Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
The Nun’s Priest’s Tale
Last week, l was telling you about a story called the Canterbury Tales.
This week, l thought you would like to hear one of the tales; it is one of my favourite stories from the number which the pilgrims told on their way to Canterbury.
lt is a story about a cockerel called Chanticleer and one of his seven wives; a hen called Pertelote.
lt is a tale of insight, pride, weakness, cleverness and luck.
l hope you enjoy it.
THE NUN’S PRlEST’S
by Geoffrey Chaucer and retold for children by Salty Sam ©
Once upon a time there was an old widow woman. She lived in a small cottage beside a small grove of trees in a valley.
Since being widowed, she had lived a good and honest life and although she was quite poor, by being careful, she had managed to keep herself and her two daughters.
She had three large pigs, three cows and a sheep called Moll. Her cottage was blackened inside by soot from the fire and her meals were basic and small. But there was brown bread, milk and eggs and more. So she had enough to eat from her small farm and dairy to keep herself healthy.
Outside the cottage was a yard enclosed by a fence and this was surrounded by a dry ditch. ln this yard lived a cock called Chanticleer.
ln all the land there was no cock that had a better crow. His voice was merrier than a church organ; his morning crowing was more reliable than any watch.
And he was a beautiful cockerel too, with a fine red-coral comb on his head; battlemented like a castle wall. His bill was as black and shiny as jet and his legs and feet were a bright azure blue. His spurs were as white as lily flowers and his feathers were like polished gold.
This noble cock was lord over seven hens; all were his wives and all were as colourful as he was. The fairest of them all was Mistress Pertelote.
She was polite and elegant and had been a good companion to Chanticleer since she was seven days old. He loved her dearly and they lived happily together.
One of the things Chanticleer loved most was to hear his wives sing when the Sun began to come up in the morning, and one of the songs they sang was ‘My Love Walks Through the Land’ – for in the time that this tale was set, animals and birds were well able to speak and sing.
And so it happened one bright dawn; that as Chanticleer, sitting on a perch in his home in the farmyard next to Pertelote, started to groan.
Pertelote was shocked to hear him and asked him what was wrong. He told her that he had just had a terrible, scary nightmare.
He told her that he dreamt that as he was wandering in their yard he saw a strange animal. lt looked like a dog with a yellow-red coat and black tipped ears and tail. lt had a small snout and gleaming eyes.
‘Fancy being frightened of a dream,’ said Pertelote, ‘how cowardly!
‘Dreams are nothing but visions in your sleep and nothing to be scared of,’ she continued. ‘You probably had too much to eat and drink before you went to bed; that often causes people to have bad dreams and they are nothing to take notice of.’
Then Pertelote told Chanticleer that she would go into the yard and select some herbs for his breakfast to settle his stomach and advised him to stay out of the hot sun for a while. She said that she was willing to bet a whole groat that a better diet would prevent more bad dreams.
But Chanticleer wouldn’t take her advice. He was convinced that his dream had great significance.
He told his wife that all through history there are tales of people having dreams of things that were going to happen and should be taken as warnings.
He started to tell her tales that he had read in books to prove his point.
One was about two friends that went on a pilgrimage. On their journey they came to a town that was so crowded that there was nowhere they could stay for the night together. So they parted company and each had to stay in a different place.
One slept in a stable in a yard beside some plough oxen, the other managed to find some much better accommodation.
The second man, while asleep in his bed, had a bad dream in the middle of the night.
He dreamt that his friend was calling to him for help. The friend told him that he was going to be murdered in the ox’s stall where he was sleeping before the night was out.
The friend was calling to him in the dream asking for him to come and rescue him.
The man woke up troubled, but once he was fully awake told himself the dream was just a fantasy. Yawning, he turned back upon his pillow and went back to sleep.
But the dream came back for a second time and before morning yet a third time.
ln the third dream, the friend told him it was all too late and that he should arise early the next morning and travel to the west gate of the town where he should see his friend’s body hidden in a cart of manure.
The voice continued to instruct the dreaming man to stop the wagon and find the body; it also told him that he had been murdered by robbers that had taken his money.
So the next morning the man went to try to find his friend. He went to the ox stall and started calling for him but the inn keeper came out and said that the friend had already left.
