THE MANCIPLE’S TALE
There was once a great warrior called, Phoebus, who was also a skilled musician and loved his wife
more than himself. However, he had one fault and that was extreme jealousy. He possessed a white-feathered crow that was a great mimic and could repeat words he had only heard once.
His wife had a secret lover and she carelessly made love to him in the
presence of the crow. When Phoebus returned to the house the crow told him what he had heard and seen.
Phoebus killed his wife and then plucked the crow so it was bald. The
white feathers never appeared again as they were replaced by black ones.
Before throwing the crow out, he removed the crow’s ability to sing and speak.
The Manciple ends his tale by telling people they should restrain their tongues.
The moral of the tale is that repeating a scandal is a dangerous occupation.
There remains one of the company to tell a story and that is the Parson.
He tells the party that he is no rhyme master and he knows of no story that would entertain or amuse. However, he does have a sermon, which would be more appropriate if they were on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.