Not far from Bélesta on the road leading to the plateau of Sault, after the village of Cailhol-d'en-haut, a path leads to the "gouffre des corbeaux", an impressive fault at an altitude of 850 m.
The vast oval hole measures about 60m in diameter and opens in the middle of the woods, in a magical setting.
But it is also an abyss whose depth reaches more than 110 m, eroded by wind and water.
It is said that the inhabitants used to throw dead animals into the hole, which attracted crows.
Many legends circulate around the chasm of the crows ...
It is said that, a long time ago, the inhabitants of the area saw the ground open and strange noises came out of the bowels of the earth...
Around this abyss, little by little, grass grew, and men went there with their herds.
Much later, shepherds said they had seen threatening giants and refused to return to these places ....
A path also passed by there, and some people said that they went there at dusk and heard voices, saw moving lights, and were even chased by dwarfs.
As a result, everyone avoided the path at dusk. It was said that witches had taken over the place and were living there freely.
Later, it was rumored that the witches lost their powers and disappeared during the whole day of Christmas, that the plateau of Sault was filled with an immense treasure and that during the night of Christmas the cave of the abyss opened and that during the 12 strokes of midnight everyone could use the gold.
Angeline, a young widow, had to beg in the streets of Bélesta to feed her young child. One day, she heard about the witches and their treasure.
She tried her luck, waiting without saying anything on Christmas night, taking her child in her arms she approached the crows' chasm on that Christmas evening. A metallic noise came out of the chasm, from the church of Bélesta, the first stroke of midnight, the cave access to the chasm opened, the treasure was in front of her.
She placed the child on a pile of gold, and cried, overcome by emotion.
But suddenly silence, the 12th blow resounded, the cave of access closed, Angeline did not have time to react that already the abyss swallowed treasure and child. She screamed, begged, cried, but the access remained closed, she was alone. The day arrived, Angeline stayed all day long to wait, and fell asleep with fatigue.
When she woke up, she was in her room, a loaf of bread was on her table, she ate it and returned to the abyss of crows, in the evening she fell asleep again and woke up in her room the next day, with a new loaf of bread.
All year long, her days passed like this, she thought only of her son. Christmas came again, Angeline, wide awake, waited in front of the access cave to the crows' chasm .....
The metallic sound, the first stroke of midnight arrived muffled, the cave opened...
The child was there, smiling and holding out his arms to her! Then Angeline took her child and fled, without thinking of any other treasure than her child.
To see nearby the intermittent fountain of Fontestorbes.
(With " Il était une foix en Ariège ")
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator