The story of Syd the snake and Larry the lion.
I can’t help imagining this type of conversation everytime I walk past these guys – see below for the real history bit.
Larry: I swear to god Syd, I told you the last time that the next time you eat one of my organic pizzas from the fridge which are CLEARLY labeled “for Larry the Lion”, I was gonna get serious on your ass
Syd: man, sorry Larry dude, but I was so hungry and I forgot to go to the shop yesterday. please don’t eat me Larry.
Larry: Syd, I am tempted to eat you right here right now
Syd: Larry, what can i do to make it up to you? you and me are like bffs dude, I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.
Larry: Syd, seriously I have had enough, we’re stuck together like this and you can’t even respect a few rules. you even stole my special-for-blonds shampoo last week, and you don’t even have any hair man!
Syd: Larry, goddamit you know I’m sensitive about my hair man.
Larry: jesus sorry Syd I shouldn’t have brought that up
Syd: just eat me Larry, life’s not worth living anyway
Larry: aw, Syd don’t get all passive agressive on me, take it like a man. or a snake. or whatever.
the history bit
There are 150 floods recorded as having happened to the town of Grenoble, 80 of which happened between the years of 1600 and 1860. Having two rivers (Drac and Isere) joining in the town, the town fell victim frequently to the ravages of flooding.
The people of Grenoble (Grenoblois) had to rebuild their bridges many times. Victor Sappey created this fountain in 1843 to celebrate the fact that they created dams (digues) to protect the town and finally beaten the serpent/dragon.
According to wikipedia, previously the rivers were called the snake and the dragon. The Isere was the snake, as it’s meanders look like a snake. The Drac was a dragon, due to it’s savage force.
In this fountain, the lion represents the town and the snake represents the naughty river(s).
Floods remain one of the main natural risks to Grenoble to this day.
some links with more detail: all in french!