© Michael Leete 2005

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Many border illustrations have been identified as Fables. However, as with the birds and the beasts, there seem to have been more misses than hits in relating the Fables to the main narrative. It is like some strange game of Trivial Pursuits in which historians can move around the board by showing off their knowledge of Æsop's Fables without making much impact on the interpretation of the story that the Tapestry relates.

Professor Léon Herrmann has identified forty-two possible Fables in the Tapestry, of which forty derive from Æsop1. They are listed below with a very brief version of each Fable2 to assist in its correct identification. The list has received wide-spread derision but the point seems to be that some pictures might have come from a book of illustrated Fables without specifically denoting the Fable of origin. In other words, it is wholly possible that the designer reproduced specific illustrations from a standard book for simple reasons of decoration without intending the Fable to be either recognised or understood.

1. The Crow and the Fox. (Panel 6) HIC HAROLD

A fox saw a crow sitting in a tree with a piece of cheese in its beak. The fox said what a pretty bird the crow was and thought it must have a lovely singing voice. The crow opened its beak to sing (ie caw) and dropped the cheese, which the fox ate.

Vanity is the mark of a fool.

2. The Wolf and the Lamb. (Panel 7) MARE

A wolf and a lamb were drinking at a hillside stream. The wolf complained that the lamb was making the water too muddy to drink although the lamb was downstream of him. When the lamb pointed this out the wolf said he had heard that the lamb was calling him names more than a year ago. "But that was before I was born!" The lamb retorted. The wolf flew into a rage and seized the lamb, tore it to pieces and ate it.

When you have made up your mind to quarrel it is easy to find an excuse.

3. The Bitch (or Wolf) and her Litter. (Panel 8) ET VELIS

A bitch borrowed another's lair to have her litter. When the other came to reclaim the lair the bitch begged for a little more time. Later, when asked again, she said, "If you are as strong as I am with my pack, I will let you have your place back."

4. The Wolf and the Crane. (Panel 9) VENTO

A wolf swallowed a bone which stuck in his throat. He offered a large reward to any animal that would get it out. A crane (or stork) picked out the bone with its long beak and asked for the reward. The wolf said it was lucky not to have had its head bitten off when in his mouth.

Some people are never grateful when someone does them a kindness.

5. The tyrant Lion. (Panel 10) VE(NIT)

When the lion was made the king of beasts, he resolved to treat his subjects equitably. But he soon became troubled because he could not change his nature and began to ask the animals, one by one, if his breath smelt. Whether the animal replied truthfully or not, the lion attacked and ate the animal. When the lion questioned a monkey, it replied that the lion's breath smelt of the cinnamon in blossom, as did that of the other gods. The lion was too ashamed to eat the monkey so he employed a trick and pretended to be ill. He persuaded the doctors that he did not know the taste of monkey-meat and he thought that it might make him better. The monkey was seized and fed to the lion.3

6. The Rat and the Frog. (Panel 11)

A Rat asked a frog for help in crossing a river. The frog tied itself with a cord to the rat's paw and they both began to swim across the stream. In the middle, the frog dived, dragging the rat under water. A kite later saw the swollen body of the rat floating in the water and swooped down to take it. The frog was still attached by the cord and so was also taken by the bird, which ate both the rat and the frog.

Those who do evil deeds come to bad ends.

7. The Wolf and the Kid. (Panel 12) HAROLD HIC

A goat prepared to leave her kid and go to the pasture. She told the kid that he must not open the gate to anybody because wild animals might enter and ravage the herd. Soon after a wolf came and imitating the goat's voice, asked to be let in as her udders were swollen for the kid. But the kid peered through a crack and saw the wolf and recognised it as an enemy that wanted to drink his blood! The kid told the wolf to go away and did not open the gate.

To listen to mother is always healthy and is the best thing that children can do.

