MS M.1044, fols. 26v–27r

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Gaston III Phœbus, Count of Foix

Livre de la chasse

Paris, France
ca. 1406–1407
381 x 290 mm

Bequest of Clara S. Peck, 1983

MS M. 1044
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The Badger
During the day the badger would sleep in his hole, which was connected to many underground passages. At night he would hunt vermin, field mice, and voles for food but loved cherries and apples when in season. Because of his short legs, excess body fat, and characteristic fetid odor, he was rarely tracked by hounds. On account of the animal's shortcomings, Phoebus did not regard it as fair game. The badger lived, he said, "more on sleep than anything else." Not particularly edible, the badger's skin was often used for shoe leather by peasants. Here twelve badgers are shown in the woods and on cliffs but not far from the entrances to their burrows.

Wild Cats
In order to be comprehensive, Phoebus discussed several kinds of cats, including the lynx, which he called a cat-leopard. Lynx were usually hunted by dogs that happened upon them as they were pursuing other game. The cats, because of their speed and ability to change directions quickly, provided an enjoyable challenge. When they took to the trees, however, they became easy targets for bowmen. Here a lynx has climbed partway a tree; another type of cat is already among its branches. To the right a gray cat has captured a field mouse, and four kittens can be seen peering out of a cave.


Image courtesy of Faksimile Verlag Luzern