Among the household serfs of the royal domain of Compiegne was a young lad of eighteen named Yvon. Since the death of his father, a forester serf, he lived with his grandmother, the washerwoman for the castle, who had received permission from the bailiff to keep her grandson near her. Yvon was at first employed in the stables; but having long lived in the woods, he looked so wild and stupid that he was presently taken for an idiot, went by the name of Yvon the Calf, and became the butt of all. The King himself, Louis the Do-nothing, amused himself occasionally with the foolish pranks of the young serf. He was taught to mimic dogs by barking and walking on all fours; he was made to eat lizards, spiders and grass-hoppers for general amusement. Yvon always obeyed with an idiotic lee
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