8. The envious Fox. (Panel 13/14) APPREHENDIT VVIDO

A wolf stocked up his lair with prey so that he would be able to enjoy these delicacies for several months. When the fox learnt this, he approached the wolf and, in a soft and fluting voice, asked the wolf if he were well and said how sad he was that he had not seen the wolf running about the fields for many days. But the wolf told the fox that he knew it was not of solicitude that he came but of a desire to gain a profit for himself. He told him that he knew all about his deceit and traps and that he had set his heart on the wolf's supplies. The angry fox went to find the Master of the hunt, and said, "Will you remember me if, this self-same day, I deliver into your hands the enemy of your flocks in such a way that you will have no future worries for their safety." The shepherd replied that he would give the fox whatever he asked. Straight away, the fox showed him the wolf's hiding place. The shepherd impaled the wolf with his spear and satisfied the envious fox with all the wolf's possessions. Not long afterwards, the fox was chased by the hunt. He was seized by the pack and torn to pieces. As he expired, he thought that it was his own fault that he perished because he had so recently caused the death of another by trickery.

9. The Lion's share. (Panel 15) ET DUXIT EUM

A cow, a goat and a ewe went hunting with a lion and took a large stag. When it came to dividing the body of the stag into four parts, the lion claimed the first part, because he was the king of beasts. He claimed the second part because of his strength. He claimed the third because of his valour and said that great harm would come to anyone who touched the fourth part. So the lion ate all the prey.

Many share in the labour but not in the spoils.

10. The Lion and the Ass hunting. (Panel 16) ET IBI

A Lion wished to hunt with an ass. He hid the ass in a thicket and told him to terrify the other wild animals with his strange cry. The lion waited to catch them as they ran past. The ass brayed with all his might and the other animals were frightened by strange noise. In their fear, they ran towards the lion who overwhelmed them in a furious assault. When he tired of the carnage he called to the ass to be quiet. "What do you think of the help my voice gave you?" The lion replied, "Remarkable to the point which, had I not known your character and your kind, I would have run away myself with the same dread."

11. The Lion and the Horse. (Panel 21 top) PARABOLANT

A Lion saw a horse crossing a meadow. The lion approached the horse in a wily way and greeted him as a friend. The horse, suspected a trick and immediately pretended to be lame and held up his hoof as if he had a thorn in it. "Help me, brother. I am very glad to see you. I have trodden on a thorn; pluck it out for me." Slowly, to conceal his trickery, the lion approached the horse, which, turning rapidly, kicked the lion full in the face. When the lion recovered, the horse was nowhere to be seen. "It would have been better for me," thought the lion, "That I should remain as the enemy, the butcher of all flesh, rather than wish to be friendly towards this animal as if I were a doctor."

12. The Swallow and the Birds. (Panel 24) UBI NVNTII … VENERUNT

A FARMER was sowing his field with flax while a swallow and some other birds sat on the fence watching him.
"Beware of that man," said the swallow solemnly.
"Why should we be afraid of him?" Asked the other birds.
"That farmer is sowing linseed," replied the swallow. "It is most important that you pick up every seed that he drops. You will live to regret it if you don't."
But, of course, the silly birds paid no heed to the swallow's advice. So, with the coming of the spring rains, the flax grew up. And one day the flax was made into cord, and of that cord nets were made. And many of the birds that had despised the swallow's advice were caught in the nets made of the very flax that was grown from the seeds they had failed to pick up.
Unless the seed of evil is destroyed, it will grow up to destroy us.

13. The Horse (and the Boar)4. (Panel 26) NUNTII WILLELMI

A Horse was accustomed to quench his thirst at a ford, which, one day was muddied by a wild boar wallowing there. A dispute ensued and the horse, irritated by the boar, asked a man to help him. Putting the man on his back, they returned to his enemy at the ford and the man slew the boar. The man said that he was pleased to have helped the horse and to have taken the boar and learnt how useful a horse may be. And thus he forced the horse to submit to him. The horse said, "I have foolishly sought to avenge myself for a small offence and have found slavery for myself."

14. The Stag5 (at the Spring) (Panel 28) WILLELMUM DUCEM

A Stag seeing his reflection in the water, admired his graceful antlers and wished that his long, thin legs were so beautiful. Just then he heard the sound of hounds and a hunt. He sprang off on his long legs and soon outdistanced the hunt. He entered a wood to hide and his antlers became entangled in some branches, where he was held firmly until the hounds arrived and killed him. The antlers of which he had been so proud were the cause of his death while his despised legs were what could have saved him.

Often what we like best is not good for us and what we like least is valuable.

15. The Virgin and her Suitors. (Panel 30) HAROLDUS

A Virgin was courted by two young men, one poor and the other rich. The rich suitor won the advantage and on the day fixed for the wedding, the poor lover could not bear the sadness of the occasion, so he took refuge in a garden close to the magnificent edifice that moneybags had chosen for the virgin to leave her mother's arms, because his town house was deemed too small. The procession formed; a crowd gathered. But a little donkey, who habitually carried a little money to the poor suitor, was held at the doorway. By pure chance, her parents had hired this donkey to save their daughter from the fatigue of the journey, so that she would not bruise her delicate feet. Suddenly, thanks to the unhappiness of Venus, the sky was rent with wind. The heavenly sound of thunder from the thick clouds forecast a horrible night. Lightning blinded the eyes and at the same time, a violent hailstorm dispersed the crowd as everyone ran for shelter. The donkey reached its manger, which was close by, and announced itself with a loud braying. The slaves ran up and, seeing the lovely young girl, took her to their master. He, seated with a few friends, was drowning his love with strong drink. As soon as he heard what had happened, he was re-animated with joy and, exhorted by both Bacchus and Venus, consummated a gentle marriage among the applause of his friends, and Hymen held the conjugal torch for him. The parents sought their daughter with the Town Crier. The ex-newly-married was desolated to have lost his spouse but when the people knew what had happened, they all approved the favour of the gods.

16. The Jackdaw and the Peacock(s) (Panel 37/8 top)

A vain Jackdaw adorned himself with some peacock feathers and tried to join the peacocks. But they pecked at him and chased him off. When he went to rejoin the jackdaws, they would not have him either.

Fine feathers do not make fine birds.

17. The Axe6. (Panel 37/8)

A carpenter who had the blade of an axe went to the forest and asked the trees to let him have as much wood as would make a handle for the axe. The request seemed so trivial that the trees granted it. But as soon as the man had fixed the axe-blade to the shaft, he began to cut down the trees. An oak reflected that it served them right for providing the means of their own destruction.

Great evils have small beginnings.

18. The Wolf Doctor7. (Panel 39 top) UBI

A Sow was moaning because she was about to farrow. A wolf, hearing her, ran up to her and said he knew how to be a midwife and promised his help. But the sow, knowing of the deceit in his wicked heart, refused his help and said, "It will be enough if you simply go far from here." If she had trusted the treacherous wolf, she would have been most unhappy with the outcome.

19. The Delivery8 (Panel 39) ÆLFGYVA

As a woman came towards the end of her pregnancy and the hour of her delivery arrived, she threw herself on the ground and uttered moans of regret. He husband begged her to return to her bed where she could deliver her burden in the best conditions. "I could scarcely hope," she said, "That my sad affliction should end where it was originally conceived."

Never return voluntarily to a place where you were hurt.

20. The two Pigeons. (Panel 39 top) above CLERICUS

The note for this Fable is laconic indeed. The source is not Æsop but Horace (Épîtres, I, 10, vv.5-6). The french text is: Vieux pigeons bien connus. Toi tu gardes le nid. The explanation offered is that the two birds turn their backs on eachother to symbolise a painful split following their separation.

