Thanks to Celia (she’s French Canadian, and I might have misspelled/anglicized her name. So sorry, love,) from Antoine de St Exupeny for telling me this one!
As I understood it, Celia’s grandmother was the principal of a school in Algeria and she lived above the school. She had a maid, who fell on hard times and asked if she could stay with the principal. Celia’s grandmother agreed and told her she could sleep anywhere but should avoid the basement.
When a Frenchwoman suggests you avoid sleeping somewhere, listen to her.
The poor maid spent the night in the basement and was plagued by terrible nightmares of someone telling her to clean. She boldly answered, “No. I’m sleeping.”
The voice persisted and when she continued to refuse, someone beat her. Throughout the whole night, the woman dreamed of being beaten and being told to clean.
In the morning, when the maid woke she was covered with bruises and welts from where she had been actually beaten.
The grandmother’s response: I told you not to sleep in the basement.