You might want to check your diaries because the following tale sure seems as though it's an April Fool.
But even though it's without doubt just a tad ridiculous and certainly offbeat, it is in fact true.
A court the southwestern town of Rochefort has fined a local farmer, Michel Rouyer, and given him a suspended sentence for feeding his ducks cannabis.
Yep, you read correctly. Rouyer, who keeps 150 of the birds and fattens them up in time for the seasonal rush in France on foie gras, had cultivated a dozen or so cannabis plants as well for purely "medical reasons" of course.
Mind you not his own.
According to Rouyer, who lives in the village of La Gripperie-Saint-Symphorien, he used the leaves of the plants to feed to his ducks in the final weeks before they were slaughtered because cannabis acted as an excellent dewormer.
It was a claim he made when he appeared before magistrates insisting that, "A specialist advised me to do it" and maintaining that the plants were grown exclusively for use by his ducks and he didn't trade in the drug at all.
And his lawyer, Jean Piot, in defending his client, told the court that, strange as the explanation might be, "None of the ducks had worms and were all in excellent health."
Perhaps not surprisingly that argument failed to cut much ice and Rouyer received a one-month suspended sentence and a €500 fine.
It seemed to cut little ice with the court though who handed down a €500 fine and delivered Rouyer a one-month suspended sentence.
It is, as the regional daily Sud Ouest remarks in reporting the story, certainly a most timely decision coming in the same week as Unesco recognised French gastronomy as a world treasure.
Quack - man!
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