Beastiary

Bestiary is verse or prose in which characteristics are assigned to real or imaginary animals to teach moral or religious beliefs. It is always allegoricaland often mystical. It is the descendant of the Physiologus and a stylized variation of the Bestiary is the Alphabestiary.

The stories usually come from fables in ancient mythology. Aesop’s Fables are a prime example. Here is just one:

The Fox and the Goat
By an unlucky chance a Fox fell into a deep well from which he could not get out. A Goat passed shortly afterwards, and asked the Fox what he was doing down there. “Oh, have you not heard?” said the Fox; “there is going to be a great drought, so I jumped down here in order to be sure to have water by me. Why don’t you come down too?”

The Goat thought well of this advice, and jumped down into the well. But the Fox immediately jumped on her back, and by putting his foot on her long horns managed to jump up to the edge of the well. “Good-bye, friend,” said the Fox.
Remember next time… Never trust the advise of a man in difficulty.
And I just can’t resist including this:
How the Camel Got His Hump by Rudyard Kipling

The Camel’s hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven’t enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump–
Cameelious hump–
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head,
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our bath and our boots and our toys;

And there ought to be a corner for me
(And I know’ there is one for you)
When we get the hump–
Cameelious hump–
The hump that is black and blue!

The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig till you gently perspire;

And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
And the Djinn of the Garden too,
Have lifted the hump–
The horrible hump–
The hump that is black and blue!

I get it as well as you-oo-oo–
If I haven’t enough to do-oo-oo!
We all get hump–
Cameelious hump–
Kiddies and grown-ups too!

• The Physiologus is said to be the predecessor of the Bestiary although I am hard pressed to find much distinction between the two. The Physiologus dates back to the 2nd century AD Greece and is attributed to an unknown author. It is a didactic allegory for the resurrection and incarnation of Christ.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1247
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

I see no need to create one of my own, being no set form to illustrate.

Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *