The Siege of Bordeaux

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The Siege of Bordeaux
Conflict: The Siege of Bordeaux
Date: From July 23, 1563 to April 18, 1571 8 years!!
Place: The region of Bordeaux, France
Outcome: Total destruction of the city and castle; one snail dead.
Les Français An unusually large Cornu aspersa
Maximillian Robespierre The aforementioned gastropod
... numbers, I guess. Size, force of will, strength, intimidation, and tastiness
547.3 French soldiers and civilians One (1) giant snail.

Roughly five hundred years ago, the French citizens of the region of Bordeaux were attacked by one of their most dastardly adversaries. Their foe besieged the city of Bordeaux for eight years, eventually razing the Bordeaux Castle to the ground. The enemy came on a muggy July day. Over the famous green hills it came, inexorable, unwavering in its desire to reach the city of Bordeaux. The Siege of Bordeaux remains one of the longest, most violent, most embarrassing defeats for the French. It has been covered up from non-Frenchmen for centuries because of its ridiculousness--until now.

The Enemy Appears[edit]

In the early afternoon of July 23, 1563, a French guard stood at his post. He sat, of course, and watched the grass down below growing. He also thought, at times. He, at the precise moment, was seriously considering leaving his post and cooking some escargots. He licked his lips in anticipation. Motion on the green hills caught the guard's attention. "Sacrébleu!" he cried in horror. For there, creeping slowly but surely over the crests of the hills toward the city, was the largest snail he or anyone else had ever seen. The Frenchman promptly wet his pants, uttered approximately three dozen prayers in five seconds and five languages (four of which he made up), screamed at a pitch usually reserved for calling dogs, and ran from his post. He yelled as he ran, "Escargot! Escargot géant! Quelque de personne nous sauve!"[1]

Month 1[edit]

The arrival of the "devil snail," as they called it, was met among the people with general hysteria and panicking that defines the French people when presented with a minuscule threat. The frantic peasants and noblemen alike waited four agonizing weeks for the snail to travel from the hills to the city walls. The 100-foot gastropod finally stopped at the walls. The French soldiers fired a cannonball in the direction of the snail. In characteristically French (meaning amazingly ineffective) fashion, the metal ball flew two feet out of the barrel and hit Gaston, the town drunk. The clang of the cannonball on Gaston's now-squishy head was enough to attract the notice of the snail. Immediately the French's so-called "surrender reflex" kicked in.

The Surrender Reflex[edit]

The Surrender Reflex is a disease contracted only by the French. It affects the entire population, from infant to geezer. When a sufferer of the disease (a French person, apparently) is presented with a conflict, the Surrender Reflex takes effect. The Frenchman immediately yields to all terms and enemy occupation[2], which includes but is not limited to: hostile occupation, good manners, troops quartered in the master bedroom, virgin daughters yielded up without resistance, and truffles with a well-aged cabernet sauvignon sauce surrendered to the enemy. However, the snail seemed uninterested in despoiling the city it had just won. It instead turned its attention to munching on nearby trees.[3]

Year 1, Month 2[edit]

One of the three virgins. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll just let it speak for itself.

After nearly a year, the Bordeauxian powers-that-be came up with another fool-proof plan to rid themselves of the snail.[4] They planned to sacrifice all the virgins in the city to the giant snail. Everyone agreed that this was a fine idea--surely a snail would accept such a sacrifice. But sadly, these French people of Bordeaux overlooked a critical fact: They were French, and "doin' it" was something normally achieved for them at a young age. Robespierre searched and searched and searched, but found a measly three virgins in the entire city. Somewhat disheartened, the Bordeauxians presented to the also somewhat bored snail their sacrifice. To the people's surprise, the snail immediately devoured the virgins with a tremendous bloodlust. However, when the non-virgin people approached the snail, thinking that their offering had been accepted, the snail promptly ate them, too. Contemporary historians point to the fact that the snail was exacting revenge on its fallen brothers. But they fail to realize that if the snail was avenging its species, it would have boiled the Frenchmen in garlic and butter. So the assumption that the snail was merely hungry still stands. The Frenchies retreated into the relative safety of the city.

Year 1, Months 3-12[edit]

The snail, tired from its exploits, took a nap.

Year 2, Month 1[edit]


One little known fact about the Bordeaux region of France is that its chief export (and import) is wine. Reds, whites, yellowish-greens, you name it, Bordeaux has it. One day after two years of occupation by the enemy, an unnamed Frenchman had an idea. If the conqueror would not accept women, perhaps it would like to get wasted instead. This unusual foresight was soon put into action by Robespierre. Twelve 100-gallon tubs of the finest wines were presented before the gastropod. The snail cautiously came to drink. The French waited breathlessly to see its reaction. The snail tasted the potent liquid. It took another taste. Once more. Then the snail nearly dove into the tub, gulping the drink down as fast as any Frenchman worth his garlic would. To the joy of the citizens, the snail got quite drunk, caroused with whomever he could find, and generally had a good time. However, the ecstacy was tempered a bit when the giant gastropod passed out in the middle of its carousing and smashed into the west wall. The hangover the next day was, to say the least, epic.

Year 5, Months 4-10[edit]

Time passed, as it often does. Eventually, the résistance movement went beyond getting drunk every Tuesday and began to work on, quote, "that snail problem." One day in the fifth year of the snail's dominion, a German scientist came to Bordeaux on vacation. As he walked in the front gate, he noticed that a particularly large snail made its home near the walls. The German mentioned it to his hotel's receptionist and was rudely brushed off and was told to place his affronting German knowledge up a certain part of his body "oú le soleil ne brilliante pas." [5] As the German stayed in the city, he learned of its terrible plight. He decided to invent an über weapon (as Germans are wont to do) to destroy the snail. Exhibiting characteristic German originality, he invented a giant salt shaker. The French promptly spat at the invention and its creator, then stole it for themselves. However, none of them knew how to work it. Through a series of trial and error studies, the French miraculously discovered its purpose. On Sunday, the guards fired the shaker at the snail. The snail retreated to the safety of the shell. By and by it stuck out its head, where the entire process was repeated. The French soon ran out of salt, and yet again the frogs were hurled back to square one.

Year 7, Month 3[edit]

Time passed some more.

Year 8[edit]

The devastation wreaked by the enemy.

After a long time, someone checked the snail. It was dead, most likely because it was old. In traditional French fashion, the people flooded toward it and carried into their city, where they promptly boiled it in garlic, butter, and garlic butter. The snail was eaten swiftly and a month of raucous celebration followed. The Résistance took credit for the "victory," screaming, "We beat the snail!" until it became more of an annoying French meme than anything else.

The damage the gigantic gastropod casued was enormous. The entire West Wall was demolished, hundreds of Frenchies lost their lives, Robespierre broke a nail, and any remaining dignity after losing to Germany thrice was irrevokably lost to the void. The French covered up this embarrassing episode from the rest of the world, but you know the TRUTH!!!


  1. Translated, it means: Oh, @%#$!!! Run for your lives, people, RUN!!!!!!!
  2. Try it with French models. Yowza!
  3. Good source of fiber.
  4. Tragically, the plan was not gastropod-proof.
  5. But French people do that to everyone, so there's nothing too unusual about that.


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