21. The Fox and the Eagle9. (Panel 40) EXERCITUS

The cubs of a Fox were taken one day by an Eagle who placed them in her nest for division among the eaglets. The fox followed the eagle and implored her not to inflict such a bereavement upon her but the eagle scorned her because her eyrie, high in a tree, gave her security. The fox went and seized a burning brand from a nearby altar and set fire about the tree though sad that her revenge would cause the loss of her cubs. But the eagle, to save her own young from mortal peril, begged the fox to desist and freed the cubs, safe and sound.

22. The well-known Snake.10 (Panel 44 top) ET HIC

In the humble house of a poor man, a snake formed the habit of visiting every day and sharing a few choice crumbs of food. When the man suddenly became rich, he was irritated by the snake and wounded it with an axe. Soon afterwards, he again became poor. Learning from his return to poverty, the man believed that the snake had been the cause of his enrichment and present misery. He begged the snake to forgive him as he had sinned in ignorance. The snake replied, "I will pardon you when you repent of your crime, but until my wound is healed and this painful affliction has gone, I do not think that I can fully trust you, because you are not back in favour with me as before in so far as I will forget the wickedness of your axe."

Whoever wounds others is rightly suspect and it is that, above all, that hinders a sinner from returning to favour.

23. The two Cocks (and the Sparrowhawk)11. (Panel 47 siege tower) CONAN & FUGA

A Gamecock, which often fought with another gamecock, asked for the protection of a sparrow-hawk, hoping that it would devour the other cock. One day, when they were fighting, the sparrow-hawk seized the one that had claimed his protection. "Release me," cried the cock. "You must take the other cock that has fled, not I." And the sparrow-hawk replied, "Do not think you may escape my talons today, because it is right that you should suffer the evil that you wished on another."

The wicked who plan the death of another forget that, by a just reversal, it could turn back on themselves.

24. The Dog and the Ewe. (Panel 49 Rennes) VERTIT & HIC

A quarrelsome Dog charged a Ewe for a loaf he pretended she had taken. He called a wolf as a witness and he deposed that not only did she owe for one loaf but he swore she owed for ten. Thanks to this false testimony, the ewe paid what she did not owe. A few days later, she saw the wolf lying in the bottom of a ditch. "There," she said, "Are the wages reserved by the gods for the deceiver."

25. The Dog and the Meat12. (Panel 62) REVERSUS & EST

A Dog, carrying a piece of meat in his mouth, crossed over a river and saw his reflection in the water. Thinking it was another dog carrying another piece of meat he went to seize it from him. But in his eagerness, he let fall his own meat, which was swept away by the river and the other was just a reflection.

26. The Gander (and the Stork). (Panel 62) EST & AD

A Stork came to her usual pond. She saw a Gander diving again and again into the water and asked him why he did it. The Gander told her it was because geese were in the habit of searching for food in the mud to avoid the savage assaults of the sparrowhawk. The stork told him that she was stronger than the sparrowhawk and if he became friends with her, he would be secure against all attacks. Believing this, the gander asked for the protection of his new patron and he became the companion of the Stork. Soon afterwards, they saw a sparrowhawk flying towards them. The hawk seized the gander and carried him off while the stork did no more than utter vain pleas.

Whoever ties themselves to so tearful a patron, and trusts him, must suffer an atrocious fate.

27. The Fox and the Meadowlark13. (Panel 63) ANGICUM TERRAM ET

A Meadowlark suddenly met a wicked fox and took to the air with a rapid beat of her wings. "Good day." Said the fox. "Why do you fly away from me as if I do not have abundant food in this meadow. Crickets, beetles and grasshoppers in plenty. You have no reason to be afraid of me, who loves you for your calm morals and upright life." The meadowlark replied, "Truly, you praise marvellously, but I am not your equal in the fields: as you are not mine in the air. I give you Good Day."

28. The Bird-catcher14. (Panel 76) Distiques de Caton HIC NAVIS ANGLICA

Beware of the approval of people who use flattery: the soft piping of the bird-catcher is what catches the bird.