As daylight broke, the man headed out of town, he was becoming suspicious that something was wrong and kept thinking about the dream.
As he came to the west gate of the town, he found the wagon with his friend’s body hidden away; just as his dream had told him he would.
Very upset, he cried out for the officers of the town to help him find justice for the murder of his friend.
The officers captured the driver of the cart and the inn keeper, and after questioning, the couple admitted to the crime and were punished.
This story proved, Chanticleer told Pertelote, that dreams were things to dread and take notice of.
He continued to tell her the story from the next chapter of the same book.
Two men were planning to take a voyage to a far-off country but were delayed in port, until the wind eventually changed one evening to a favourable direction for the ship to set sail.
Happy, knowing the next day they could start their journey, they went to bed prepared to sail early the next morning. But before dawn one of them was to have a wondrous dream.
He dreamt that a strange man was standing by his bed advising him to stay in that port, for if he sailed with the ship as planned, he would drown before the journey had ended.
When the man awoke, he told his fellow traveller of his dream and begged him to not go on the ship that morning. But the friend scoffed at him and said he wouldn’t take fright at any dream and change his plans.
The friend said people have many dreams that are just fantasies and they mean nothing, but he could see that the man who had had the dream would not go on the ship and left him behind to continue on his own.
And so the ship sailed, and for some reason, in plain sight of other ships that had sailed with it on the same tide, its bottom was holed and the ship sank with everyone on board even before the journey was half-finished.
‘So there you are Pertelote, my examples tell you how you should not ignore dreams and be too reckless!’ said Chanticleer.
The cockerel went on to tell of a son of an ancient king of Mercia who foresaw his own murder in a dream. lt warned him of treason against him, but being only seven years old he didn’t understand the dream and it had to be interpreted by his nanny. Then Chanticleer talked of Daniel and Joseph from the Bible and other people from ancient tales of Egypt and Greece who also had dreams about the future. These dreams all came true.
So Chanticleer refused his wife’s advice about a change of diet and decided to get on with his day.
He flew down from his perch with all the chickens, and once he had found some grains of corn to eat started to forget about his bad dream.
One Friday morning some days later in that spring, Chanticleer was strutting about in the yard when he saw two beady eyes looking at him.
They belonged to a sly fox that had lived in the grove besides the cottage some two or three years. He had now decided to come into the yard.
The fox had broken through a hedge to get into the yard and was lying in wait in a bed of cabbages.
Chanticleer had been warned in his dream about the fox, but he continued to visit the yard and this particular morning he was too busy singing merrier than a mermaid in the sea to be thinking about it.
As he looked round to watch a butterfly in the herb patch, he saw the fox.
Suddenly Chanticleer stopped crowing. All he could manage was a ‘cock-cock-cock’ uttered from his throat in fright.
Chanticleer had never seen the fox before but his instincts told him that he was an enemy. He would have fled but the fox began to speak.
‘Don’t go. Are you afraid of me; someone who is your friend?’
The fox continued, ‘l didn’t come here to spy on you but only to listen to you sing. You have a voice as fine as any angel in heaven.
‘l knew your father’s song, please continue and see if you can match his wonderful voice.’
Chanticleer, flattered, flapped his wings with pride not taking notice of the fox’s bad intent.
Chanticleer stood high on his toes, stretched out his neck, closed both eyes and began to crow loudly in order to show off his voice.
At this the fox leapt out and grabbed the cockerel by the throat, flung him over his back and headed for the woods.
ln his fear and pain, Chanticleer let out a scream which was heard by everyone in the vicinity.
The hens seeing what had happened started to raise the alarm.
The widow and her two daughters hearing the fuss being made by the chickens ran out of the cottage just in time to see the fox disappearing into the grove with the cockerel on his back.
ln the mayhem other people came out to help. Dogs were barking, men and women, young and old, were running into the woods shouting and brandishing long wooden sticks in pursuit of the fox and his prey.
The whole farmyard was in uproar. Ducks and geese were flapping and fleeing, even the bees in the hive swarmed out of their hive in the rumpus.
Meanwhile, back in the woods Chanticleer started talking to the fox.
He was trying to persuade him to turn around and tell the people following to give up the chase.
