortage, that led the villagers to famously impose strict martial law within the town to protect their dwindling supplies of the world famous "cheese".
But all that changed early Saturday morning when a bedraggled stranger walked out from the dense forests surrounding the village, strode into market place and declared himself to be Major Pierre Le Poulet, commander of a French army unit sent by Paris in June 1940 to check the advance of the invading Nazi war machine.
Villagers stared in amazement at the sight of the 94 year old still dressed in the tattered remains of his Major's uniform, as he went on to declare "I, Major Pierre Le Poulet of the glorious French army, formally declare my surrender to the forces of the gallant German occupation, Heil Hitler!."
So stunned were the villagers by the arrival of this strange apparition that only an eerie silence greeted the Major's formal offer of surrender and creaking Nazi salute. The major taking this silence as a bad sign dropped to his elderly knees and began to plead with the villagers for mercy. After the initial shock had worn off, the startled town's folk sent a small boy running to fetch the Mayor from the local cafe (from where he conducts most of the village's affairs).
And so from these enigmatic beginnings the strange tale of Major Pierre Le Poulet began to emerge.
It seems that after the Major's unit had arrived in the forests of the Ardennes and had taken a look at the strength of Nazi invaders, the unit had taken a vote amongst themselves and decided unanimously to go their separate ways and not bother to fight such an obviously invincible foe.
So as the rest of his unit ran back through the forests in the general direction of Paris, Major Le Poulet decided to try to find a friendly unit of the SS and quietly surrender to them. Things didn't go quite to plan for the major though, as he became lost in the impenetrable forests of the picturesque Ardennes.
The Major told how for the last sixty years he had lived on a diet of woodlice and berries, as he had searched in vain for a German unit to surrender to.
When told of the events of may 1945 and of the subsequent unconditional surrender of all German forces, he beamed and said, "I knew we would do it, those Nazi bastards were no match for our brave French lads."