29. The old Dog. (Panel 97) TRANSIVIT ET VENIT

A Hound that had worked well in the hunt for many years became old and feeble. One day, hunting a hairy wild boar, the hound seized it by the ear but his old, broken teeth could not hold the boar, which escaped. The hunter began to beat he hound. But the old 'barker' said, "Do not strike your old servant. I would gladly serve you still but I have not the strength. If I am not much use now, remember how useful I have been."

Do not despise the old for being feeble. Remember the good work they have done.

30. The Lion and the Fox. (Panel 103) DE NAVIBUS … FESTINAV (ERUNT)

A Lion pretended to be on the point of death and the animals were called to hear his Will and Testament. A goat, a sheep and a calf went in. The lion seemed to recover and came to the mouth of his cave and saw a fox waiting there. "Why have you not come in to pay your last respects to me?" Asked the lion.

"I would like to," said the fox, "But I see many tracks have entered your cave and none come out."

The house of the strong is difficult to leave.

31. The Widow and the Soldier15. (Panel 123 top) ET VENERUNT

A woman lost her dear husband of many years and placed his body in a casket; because she could not in any way be separated from him so she spent her life crying in the sepulchre and was renowned as a chaste widow. At about this time, some robbers of Jupiter's sanctuary were crucified for their crime against the god. So that nobody could steal their remains, soldiers were set on guard near the bodies, not far from the widow's monument. One time, one of these guards, being thirsty as he went to sleep because he had watched and done sentry-duty for a long time until an advanced hour, asked a little slave to fetch him water, in the middle of the night. By chance, the little slave also assisted his mistress. The soldier looked through the leaves of the half-open door. He saw a languishing woman but with a good expression. His troubled soul lit-up immediately. His skilful ingenuity found a 1000 pretexts to be able to see the widow more often. Taken with their habit of daily meetings, she became, little by little, more indulgent towards the stranger. Soon a stricter tie enchained his soul and, little by little, he desired her with growing impudence. Although he passed his nights in diligent guard-duty a body disappeared from a cross. The dissolute soldier told the woman of this but the chaste spouse said, "You have nothing to fear." She freed the recumbent corpse of her husband so that it could be fixed to the cross, for fear that the other should not suffer a beating for his negligence. So the disgraced was replaced by the glorious …

32. The young Man and the Courtesan. (Panel 124 top) AD PRELIUM

A perfidious courtesan flattered a young man, but he tired of her many injustices and no longer acceded to her every whim. She, in jealousy, said, "Although all the others compete for me with presents, it is, all the same, to you that I attach the greatest prize." The young man, remembering all her deceptions, said "I am pleased with your speech, my love, not because it is worthy of trust but because it is agreeable to me."

33. The Ass and the Wolf. (Panel 125/6) AD PRELIUM .. CONTRA HAROLDUM.

A sick Ass was felt by a wolf, who asked which parts of his body made him ill. "Those that you feel." The Ass replied.

Even when a wicked person pretends to be useful, he is harmful.

34. The Hare and the Sparrow (Panel 126) HAROLDUM REGEM

A Hare was seized by an eagle and her bitter tears were taunted by a sparrow. "Where is your well-known speed now? Why are your paws not speeding away?" Mocked the sparrow, but as it spoke, a sparrowhawk swooped suddenly and took the sparrow and killed it in spite of the sparrow's pleas. The dying hare said, "You mocked my plight, believing in your own security but now you bewail your own death with complaints similar to my own."

35. The Ass (and the old Man). (Panel 129) EXERCITUM

A timid old man took his little donkey to graze in the meadow. Suddenly fearful of the cries of his enemies, he told the donkey to flee to avoid capture. But the donkey said, lazily, "Tell me, please, do you happen to believe that the victor will give me a double packsaddle?" The old man thought not. "Then what does it matter to me who I serve if I only carry my panniers!"