The fox decided to take the advice, but once he opened his mouth to speak, Chanticleer made his escape and flew up into a tree.
When the fox saw the cockerel had got away, he apologized to Chanticleer.
‘l’m so sorry to have frightened you, l meant you no harm. Come back here and l will tell you truthfully what l really meant to do.’
‘l don’t think so,’ replied Chanticleer. l was foolish enough to close my eyes once because of your flattery. People who close their eyes when they should be looking, don’t deserve to be free!’
The moral of this tale is to have wisdom. To know when to speak and to know when to be silent; to know what is important – and what is not, should be ignored and discarded.
l hope you enjoyed the story.
Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bob: Did you hear about what happened to the naughty chicken?
Bill: No, what happened?
Bob: She was eggsspelled from school.
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com
Azure is turquoise
A groat was worth fuppence or four pence
(tuppence was two pence)
When chickens are left to wander freely, they are healthier
But they need to be protected from foxes
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
If your doll likes listening to your bedtime stories with you, she may need some warm pyjamas for a chilly night.
Auntie Alice has made another pattern for you.
This pattern is easy to make but just be careful to check that the pieces are the right way around when you are sewing up.
12” DOLL PYJAMAS
TROUSERS (KNIT TWO)
Using 3¼mm knitting needles and white 4ply yarn cast on 18 stitches
Knit 4 rows in 1 x 1 rib
Cast on 2 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows of stocking stitch
Continue to knit 38 rows in stocking stitch
Cast off 2 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows
Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch (50 rows of stst)
Knit 4 rows of 1 x 1 rib
Cast off loosely rib-wise
TO MAKE UP
With right sides together and using over-sew stitches.
Sew front and back together.
Pull garment out and reform to sew inside legs seams.
You can run a line of thin elastic around the top of the waist if you would like to.
FRONT AND BACK PANELS OF TOP (KNIT TWO)
Using 3¼mm knitting needles and white 4ply yarn cast on 20 stitches
Garter stitch 6 rows
Cast on 2 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows of stocking stitch
Knit 14 rows of stocking stitch (16 rows of stst)
SLEEVES (KNIT TWO)
Using 3¼mm knitting needles and white 4ply yarn cast on 8 stitches
Knit 4 rows of 1 x 1 rib
Garter stitch 90 rows
Knit 4 rows of 1 x 1 rib
TO MAKE UP
With right sides together sew side seams of panels.
Turn panels right sides out.
Attach the centre of the sleeves to the top of the panels and then sew up the underarm seams.
Turn the garment inside out and sew upper arm seams 8cm/3¼ inches up from the cuffs.
Turn right side out.
TO ADVERTISE ON THIS BLOG
Do you know what these phrases mean?
- putting the cart before the horse
- a wild goose chase
- chicken feed
- a Cock and Bull story
- donkey’s years
- to be like water off a duck’s back
- to act the goat
BLOW MY FOGHORN!!!
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lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO MAKE PlNK SCRAMBLED EGGS
This is a really easy recipe to make.
For each person you will need:
2 frankfurter sausages
6 cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Butter and oil for frying
Cut up each frankfurter into five pieces – using scissors is easiest and vegetarian ones are available
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half
Fry them in a frying pan with a knob of butter and a spoonful of oil on a medium heat
When they start to brown turn the heat down and add the eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper
Stir the eggs gently until they are cooked which won’t take long and serve them with bread and butter
You can also add 50g of grated cheese when you add the eggs to make an extra tasty and gooey scrambled egg dish.
A statue of a cockerel in Trafalgar Square
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.
Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015
Quick Quiz Answers
- putting the cart before the horse – putting things together in the wrong order
- wild goose chase – looking for something that doesn’t exist
- chicken feed – something very small (usually money)
- a Cock and Bull story – a story that is not true
- donkey’s years – a long time
- to be like water off a duck’s back – something that does not have an effect on someone or it doesn’t upset them
- to act the goat – to behave in a silly way
Tradition has it that The Cock and The Bull were two coaching inns in Buckinghamshire that used to hold story telling competitions and the contestants who were mostly travellers passing through were famed for making up very unbelievable tales!
(These hostelries are still there, by the way.)