Is "The Nun's Priest's Tale" simply an amusing story which does not convey any serious reading of life?

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"The Nun's Priest's Tale" is an amusing story but also one that conveys a serious reading of life.

We can't help but be amused by Chanticleer, the strutting barnyard cock with seven wives and a colorful "coral" crest on the top of his head, filled with concern about...

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"The Nun's Priest's Tale" is an amusing story but also one that conveys a serious reading of life.

We can't help but be amused by Chanticleer, the strutting barnyard cock with seven wives and a colorful "coral" crest on the top of his head, filled with concern about his prophetic dream of doom. However, the fable does communicate a serious message. First, the frame story of the poor woman who owns the cock pictures a humble mode of living which contrasts sharply to the vanity of the rooster and the fox. The woman lives in a small cottage, eating coarse food and drinking no wine, but she keeps herself out of danger.

The rooster, on the other hand, gets himself it trouble because a fox is able to play on his vanity by flattering him about his beautiful voice. The fox persuades him to sing with his eyes closed and his neck stretched, at which point the fox snatches him up. However, the fox is able to turn the table on the trickster fox by similarly appealing to his vanity and urging him to turn and tell his pursuers they can't catch him. As soon as the fox opens his mouth to speak, the rooster escapes his jaw and flies into a tree.

The serious moral of this amusing animal fable is that falling for flattery is dangerous. Better to live humbly and safely than believe we are better than we are.

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