5: The Cook's Tale Summary and Analysis
The cook is mightily entertained by the story the Reeve told and wants to tell a funny story of his own. However, the Host reminds the Cook, who is named Hodge of Ware, that he owes the company a good tale since food he prepares so often makes travelers ill. Good-naturedly, the Cook begins his story.
Perkin the Reveler is apprenticed to a guild of food merchants. He is a wild and fun-loving youth, particularly fond of gambling and womanizing. Both vices require money which he lifts from his master's safe. One day, fed up, the master fires Perkin the Reveler. Perkin sends his personal belongings to the home of an equally devious friend . . . (Fragment concludes.)
Discussion and Analysis
The Cook's Tale was probably intended to be another fabliau (see Genre definitions), but its unfinished state precludes analysis. It is interesting to note that another rivalry, this time between the Cook and the Host, seems to be surfacing.