The Italian Almanac

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Fined Cock

An Italian cock has been fined for crowing. The bird's owner was taken to court by a woman neighbour who accused the farmer of noise pollution.

''I can't get a wink's sleep in the morning. That bird starts screaming much too early, at the crack of dawn,'' she told the court. A judge imposed the 200-euro ($290) fine after rejecting a farmer's plea that he had already sold four of his five cocks in response to the complaints. ''I need at least one cock to keep the hen-house going,'' the man said.

He said he would appeal the fine with the support of a local farmers league.