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RE: Medieval Bestiaries

     Greetings from Siobhan,
     Muireann ni Riordain writes
     > 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.
     There may not be an obvious religious alegorical reference here, but 
     religion plays a big part of the Barnacle goose!  The barancle goose 
     was not considered an animal of the land, but an animal of the sea.  
     This meant that on fast days when meat and fowl were not eaten the 
     barnacle goose could be because he was an animal of the sea not the 
     land.  Therefore the Barancle goose was one way to get around the 
     rules of fasting and eat fowl on a fast day.
     (who has decided that if one must eat fish so often, there ought to be