Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
When Noble, the great lion-king, holds court during the Feast of the Pentecost, all the animals tell the king of their grievances against Reynard the fox. The list of sins and crimes is almost as long as the list of animals present. First to complain is Isengrim the wolf, whose children have been made blind by the crafty fox. Panther tells how Reynard promised the hare that he would teach him his prayers, but when the hare stood in front of Reynard as he was instructed, Reynard grabbed him by the throat and tried to kill him. Reynard had approached Chanticleer the rooster disguised as a monk, saying that he would never eat flesh again, but when Chanticleer relaxed his vigilance over his flock and believed the villain, Reynard grabbed Chanticleer’s children and ate them.
So the complaints go on, with only Tibert the cat and Grimbard the brock (badger) speaking in Reynard’s defense. These two remind the king of the crimes committed by the complainers, but the king is stern: Reynard must be brought to court to answer for his sins. Bruin the bear is sent to bring the culprit in. Bruin is strong and brave, and he promises the king that he will not be fooled by Reynard’s knavery or flattering tongue.
When Bruin arrives at Reynard’s castle and delivers the king’s message, Reynard welcomes the bear and promises to accompany him back to court. In fact, Reynard says, he wishes they were already at court, for he has abstained from meat and...
(The entire section is 1266 words.)
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