36. The Weasel (and the man). (Panel 130)

A Weasel captured by a man hoped to avoid his imminent death. "I beg you, grant me mercy because I rid your house of the rats that bother you."

The man replied. "If you were doing that for me, I would have liked it and would have pardoned you as a supplicant, but as, in fact, you do not take the trouble to hunt them, the rats gnaw and eat to their hearts' content. Do not expect me to reward a non-existent kindness." Then, having spoken thus, he put the dishonest animal to death.

People with private interests serve only themselves and give an imaginary service to the inexperienced.

37. The Cat, the Wild Sow and the Eagle16. (Panel 135) SUIS

High among the branches of an old oak tree an eagle was rearing her young. A cat and her kittens dwelt in a hole in the middle of the trunk and a woodland sow with her little pigs, lived in a hollow among the roots. The cat climbed up to the eagle and told her that the sow was digging away the roots of the tree so that it would fall down and she could get at the eaglets and kittens. Then the cat visited the sow and told her that she had heard the eagle promise her young a nice, fat little piglet as soon as she could get one. After that, the cat only went out at night for food and the eagle and the sow, thinking the cat was constantly on watch, stayed on watch at home too and their young all starved and became prey for the cat.

Beware of mischief-makers.

38. The Wolf and the Dog. (Panel 138) VIRILITER

A well nourished Dog happened to meet a Wolf consumed with thin-ness. After the usual courtesies, the wolf said, "Where have you been to get so fat and what regime has given you such plumpness?" The dog replied that people give him bread spontaneously; his master gives him bones from his own table; slaves throw me left-overs and all the stew that they have refused; so, without any work, my belly fills itself. "And I, who am more valorous, am dying of hunger!" The dog replied that the wolf could enjoy the same conditions if he could render the same service to his master. "What?" said the wolf, "Guard the threshold and protect the house, even at night, against thieves! Truly, I am ready. Just now I suffer snow and showers, dragging out in the woods a harsh existence. How much easier for me to live under a roof and fill myself up, in idleness, with abundant flesh. Come then, with me!" As they progressed, the wolf saw the dog's neck was chaffed by his chain. "My friend, what is this?" The dog said that it was nothing. "Please tell me in any case."

"Because they fasten me up and I sleep during the day when it is bright and become watchful when night comes. In the twilight, I am released and I may roam wherever I wish. I have complete freedom."

"Enjoy whatever suits you, Master Dog, I would not wish even royalty at the price of my liberty."

39. The Two Mules (and the Robbers). (Panel 139 top) ET SAPIENTER

Two loaded mules were on the road. One carried the baskets of the tax money, and had a bright little round bell ringing on his neck. The other carried sacks bursting with barley. The one loaded with riches lead the other and arched his neck with pride; his companion followed calmly and peacefully. Suddenly some brigands sprang out of an ambush; they pillaged the money but left the barley as valueless. In the carnage, they wounded the first mule with their fire. So, despoiled, he cried for his bad luck.

"Truly," said his companion, "I am delighted to have been disdained; because I have neither lost anything nor am I hurt by wounds."

A modest condition procures safety for a man; great riches expose him to peril.

40. The Panther. (Panel 140) SAPIENTER AD

A panther carelessly fell into a ditch. The peasants saw her. Some set on her with sticks; others overcame her with stones. But some, through pity for the unlucky one who seemed destined to die even if left alone, threw bread so that she could keep on breathing. On these doings, night fell. They returned to their homes certain that, the next morning, that would find the beast dead. But as soon as the panther had recovered some of its wasted strength, it leapt from the ditch with one bound and, with hurried steps, hastened to its den. Several days later in a rage, it tore the throats out of the cattle, killing the shepherds themselves, and devastated all with furious attacks. Then, fearing for themselves, those who had saved the wild animal resigned themselves to their losses and begged only to have their lives spared. But the panther said, "I have forgotten neither those who wounded me with stones nor those who gave me bread. Banish your fear! I only return as an enemy against those who did me harm."

