Chauntecler and other bits of useless April Fool's knowledge.

Reynard
I'll try and make this interesting.  Chauntecler is the hen...you know them now as a particular breed of them (chicken) and it is that hen or type that shows up in the Canterbury Tales with the story of the fox and the hen.  That story is part and parcel of a play "Le Roman de Renart" written by Pierre de Saint Cloud around 1175, which sets the typical barnyard setting. Reynard has been summoned to the court of king Noble, or Leo, the Lion, to answer charges brought against him by Isengrim the Wolf. Other anthropomorphic animals, including Bruin the Bear, Baldwin the Ass, Tibert (Tybalt) the Cat, all attempt one stratagem or another. The stories typically involve satire whose usual butts are the aristocracy and the clergy, making Reynard a peasant-hero character. The story of the preaching fox found in the Reynard literature was used in church art by the Catholic Church as propaganda against the Lollards (you don't know who they are so I'll tell you...Lollards were generally members of the church of the faithful..not necessarily bowing to the Pope which at the time was not so good for your life and health).

Anyway the point of the play was that all the animals did throughout was play jokes on one another, and their names are, quite telling and in use today.  Shakespeare obviously found them so and Tybault...well 'good name'.  So why bore you to death this morning?  Remember the setting in Canterbury Tales ("Nun's Priest's Tale" is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two)...well some people, fools mainly, thought that meant from the beginning of March go 30 days plus two .. March has 31 so it would be April 1) and the story is about Chautecler (clear speaking or clear recitation) and the Fox and the Fox trying to trick Chautecler into becoming a meal.

There you go. Armed with all this you can set forth into April Fool's Day so filled to the brim with tidbits of useless knowledge.  

Go forth and Prank.


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