On a cold winter’s night, deep in the woodlands and farm hills of the South of France there was a young farmer called Raphael. He spent his days working on his father’s farm that was left to him a year ago after his passing.

In the farm there were four fields, each containing some of the biggest cows you’re likely to find, along with two majestic-looking horses. Sitting in the middle of these fields was an old farmhouse in desperate need of repair.

Next to the old run-down farmhouse was a small coop, which once housed over 40 hens. After his father passed away, Raphael couldn’t look after them all so sold 37 at the market, leaving three French hens. These hens were his pride and joy, providing eggs for him to eat every morning.

One night, a strange man came to the farmhouse to find Raphael working in the fields. The stranger approached and introduced himself as a bank representative, demanding money for the land and property, before swiftly leaving.

Distraught at the prospect of losing his late father’s farm, Raphael thought about selling the cows, horses and hens to a rival farm in a nearby town. The thought of giving up his prized animals was too much for Raphael, as he put his head in his hands and began to sob.

With a bottle of wine as his only companion, Raphael began drowning his sorrows while playing music until the early hours of the morning. After serenading his hens during his drunken state, he woke to find his three hens surrounding him, as he wiped a tear from his eye at the thought of giving them away.

However, as he dusted himself off and raised his head off the floor, he realised his prayers had been answered, with a neat pile of golden eggs located in the corner of the coop. Rubbing the dirt from his precious treasure, he knew his luck had changed, all thanks to his three French hens.

Check out our previous instalments to read our takes on the 12 gifts

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