Once upon a time, there was a village, le village de rêves. It was tucked far back in the mountains of California. The Sierra Nevada mountains, when one thinks of them, generally bring about feelings of cold beauty, but in the tiny town, tucked in a small valley in their midst, there was nothing but warmth all year round. Call it a miracle, call it a strange twist of geography, but the angle of the town was situated in such a way that cold winds rarely fell on them, even when the sun was covered over with snow clouds. The town had been settled over 200 years before; before the gold rush, before the civil war, before the revolutionary war. A Frenchman, shortly after his company of explorers first arrived in what would one day become California, had wandered away from his company, and, lost in the cold mountain range, was on the verge of death when he was rescued. No one, to this day, quite knows truly how he was rescued, but he insisted to the day he died that he had seen a fairy – or perhaps an angel – beckoning to him in the distance. Forcing himself to rise from the snow in which he had fallen, he walked toward her, and the closer he got, the warmer he became. Down the mountain she led him, and, just as he reached her, she disappeared. With her disappearance , however, he saw clearly in front of him trees filled with green leaves, growing in green grass. Running toward them, he made his way through the small wood, and came out into a beautiful land, devoid of snow or cold of any kind, running with clear, fresh mountain springs, fields of flowers, and sunshine. le village de rêves he named it, vowing never to leave. And he never did. Plenty of fruit trees, fresh water, soil for gardening, and animals for hunting and warmth abounded in that small village. How then, one might ask, did it become populated by more than just one man? In a story as old as time, the Frenchman heard, the following spring, a cry for help in the mountains. Going as far as the edge of the trees of the village, he looked up into the snowy rocks, and saw a young woman stumbling about. “Here!” He cried, beckoning to her, as had once an angel beckoned to him. Following his voice, the woman turned her head, and beheld both him and the trees. The Frenchman brought the Englishwoman home, warmed her, fed her, and then, with God as witness, married her.