The Nun's Priest's Tale
In The Nun's Priest's Tale, Chaucer tells the story of Chanticleer. Chanticleer is rooster whose "voice was merrier than the play of the church's organ." Chanticleer is in love with the fair hen, Pertelote. One night, Chanticleer dreams of his death and tells Pertelote of his dream. Chanticleer is ridiculed, and Pertelote believes that he may have fallen ill. Chanticleer explains why dreams should not be taken lightly. In an effort to justify his concern, Chanticleer cites the story of a man who could've prevented his friend's murder if he had only acted on his dream. In his dream, "he could hear his friend begin to call . . . tonight I will be murdered where I lie.'" The next day, "in the midst of all the dung they found / the dead man who so lately had been slain." Chanticleer goes on by telling of a sailor who dreamt that "if [he sailed] as [he intended], / [He] shall be drowned." His friend, who thought nothing of his vision, sailed anyway only to drown after the boat's bottom fell apart. Chanticleer then reminds Pertelote that if Hector had minded his wife's dream, he might not have been slain by Achilles. One day, a fox sneaks into the yard to eat Chanticleer. Chanticleer spots the fox while watching a butterfly. The fox tells Chanticleer, "I am your friend, . . . [and] you've a voice as merry, sire, / As any angel's up in heaven's choir." Overwhelmed by the fox's flattery, "Chanticleer stood upon his toes; / Stretching his neck, he let his two eyes close / And loudly he began to crow." The fox took Chanticleer by the neck and ran to the woods. Chanticleer escapes from the fox's jaws and learns a lesson that he should not be so prideful and easily fooled.
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