The 80-year-old Xavier Bouget has a constant companion: a white female pigeon called Blanchon. When he goes for a ride on his bicycle, busy in his workshop, waters his garden or sits down to eat a biscuit, Blanchon is always on his shoulder.
Bouget, a retiree from the northwest French region of Brittany, befriended the bird when she was a baby. “I was walking in Gommenec’h, and I saw a small, almost featherless pigeon fall to the ground and try to escape the cats,” he told Reuters.
“So, I came back home thinking ‘Another living being that is going to have a bad day,” Bouget said. After his wife asked him why he didn’t pick her up, he went back and took Blanchon home in his pocket.
He said he is often asked by people how he managed to train the bird to be so tame, but he replies that there is no trick, just mutual respect.
“Every human being can have that relationship with animals. It is a matter of patience, of watching how they live, of adapting to their way of life because they manage to adapt to yours,” Bouget said.
“Animals have as much of a right to be here as we do. We must know how to respect them, and everyone can do it,” Bouget added.
“Everyone can create that feeling as long as they respect the animal for what it is, which is to say a living being that shares the Earth with us.”
The Animal Reader is an animal news website. Become a Friend of The Animal Reader and support animal journalism.