A Fox Feigning Death To Capture A Bird, In A Bestiary
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
The text of this manuscript concerns the characteristics of different kinds of animals, plants and stones. It seems to have been made for a librarian of the Benedictine abbey at Rochester, and its artist also worked on a Psalter probably made for a London patron; he therefore probably moved around Southeast England. The illumination was left unfinished, however, so it may be that the librarian ran out of money, or that the artist was called away to another project.
The fox is so crafty that when it is hungry and cannot find anything to eat, it rolls in red earth so that it looks blood-stained, and holds its breath. Thinking that it is dead, birds fly down to perch on it, and the fox catches and eats them.