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Peewit resists the temptations of the Devil (in the original French)

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L’étoile de Noël (French for "The Christmas Star") was a 3-page adventure drawn by Peyo and featuring Johan and Peewit. It was first published in the 1977 Christmas edition of Spirou magazine, issue 2071. It was the last Johan and Peewit story drawn by Peyo to appear in the magazine.

It is a morality tale. Although not specified, the star is quite likely an angel, while the man in red is the Devil.

Plot

On Christmas Eve, just before Midnight Mass, Peewit is at the King's castle and admiring the stars. Suddenly, a star actually approaches him and hovers outside his window. The star tells Peewit that a man called Lucas is in trouble at a nearby wood and that he has to save him. The star then disappears.

Intrigued, Peewit sets off for the wood on his goat, Biquette, grumbling about why he was chosen by the star for this errand. Suddenly Biquette is startled by something, causing Peewit to fall off her, and hurries back to the castle. A man in red then appears before Peewit and warns him that Biquette's panic is a bad omen. He advises Peewit to go back to the castle, but Peewit decides to go on and find Lucas.

The man in red snaps his fingers and a snow storm suddenly starts. Peewit struggles on. The man then warns him that he could get lost and that there are wolves in the area. Undaunted, Peewit continues.

The storm eases off and Peewit, now very cold, comes across an inn. The man in red tells him that the inn has a warm fire and that there are delicious capons and fine wines to enjoy. It makes Peewit's mouth water, but he resolutely continues on his way — much to the frustration of the man in red.

The man in red then offers Peewit some jewellery, a bag of gold and diamonds if he will go back to the castle. Peewit refuses and angrily tells the man in red to leave him alone.

When he finally reaches the forest, Peewit is told by the man in red that he will die if he goes any further. Peewit is determined however and, when the man in red tries to block his way, Peewit beats him up and leaves with a warning "... And next time, I will be really angry."

Peewit eventually sees a peasant standing next to a tree and armed with a knife. Peewit asks if he is Lucas and also what he doing with the knife. Lucas admits that he intended to rob a bailiff who he knows has a large sum of money with him. He has never robbed before, but he has no money and his family is starving.

Overcome with guilt, Lucas decides that he was tempted by the devil and Peewit persuades him to go home. When they get to Lucas' cottage, his wife shows him a bag of money donated by some villagers who felt sorry for their plight. Lucas can now afford food and is delighted. He wants to thank Peewit, but Peewit has already left to go back to the castle.

On his way Peewit suddenly sees the star appear before him. Peewit is glad the star got him to help Lucas but regrets that he will miss Mass. The star tells him that he won't and, in a flash of light, Peewit suddenly finds himself back in the castle. When Johan asks him where he has been, Peewit simply says that he was out for a walk. They then go to Mass.

From then on, every evening, Peewit goes to the window to wave at the star.

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