Birds are not the best animal, if one had to pick the best animal. This is true for many reasons: they are feathery little dinosaurs, with razor claws and beaks for pecking (eyes out). They love to execute rude tricks like pooping on a human at the beach while another bird friend steals their french fries. The only good birds are these French crows, who clean litter in exchange for small treats. They are cigarette crows.
Six crows have been trained to pick up cigarette butts in exchange for treats at Guy du Fou Park, a “French historical theme park” that looks to be the place I’d like to spend my next vacation—a jacked-up Plymouth Plantation with four historical villages and various evening shows set in the bucolic French countryside.
“Once they understand that giving back a piece of paper give them a nugget in return, that’s it,” says Chrisophe Gaborit, the park’s falconer. (Falconer!) Look at these petits oiseaux, tossing those little Gauloise butts into a hand-hewn wooden box. Nice bird! Good bird—a bird that is not darting about your feet chirping. A bird that is helpful. A bird that looks cool. A bird that has embraced a simple philosophy that we should all strive towards as human beings. Give back that piece of paper, whatever it may be. Await your nugget.