My favourite cafe was closed the other day and I ended up at a nearby restaurant, hoping the espresso would be drinkable, knowing I didn't want to wander too much further in my search for good coffee.
Sitting there I noticed a rooster totally owning the small garden beyond the hedge in the grounds of the restaurant. It amused me. This was centre-city Antwerp.
A few minutes later I watched him visit with the pigeon you see in the series of photographs. And honestly, they seemed to be greeting each other.
I asked Vitaliy, the waiter, about them when he returned with a second, spresso and he told me the loveliest story.
The restaurant is called De Markt and the Bird Market is held weekly in the square nearby. Christoph the Rooster arrived first, after escaping the market, and set up home in the garden. They named him after the manager I was told.
Then Micheal the Pigeon arrived and he stayed too. He's named after the restaurant's Italian chef. Vitaliy told me, smiling a little, that Christoph the Rooster often 'shouts at' Micheal the Pigeon ...
And finally, I think that third bird is a Crow. He's quite motley but he moved in too and I love that. How did those birds know they could set up home in the garden of a restaurant in the city of Antwerp.
And they've stayed
I loved the story. I'll go back soon, I'll take Miss 11 with me. She's visiting this week. We have plans.