Direct and pure
The man proudly laid some result sheets on the table.
'Super he?' he said.
'Hmmm' was my reaction, since I did not want to spoil his day.
Then he pointed to the result of a race that he had won.
'And this is not just a winner, but a direct Janssen as well' he commented.
'Come on' I said, 'a direct' means Janssen Brothers bred it.
'But I got the bird from a friend who said it was a direct' he defended himself.
As he did not seem the smartest guy on earth I explained.
'Listen, everybody knows how expensive Janssen birds are and I do not know of any one who races 'directs', since the risk is too great to lose them either from the loft or from a race.
I only know one person in the whole world who let birds with a 'Janssen band' fly out freely, that was Klak. Perhaps your friend mixes up 'direct' with 'pure'.
What 'direct' means I told you, 'pure' means that the ancestors only have Janssen blood in their veins.'
'But maybe its parents were directs?' ha asked hopefully.
'Maybe' I said, 'but to be sure about that you should know their bandnumber'.
'That is no problem' he said, and called his friend to ask for the band numbers of the parents of his winner. He wrote them down and showed them to me.
I shook my head.
'Sorry, but they are no directs either. A fancier from the province of Brabant bred them and Janssen Brothers live in Antwerp.'
'Can you see that from the band number?' he said.
Then he tried one more time. 'Isn't it possible my friend got the parents as an egg from the brothers?'
I shook my head again.
'More people said so when others doubted their integrity, but Janssen brothers hardly ever gave eggs to others.'
DIFFERENT PER PROVINCE
In Belgium are 9 provinces and pigeons of each province wear a ring that starts with a different figure.
Pigeons from fanciers in the province of Antwerp wear a ring that starts with '6'.
Pigeons of Limburg fanciers wear bands that starts with '5'.
Below is a list of the provinces plus the first figure of the bands of that province.
Now let's take Pros Roosen, for argument's sake.
He lives in Limburg, so his rings start with '5'.
Mr d'Hondt lives in East Flanders so his birds wear a ring that starts with '4'.
After this, you may understand that Japanese guy.
He only wants Belgian birds with bands that start with a '6', since he has a preference for Antwerp birds.
One final remark.
Of these Belgian provinces each has its champion.
But there is a difference between a provincial champion and a provincial champion.
In East Flanders are about 11,000 fanciers, while there are only about 400 in the whole province of Luxemburg.
Understandably being the best from 400 or from 11,000 makes a big difference.