Wyld Kingdom: beavers

There is an animal called the beaver, which is extremely gentle; its testicles are highly suitable for medicine. Physiologus says of it that, when it knows that a hunter is pursuing it, it bites off its testicles and throws them in the hunter’s face and, taking flight, escapes.

A Hunter Blowing His Horn and a Beaver

But if, once again, another hunter is in pursuit, the beaver rears up and displays its sexual organs. When the hunter sees that it lacks testicles, he leaves it alone.

Thus every man who heeds God’s commandment and wishes to live chastely should cut off all his vices and shameless acts, and cast them from him into the face of the devil. Then the devil, seeing that the man has nothing belonging to him, retires in disorder.

Strange yet True.

A Hunter Blowing His Horn and a Beaver, about 1270, Franco-Flemish
Digital images courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program
Text on this page from translation of Aberdeen Bestiary, copyright 1995, Aberdeen University

~ this page pub. 28 November 2013 ~
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