23: The Manciple's Tale Summary and Analysis
The Cook had so much to drink that he has fallen asleep in the saddle. The Manciple derides and insults him for this, whereupon the Cook's drunken agitation causes him to fall off his horse. The Manciple doubles his insults. He then reconsiders his position, since he and the Cook are apparently professionally associated and the Cook could retaliate by revealing things the Manciple does not want known. He therefore suggests that they placate the Cook with more wine. This tactic works, and the Manciple then tells his tale.
When the ancient Phoebus lived on the earth, he was a wonderous man, greatly to be admired. He kept a pet crow which he taught to speak. This crow was snow white and sang...
(The entire section is 552 words.)