Saturday, April 27, 2013

A-Z: "X" is for The Manciple's Tale Of The Crow

The A-Z challenge is rapidly coming to a close and today I'm featuring The Manciple's Tale Of The Crow for the letter X.  What's the X stand for you ask?  Well, X equals The Manciple's Tale and that's my choice.  Hah!
The Manciple tells us about a noble knight named, Phoebus, who had a white crow who he taught to speak.  He also had a wife who he kept locked up in his house since he was prone to jealous fits.  In the story their are two creatures being unnaturally caged. The crow is one and the wife the other. To illustrate this, the Manciple says the wife had an affair, which the talking crow witnessed. The crow immediately tells Pheobus who then becomes enraged kills his wife.  Afterwards he is abhorrently remorse and curses the crow for his loose beak.  The curse turns the crow black and soon he lost his lovely song voice.  In the end, the Manciple leaves these parting words as the moral of the story (The Manciple's Tale lines 247-258):

247  My son, if you no wicked word have said,
248  To be betrayed you need not ever dread;
249  But he that has missaid, I dare explain,
250  He may not aye recall his words again.
251  That which is said, is said, and goes, in truth,
252  Though he repent, and be he lief or loath.
253  A man's the slave of him to whom he's told
254  A tale to which he can no longer hold.
255  My son, beware and be not author new
256  Of tidings, whether they be false or true.
257  Where'er you come, among the high or low,
258  Guard well your tongue, and think upon the crow.

An incredible and powerful tale, huh?  Will you remember the crow the next time you want to speak hurtful words to someone?

Mina B.


Nick Wilford said...

Wow, there were no winners in that tale!

Misha Gericke said...

I don't think I've heard of this tale before.

But yeah, it does show how much damage can be done by a loose tongue.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You'd think the crow would've had more sympathy toward the wife's plight since it was his own.

Lexa Cain said...

What a dreadful tale! That awful Manciple should have gotten his in the end. This is why I write fiction -- so I can make sure the bad people always get punished and the good people get to live HEA. Justice may not exist in the real world (or in the Canterbury Tales) but it does in my books! Ha! :-D