Maurice the rooster in noisy culture clash with neighbors

Local News

A lawsuit over a rooster is getting lots of attention in France.

Corrine Fesseau keeps chickens in her backyard.

Her rooster is named Maurice and like all roosters, he crows every morning around 5 o’clock.

That’s pretty normal for country life.

But some of Fesseau’s neighbors don’t like waking up to Maurice’s crows.

They’re from the city and have second homes near Fesseau.

They’ve filed suit against Fesseau claiming Maurice is a nuisance.

Fesseau said she’s not going to be pushed around by city people.

“I said, I’m not going to let myself be pushed around. Nature has to stay what it is and the countryside should get back its normal noises. All our elected officials back me and agree with me. There’s a very big problem,” Fesseau said. “People have to understand that in the city, they are used to noise, but in the countryside, we find other noises that have always been there and that are normal. The countryside should stay as is and they should not say, ‘We should silence the countryside noises.'”

Town officials support her and Fesseau believes city folks need to adopt the sounds of the country and that includes roosters who crow.

Fesseau said she’s received letters supporting her from across France, Belgium, even the U.S.

A letter from supporters of Maurice from United States says: “We love you Maurice! Your friends from the United States. Long live Maurice!”

Nathalie, a Parisian tourist, supports Fesseau, too.

“No, I think the court complaint is a bit abusive. I think, again, it’s part of daily life, and hearing a rooster crow is part of life. It’s pretty nice to hear an animal speak out.”

And of course, there are T-shirts supporting Maurice.

Roosters have special meaning in France. The national soccer team is called Les Bleus, but the team’s mascot is a rooster.

The suit is just one example of the growing divide in France between people from the city and rural folks.

In Southwest France, a man who owns ducks is facing a suit from his new neighbors saying the ducks quack too much.

In another town, some residents threatened a church for ringing its bells too long.

Fesseau said people need to adapt to where they’re living.

A court in western France is expected to announce a judgment on Maurice next Thursday, Sept. 5.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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