Those who people scorn usually feel the same about them.

41. The Fox and the Billy Goat. (Panel 140/141 top) PRELIUM

A Fox fell into a well and could not climb out. A billy goat passed by and asked the fox if the water was good. The fox told him that the water was so good that his pleasure in it could not be satisfied. The goat jumped into the well to drink the water and the fox, helped by the goat's horns, was able to climb out, leaving the goat to fend for himself.

Beware of the advice of people you do not know.

42. The Cat and the Chickens. (Panel 140) PRELIUM

A Cat pretended he was celebrating his birthday and invited all the chickens to dinner; then, closing the door, he killed them all.

1 Les Fables Antiques de la Broderie de Bayeux (1964 Bruxelles), Léon Herrmann: J'en ai identifié quarante-deux dont quarante dérivent des fables contenues dans les quatre livres ésopiens de Phèdre, tandis que la quarante-et-unième vient de ses Distiques de Caton et la dernière d'une épitre d'Horace. Some identifications are optimistic, to say the least. See also Phèdre et ses Fables (1950 Leyde), Léon Herrmann.

2 The synopsis of each Fable is not always a loose translation of Professor Herrmann's text. Several are taken from other sources even though the different versions, and even the animals concerned, sometimes vary considerably.

3 The Tapestry version substitutes a little person for the monkey!

4 Graphically this would seem to be a form bear baiting and might indicate that Guy de Ponthieu would be following a dangerous policy if he chose to thwart duke William. Professor Herrtmann explains his selection by saying that the man, armed as if a horseman, has dismounted and that a bear is easier to depict than a wild boar. He offers no explanation for the fact that the beast is tethered and muzzled.

5 Journal of Medieval History, vol 13, (1987) pp 15-73: Animals in Medieval Art: the Bayeux Tapestry as an example, W Brundsdon Yapp: Identifies the dark coloured prey of the hounds as a unicorn a beast that could only be caught by baiting a trap with a virgin!.

6 Some commentators have called the implement an adze. Properly speaking, an adze has the blade fixed at right angles to the haft. The illustrated implement also appears twice among the ship-builders. (Panel 83, 84) The picture is commonly interpreted as a man trimming a board but it might also represent the man sharpening his axe, although why he should take off all his clothes to perform either task remains a mystery.

7 Les Fables Antiques de la Broderie de Bayeux (1964 Bruxelles), Léon Herrmann: Sauf erreur, un belier (a ram) remplace la truie (the ewe) en gésine, dont le loup veut être la sage-femme. Graphically, the artist may equally have drawn a ewe and not lost the point of the story.

8 Les Fables Antiques de la Broderie de Bayeux (1964 Bruxelles), Léon Herrmann: l'artiste a représenté un homme accouchant.

9 This fable appears, visually, to be the same as number 1, The Crow and the Fox.

10 The opinion that this picture represents Abbot Ranulphe is more convincing.

11 It is remotely possible that the two gamecocks beneath the seige tower and the two birds beneath Bayeux (Panel 57) are indicative of early heraldic badges as in the case of Eustace of Boulogne and his family.

12 This fable, joined with the fable that follows, are visually very similar to Fable 4, The Wolf and the Crane.

13 This fable appears, visually, to be the same as number 1, The Crow and the Fox.

14 The interpretation is based on a couplet from Cato (Phèdres, Distiques de Caton, I, 27). In the context of the main story, the little man is more probably a watcher by the sea shore shading his eyes against the glare than some kind of fowler, softly blowing his pipes.

15 Professor Herrtmann was something of a specialist in La Matronne d'éphèse. However, that the illustration portrays a Roman soldier bringing a purse and a long-handled axe (almost a symbol of an Anglo-Saxon) is not convincing.

16 This fable appears, visually, to be the same as number 3, The Bitch and her Litter.