France's Maurice the Rooster Faces Noise Complaints in Court

taviphoto/iStock via Getty Images
taviphoto/iStock via Getty Images

Call it cock-a-doodle-due-process. After being dragged into a French court over complaints that his early-morning crowing was a nuisance, Maurice the Rooster has been vindicated. This week, a judge ruled the bird has every right to follow his natural instincts and crow his little tail off.

The decision, handed down this week, ends what had been a lengthy and pun-filled struggle between Maurice’s owner and her neighbors on Île d'Oléron, an island in western France. For two years, residents of the area asserted Corrine Fesseau was liable for the public disturbance caused by her rooster. A couple who had a second home on the island complained that Maurice—who had hatched in July 2017—would rise at 6:30 a.m. each morning to crow. They insisted that Fesseau needed to quell the racket by relocating the bird or having him be “made to shut up,” according to The Guardian.

While the latter carries somewhat sinister implications, Fesseau was not willing to comply. The pair sued, which ignited a storm of controversy in France over whether urban citizens with vacation homes had cause to complain over the cacophony of the rural area.

In his ruling, the judge indicated Maurice was situated in his natural surroundings and was therefore not expected to conform to any sensibilities but his own. Maurice’s lawyer, Julian Papineau, told gathered press that the bird could not be penalized simply for doing what roosters do. “This rooster was not being unbearable,” Papineau said. “He was just being himself.”

For his victory, Maurice can continue to greet the morning on his own terms. He and Corrine Fesseau were also awarded $1100 in damages.

[h/t The Guardian]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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A Wily Fox With a Passion for Fashion Stole More Than 100 Shoes From a Berlin Neighborhood

The smirk.
The smirk.
Brett Jordan, Unsplash

In Berlin, Germany, a fox has embarked on a crime spree that puts Dora the Explorer’s Swiper completely to shame.

CNN-News18 reports that residents of Zehlendorf, a locality in southeastern Berlin, spent weeks scratching their heads as shoes continued to disappear from their stoops and patios overnight. After posting about the mystery on a neighborhood watch site and reading accounts from various bewildered barefooters, a local named Christian Meyer began to think the thief might be a fox.

He was right. Meyer caught sight of the roguish robber with a mouthful of flip-flop and followed him to a field, where he found more than 100 stolen shoes. The fox appears to have an affinity for Crocs, but the cache also contained sandals, sneakers, a pair of rubber boots, and one black ballet flat, among other footwear. Unfortunately, according to BBC News, Meyer’s own vanished running shoe was nowhere to be seen.

Foxes are known for their playfulness, and it’s not uncommon for one to trot off with an item left unattended in a yard. Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife explains that foxes are drawn to “things that smell good,” which, to a fox, includes dog toys, balls, gardening gloves, and worn shoes. And if your former cat’s backyard gravesite is suddenly empty one day, you can probably blame a fox for that, too; they bury their own food to eat later, so a deceased pet is basically a free meal.

The fate of Zehlendorf’s furriest burglar remains unclear, but The Cut’s Amanda Arnold has a radical idea: that the residents simply let the fox keep what is obviously a well-curated collection.

[h/t CNN-News18]