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This is a tale inspired by the heroic saga of Vaillant, a soldier-pigeon active in the 1914-1918 war, whose exploit is commemorated to this day on a plaque at the ruins of Fort Vaux, in France. With his troops out of position, Commander Raynal has no choice but to entrust a critical mission to his only remaining carrier pigeon, Vaillant (whose name means "brave" in English). The pigeon's task is to carry a message asking for reinforcements across enemy lines and through clouds of gas and toxic fumes.
Living up to his name and the expectations of his commander, Vaillant fulfils his mission with courage and determination. He manages to prevent his precious message from falling into enemy hands and he eventually makes his way back safely to friendly territory.
Despite the underlying tension of such a wartime mission, the text by Bergeron and the illustrations by Sampar are lightened by touches of humour.