January 11, 2022

#08-177: Chanticleer

An illustration of Aesop's version of the tale

Note: This popular story was retold in "The Nun's Priest's Tale," one of The Canterbury Tales by the great English poet Geoffrey Chaucer.

Get Ready: What might happen if one is too proud of one's accomplishments?

A fine rooster named Chanticleer lived with his wives in a henyard near some woods. He was beautiful, with shiny gold feathers, a black bill, and a bright red comb. And the big "Cock-a-doodle-doo-oo!" with which he greeted the sun each day was even more beautiful than his appearance.

Of all his seven hens, the one he loved best was Dame Partlet, a wise and pretty bird. They made quite a lovely pair.

One night Chanticleer dreamed of "a dog that was not a dog," with red fur and a pointy snout--and it carried him away! He awoke squawking, but Partlet reminded him of how brave and strong he was, and he went back to sleep.

In the morning, after his usual "Cock-a-doodle-doo-oo!" he strutted about the henyard like a great king. At noon he was chasing a butterfly and, hopping over the fence into the cabbage patch, he saw the very beast of his dreams!

"Greetings," said the fox. "Don't be afraid! I only came to hear you sing. I knew your father. He was a great singer too! The way he would tip back his head and close his eyes, and sing out 'Cock-a-doodle-doo-oo!' Oh, how I miss him!"

Well, as you may have gathered, Chanticleer was a proud bird, and, hearing the fox's words, he could not resist trying to sing better than his father. He stood up on his tiptoes, beat his wings, tilted back his head, closed his eyes, and--

The fox sprang up and seized him, and began to drag him toward the woods!

The hens began to cluck loudly, and the people and dogs of the house came running--but too late! The fox was near the woods.

Then Chanticleer began to think. He, too, could be clever. So he said: "Sir Fox, don't let those fools chasing us think you're afraid! Why not tell them they haven't a chance?"

"Good idea," said the fox. "I'll just say--"

But as soon as the fox opened his mouth, Chanticleer was free! He flew up into a treetop, and nothing the fox said could get him to come down again. With the people and dogs drawing nearer, the fox had no choice but to flee into the woods. And Chanticleer flew back to live out his life with sweet Dame Partlet and the others in the henyard.


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nun%27s_Priest%27s_Tale

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. beast
  2. cluck
  3. comb
  4. Dame
  5. hens
  6. rooster
  7. seized
  8. snout
  9. squawking
  10. strutted

  1. the noise a hen makes
  2. a male chicken
  3. the skin on top of a rooster's head
  4. an animal, usually a wild one
  5. female chickens
  6. the long nose of a dog or other animal
  7. a title for a noblewoman
  8. grabbed; took hold of
  9. making a frightened noise
  10. walked proudly

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for January 11, 2022

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. d; 2. a; 3. c; 4. g; 5. e; 6. b; 7. h; 8. f; 9. i; 10. j