The White Knight
The white knight, Columba alba, is a species of pigeon that has been bred in the middle ages, to much delight from the ladies of courts all over europe. Its name, however, has nothing to do with the color of its plumage. Rather, it is related to the peculiar behavior of the bird.
When young birds leave the nest, in early summer, they will search for humans who show particular behaviors, such as emitting high-pitched screams, flailing their arms, and spreading a particular mix of pheromones. Indeed, the young white knights are looking for a “damsel in distress”.
Once they have found one, they will attack any other humans in the immediate vicinity with violence uncharacteristic of the Columbidae genus. Their ferociousness is interpreted by the distressed person as chivalry (at least, in most cases), and the white knight will thereafter follow that person wherever they go.
In most instances, the human they “saved” will afterwards become their benefactor, making sure the white knight has enough to eat, and a roof over his head. This is crucial to the survival of the birds, since most white knights no longer have the ability to survive in the wild, and would die without the support of a human. At first thought to come to the aid only of females, it has been shown that white knights react to the “damsel in distress” signals regardless of the sex of the person.
In the middle ages, white knights enjoyed the highest regard from humans, seen as the embodiment of chivalry. However, in the new millenium, their lives have taken a turn for the worse, as owners organize duels between their respective white knights, artificially creating the necessary conditions for them to attack each other, and breeding them for ferocity and strength, rather than beauty and loyalty, as used to be the case.
As a consequence thereof, there has been a drastic increase in reports of white knights attacking people who have offered no provocation, and the Department for the Control of Vicious Animals (DCVA) is probing whether or not to require a license for the raising of the birds.
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