A Boledogge's Tale

A few days ago, NCT requested in a thread that someone write a Bulldog's Tale. I can never resist a challenge like that, so I pulled out my copy of Chaucer with the following results. I, of course, must issue a caveat that I am not a Middle English scholar and that some of this is tongue-in-cheek. My grasp of real Middle English is like Aaron Murray's grasp of the football or Bobo's grasp of a good gameplan: loose, but with the best of intentions. I also recommend that you watch Coach Bennett's Presser if you haven't already since some of the jokes in this tale refer to that masterpiece. Like a traveler in The Canterbury Tales, I wish to tell a story to entertain my fellow travelers on our journey to gameday and, ultimately, to the end of the season. The Middle English version is first, followed by an English translation that is...well, it's not entirely faithful to the original, but it is more balanced. With apologies to Geoffrey Chaucer:

The Boledogge's Tale


A boledogge whyt lurkinge he lay

And herde a cok hight Chauntecleer sey,

"A dreme han I wher I saugh a beste,

That eet me for a deyntee feste!

His nayles and teethe my body rente;

Into his mouth I complet wente!"

His wyf and lemman Pertelote

Cryden and yelleden within hire throte,

"Abayst am I of yow, hertelees!

I can nat love a coward, doutelees.

Ne do no fors of dremes, chat lyte;

I nede more dogges that kitte and byte."

The boledogge wenden jolif and mery,

Him fayne to doeth as hem leste.


The morwe speden agayne noon-tyde,

The boledogge sworen to spore cok's pryde.

Thurghout the hegges the boledogge brast,

Chaunticleer sterten and quooken, agaste.

"Wende,foul beste!" Chaunticleer seyde,

"Me mette of yow in a felle swevene."

‘Namore, gentil cok!" the boledogge chyden.

"Yow mette a day that shreden my pryde.

A proyninge cok did sette me cappe;

He braken from my sleighte trappe.

Hadde hent him y-raft, but weylaway!

I lost him to hold and love-dayes.

Countrefete cok's dede, pardee,

Ne make it nat yow miscarie."


Chaunticleer strecchen forth his throte

and axe, "What seye yow, Pertelote?"

"Me nede no meows, my crafty cok."

Seyne Pertelote, "we nede mor dogges."

The boledogge weren a visage benigne

Whan the cok neeren hardily with digne.

The daggere-tothed dogge henten the cok's brest;

toward the wode he ronne, yet none could him areste.

"Wel lenger than thee list, stout dogge, I preyden thee;

Shaltow certes and soothly unbounden me?"

The boledogge bitten tender flesh and fedde;

He freten chaunticleer, that bledde.

"That was somdel norissing, I trowe-

Yet thinketh me you were undergrowe."


The boledogge herden shoutes of rage,

He woot it was the vilein, Wagers.

Lef he for him but bibledde mary-bones,

For to pinche at the dogge was Wagers' wone.

As he ran ferre from the reportour,

Thought the boledogge philosophre,

"Yow can nat sey, "Penn Wagers,"

lestow sey, "Spew Anger."

The boledogge he leste for to reste,

Hertily lyken with day's bisinesse.

All was blisful and at pees

So he ran namo, to his gret ese.

He nas nat at alle in no way aferd

to wende his wey to Oxenford.

The Bulldog's Tale

A bulldog white and lurking lay

And heard a cock named Chanticleer say,

"A dream had I where I saw a beast,

that ate me for a delicious feast!

His nails and teeth my body rent;

into his mouth I completely went!"

His wife and lover Pertelote

cried and yelled within her throat,

 "Ashamed am I of you, faint heart!

I cannot love a coward, no doubt.

Pay no attention to dreams, little cat;

I need more dogs that cut and bite."

The bulldog went jolly and merrily,

eager to do as they wished, verily.


The morning sped on toward noontime;

the bulldog swore to spur cock's pride.

Through the hedges the bulldog burst;

Chanticleer started and quaked, aghast.

"Away, foul beast!" Chanticleer said.

"I dreamed of you and I wound up dead."

"No more, worthy cock!" the bulldog chided.

"You dreamed of a day that shredded my pride.

A preening cock made a fool of me;

from my cunning trap, he did break free.

I had him entrapped, but woe is me,

I lost him to possession and referees.

Imitate cock's deed, I swear

and you will have no reason to fear.


Chanticleer stretched forth his throat

and said, "What say you, Pertelote?"

"I don't need no meows, crafty cock."

Said Pertelote, "We need more dogs."

The bulldog wore a visage benign

As the cock neared boldly with courage fine.

The dagger-toothed dog seized the cock's breast;

For the woods he ran, yet none him could arrest.

If you so wish, strong dog, I beg you,

Shall you certainly let me go?

The bulldog bit tender flesh and fed;

He devoured Chanticleer, who bled.

"That was somewhat nourishing, think I-

Yet it seems to me you were undersized."


The bulldog heard shouts of rage,

So he knew it was the villain, Wagers.

 He left for him only marrowbones bloody,

Because to find fault with the dog was wagers' way.

As from the referee he ran further,

thought the bulldog philosopher,

"You cannot say, "Penn Wagers,"

Unless you say, "Spew Anger."

The bulldog greatly desired to rest,

Heartily pleased with the day's business.

All was blissful and at peace,

So he ran no more, to his great ease.

He was not at all afraid

To make his way to Oxford.

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