Fountains Abbey bestiary
Gift of Alastair Bradley Martin, 1958
Left Page (Fol. 8v)
Mole: The pupil-less eyes of this mole draw attention to the creature’s blindness, emphasized in the bestiary description.
Hedgehog: A hedgehog crouches between two vines, perhaps looking to salvage grapes that the bestiary tells us they speared on their quills and transported home to their young.
Ants: A line of ants marches forward in unison, an example of cooperation and diligence.
Ox: This ox’s neck, tightly roped with muscle, reveals its time behind the plow as a beast of burden. The text alludes to more monstrous variations of the familiar animal, from the massive wild oxen of Germany, to the single-horned, horse-hooved oxen of India.
Right Page (Fol. 9r)
Camel: This drawing shows a camel at rest from the extraordinary feats of endurance such as traveling for days without water, bearing heavy burdens, and taking part in battles.
Dromedary: Although the text makes a point of distinguishing dromedaries from camels (e.g. by size, and by number of humps, speed), the two beasts on this folio look quite similar.