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December 16, 2018

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The Lieutenant and the Mouse


The Bonners react with the Rhinelanders’ penchant for mockery to what appears to them as too much Prussian rigidity. The following anecdote from 1822 may serve as an example. That year brought a rich harvest of wine and a bad infestation of mice. So when the annual procession to Kevelaer, a traditional place of pilgrimage, sets out from the Church of Saint Remigius a number of dignitaries watch the departure of the pilgrims from the windows of the Hotel ‘Zum Goldenen Stern’ (The Golden Star) situated in the market square. When a young Prussian -and, of course, protestant - lieutenant enters the room he exclaims, flabbergasted by what he sees, ‘Look at these superstitious people. They carry a silver mouse to Kevelaer hoping thus to get rid of this plague’. Patting him on the shoulder, an elderly Bonner responds calmly in his vernacular: Dear Lieutenant, if we really believed that, we would have carried a golden Prussian to Kevelaer long time ago’.

Last update: November 22, 2011



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