Home > Literature, Quotations > The Griffin and the Minor Canon

The Griffin and the Minor Canon

Today, I resumed my reading of Tales Before Tolkien. I started reading it several months ago and I always meant to quote a passage from a story by Frank R Stockton, ‘The Griffin and the Minor Canon’.

Basically, a griffin befriends a minor canon (a clergyman, not a gun) and takes up residence in his town. The griffin only eats at the equinoxes and the townsfolk are terrified that when the next equinox comes around the creature will devour them all. Because the griffin is so enamoured of the minor canon, the cowardly burghers expel the young man from the town in the hope that the griffin will follow him, but the gambit doesn’t work. As the equinox approaches the townspeople come up with another cunning plan:

A meeting of the citizens was called, and two old men were appointed to go and talk to the Griffin. They were instructed to offer to prepare a splendid dinner for him on equinox day, – one which would entirely satisfy his hunger. They would offer him the fattest mutton, the most tender beef, fish, and game of various sorts, and anything of the kind that he might fancy. If none of these suited, they were to mention that there was an orphan asylum in the next town.

Categories: Literature, Quotations
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