Sunday, 6 December 2015

A load of cock.



In 1994 there was an event in our nearby bastide town (above) that caused something of a national stir.

It concerned a couple of rather arrogant gay antique dealers who had quit Paris to settle in this small and very quiet town.

They rented a shop, they rented a house out in the country, and everything seemed to be going OK. Then one morning they woke to the loud crowing of a nearby Cockerel, then the next day, and the next; and it all became too much for them. They asked the farmer to instruct his Cockerel not to crow in the early mornings, and the farmer told them to effing well eff-off back to Paris.

Tension arose between the antique dealers and the farmer, which finished with their dispute going to court. The French national TV stations soon got hold of the story, and it went nationwide on the evening news.

Law is often an ass (as we all know), and the two men were eventually awarded ONE FRANC in damages, and the farmer was instructed to silence his Cockerel.

The small town was so enraged (and amused) by the verdict that they a held a 'Country Fair' in protest. There was a huge procession with children holding aloft pro-Cockerel banners, lots of Cockerels were let loose in the streets, and there was free wine for all. The two antique dealers were made to feel like a couple of right plonkers.

Above is the drawing I did to commemorate the event. The antique shop is still there, and the two men still as unpopular as they were back in 1994.

N.B. The lightning strike pin-points the position of their small shop. 




54 comments:

  1. I looked at your drawing very closely, and the details are simply wonderful! I love it!

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    1. The small square is usually much quieter than in my drawing (except on Saturdays).

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  2. Excellent! I love the chap carrying his baguette.

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    1. Well, you know France; there's always someone carrying a baguette under his arm.

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  3. Is that cockerel saying cock-a-doodle-doo in French? What a great response by the village.

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    1. Exactly that Philip; here they say 'Cocorico'.

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  4. Worthy of H.C. Anderson in the telling.

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  5. Excellent, don't you just hate it when people move to The Country and then complain about crowing cocks, manure, mud, squealing pigs and all of that? I think your antique dealers will have got the message by now!

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    1. I see them very rarely, but they always seem very isolated.

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  6. Longue vie to the Cocorico, it's France' emblem ... no wonder they are isolated.

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  7. I love this story (and the drawing), I've not heard it before. That probably explains why their shop is never busy.

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    1. The full story should be on the net somewhere. I'm surprised you didn't know of it.

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  8. Who says that truth isn't stranger than fiction. It made me think of a rhyme I learned when I started to read law (before I gave it up!).

    The law the lawyers know about
    Is property and land;
    But why the leaves are on the trees,
    And why the winds disturb the seas,
    Why honey is the food of bees,
    Why horses have such tender knees,
    Why winters come and rivers freeze,
    Why faith is more than what one sees,
    And hope survives the worst disease,
    And charity is more than these,
    They do not understand.

    Add to that why cockerels crow.......

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    1. If you type 'The Law Suit' into the search strip (top left), you will find an early reference to lawyers.

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  9. Love this story and the support of the village. I doubt you'd get that support around here. Reminds me of living in our old house where the neighbours moaned about the young Cockerell I had and then moaned the next day when they found him hanging from the shed the next day ready to be plucked!

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    Replies
    1. You can please some of the people some of the time, etc, etc.

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  10. I love the drawing. Now if I'd been doing it ...................................

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    1. I know; someone would be playing football.

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  11. It remindes me of 2 french sisters who came to visit my neighbor and complained that my dog is barking. Years ago. I like the drawing too.

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  12. Incomers should always tread very carefully when deciding to take on the locals. Especially snooty, self-righteous incomers. The collective backlash can be ferocious.

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  13. There is usually at least one oddball in every small community and they can be more or less guaranteed to make a fuss about something. But that is what makes life so interesting in a small place I think.

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    1. Much better to try to fit in quietly, I think. I cannot imagine myself moving to an area and start complaining about things that are perfectly normal; but these two did.

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  14. I love the drawing, by the way.

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  15. Cockerels can be very annoying especially in summer when their crowing starts very early. Great cartoon Cro - anyone ever tell you how talented you are.

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    1. I think that Cockerels just sound of the countryside, like tractors, and crows, and even chainsaws. You get used to them.

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  16. Good story, bad judgement from the courts. But fantastic how the villagers got together on this.
    Where we live there are lots of holiday homes where the owners come to spend all of 2 weeks to 2 months during the summer. We had such a neighbour who would complain about everything and anything. Cows mooing, dogs barking, cockerels 'cockereling', trees that grow too big in the far distance....
    With no respect for the people living here all year round, going about living their lives.
    Even here in the outback of Europe things evolve and trees grow bigger, houses get build, etc,etc.
    Love the detail in your drawing. Yes, you can't walk down the street in France without meeting someone with a baguette under the arm.

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    1. All those people who complain all the time should be banished to some island where they could all complain about each other.

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  17. Well done the villagers, I would have definitely joined in the protest. Lovely drawing, and I noticed that there were several lovely old Citroens dotted about the square. I had a Citroen 2CV in the UK, would love to have one here but my husband thinks that I would drive it like a lunatic. He is right.

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    1. We had a lovely blue 2CV many years ago; these days you need to be super-rich.

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  18. Why point out that they are arrogant gay persons? Villagers can quarrel a lot about their own problems too. But for sure cocks will always shot cocorico in France ...ce n'est pas le coque français pour rien.

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    1. I pointed it out because that's EXACTLY what they were, and are!

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    2. Ok, but it has nothing to do with their stupid reaction. All gays are not arrogant and all arrogant people are not gay.

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    3. I thought mia more was banned.

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  19. We had a rooster once who would come to our bedroom door, pre-dawn every morning and began crowing loudly. We'd chase him away and he'd come right back. It seemed that he knew exactly where to come though they aren't very smart animals. I am surprised the two guys have stayed so long in the village.

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    1. Everyone else is as surprised as you.

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  20. There's no such thing as bad publicity lol.

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  21. A title worthy of John Gray. I am amazed that antique dealers could ever win a case against a French farmer.

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    1. As far as I remember, the judge was 'obliged' to find in their favour, because of some ancient law of disturbance.

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  22. Are you saying Cro that, even after over 20 years, they have stayed there even though they are still unpopular ? It can't be the nicest atmosphere for them. Does their shop do well ? { I guess it must do, otherwise it would have gone under by now }. XXXX

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    1. Still there, and still unpopular. I think their small shop is just a hobby, I've never seen anyone inside.

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  23. I love the drawing. I like the dog benignly watching the goings on, with the cat safely on the far side of the square.

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  24. Your drawing (and the telling of the background story) is quite wonderful. Isn't it great what can been done in an inky line drawing, when the artist can really drawy!

    As a morning person who tries to adopt the ways of a City That Never Sleeps, I think I would have welcomed that early crowing.

    Best wishes.

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    1. It certainly wouldn't upset me. The nearest Cockerel to us (we have just hens) is about 400 metres away but we can still hear him. I rather like it.

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  25. I love the sound of the cockerel announcing the start of the day. Great detail in your drawing Cro.

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