europe

‘Together because it feels good’: French man who goes everywhere with a pigeon


When 80-year-old Xavier Bouget goes for a ride on his bicycle, a majestic white pigeon rides on his hat. When he tinkers in his workshop, she pecks at the drill bits and nails. And when he waters his garden, she observes from his shoulder.

Bouget, a retiree from the north-west French region of Brittany, befriended the bird, who he named Blanchon, when it was a chick and now it tags along with him everywhere, sitting on his shoulder or walking along beside him.

Xavier Bouget poses with Blanchon in his garden in Gommenech, Brittany.
Xavier Bouget poses with Blanchon in his garden in Gommenech, Brittany. Photograph: Stéphane Mahé/Reuters

“There’s a desire to be together, because it feels good,” said Bouget, who before retirement worked in the building supplies trade.

The pair first met when Bouget was out near his home and saw a tiny, “almost featherless” pigeon fall to the ground as it tried to escape from a cat. He returned home thinking, “another living being that is going to have a bad day”.

Xavier Bouget rides his bicycle with a pigeon called “Blanchon”on his head.
Xavier Bouget rides his bicycle with a pigeon called “Blanchon”on his head. Photograph: Stéphane Mahé/Reuters

But when he mentioned what he saw to his wife, she asked him why he didn’t pick up the bird. So he went back.

“I came home with Blanchon in my pocket,” he said.

He is often asked by people how he managed to train the bird to be so tame, he said, but he replies that there is no trick, just mutual respect.

Any human can build a relationship with an animal, he said, “once they respect the animal for what it is, that is a living creature that shares the Earth with us.”

“You just need to be patient, to understand how they live and adapt to their life, because they will adapt to yours.”



READ SOURCE

See also  UK jails four people smugglers over Vietnamese migrant truck tragedy

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more