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Re[2]: Medieval Bestiaries

Muireann writes:
>However, I find it curious that there are also many animals that 
>are not described as having any particular religious aspects. The 
>barnacle goose (which was mentioned in the original post as a goose 
>that was sometimes born from a barnacle) was actually thought to be 
>an animal that grew in pods on driftwood and overhanging trees. In 
>all my research I never did find any religious references to this 
>animal-- but I did find a manuscript whose author claimed to have 
>seen a barnacle goose with his own eyes! It's still really hard to 
>explain why many fantastical animals were included in bestiaries 
>but without religious aspects.
     I have always understood that the 'barnacle goose' was a way of 
     getting around the endless fish of Lent (and similar restricted days): 
     because it is sprung from barnacles it must be a sea creature and 
     therefore you can eat it on fish days.... So there is a religious 
     aspect to it, just not a symbolic one.
     (whose brain is too full of useless trivia, rather than acquired