My newspaper delivery guy isn't particularly diligent. Some days I get no paper, some days I get a wet paper, and some days I get the Wall Street Journal instead of the Courier-Journal. The last one doesn't bother me quite as much -- though it is still annoying -- because the WSJ is still a good paper, and it often has quirky articles like this one from last week. [picapp align="right" wrap="true" link="term=bull&iid=7409597" src="8/e/a/5/Children_Learn_Bull_a840.jpg?adImageId=8698422&imageId=7409597" width="234" height="155" /]
It is about the problem of wandering livestock, mostly pigs and cows, on the French island of Corsica. As the article puts it: "Last year, authorities had to stop air traffic at Figari airport in southern Corsica after pigs invaded the main runway. Last month, a bull tripped off a cliff and landed on the terrace of a bar."
One idea is to have the "lieutenants de louveterie, literally, lieutenants of the wolf hunt" go after the errant livestock. The group is an "elite guild of sharpshooters was created in A.D. 812 by King of the Franks and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Charlemagne to protect people and crops against wolves and other wild animals."
Problem is, the current crop of lieutenants de louveterie, all volunteers, aren't really interested. That's partly because "in the past, people who have voluntarily helped slaughter roaming cows and pigs have received death threats allegedly from people claiming to own the cattle, even if there was no identifying tag."
Then comes my favorite line in the article:
Ange-Pierre Vivoni, mayor of Sisco, on the northern tip of the island, and head of a mayors lobbying group, acknowledges it is dangerous for the louveterie to intervene, but says, "Then again, cemeteries are filled with heroes."
I'm not sure anyone wants to die a hero's death for shooting a cow as it wanders across the road.
(Note: Bull shown above is not from Corsica. It's Spanish.)