Fountains Abbey bestiary
Gift of Alastair Bradley Martin, 1958
Left Page (Fol. 3v)
Bonnacon: The legendary bonnacon, shown here as a curly-horned bull, was thought to defend itself from hunters with a blast of caustic feces.
Ape: At the top of the second column, a hunter pursues a female ape and her twin offspring. Under pressure, she will drop the infant she is cradling, while the less favored one—equated with sin—clings to her back.
Satyr: The bestiary classifies the satyr—shown here as a naked, bearded man with long, curled tail holding its club—as a type of ape.
Right Page (Fol. 4r)
Stag: The stag here may be leaping as described in the text, which also notes that its right horn is best for medicinal purposes.
Goats: A shepherd rests while one of his goats stands on hind legs to feed from a tree. Goats that graze in ever higher pastures were a metaphor for Christians who graze on the law of the Lord and rise from one virtue to another.