Listen to the Swallow

Many times now have I extolled to thee my story and its’ message. I have learned intimately through the trial of Death and of Judgment that one must pay heed to their deeds in life. As has been told, no quality nor kin would follow me beyond the mortal realm. Only my Good Deeds, frail as they were, were willing to follow me to Our Lord’s judgment, and ’twas only they that allowed me entry to the Kingdom of Heaven.

I see this sentiment echoed in the fable of the Swallow and her foolish fellow fowls. Long did the Swallow warn against impunity and heedlessness to the dangers of the future. Foolishly, her kin ignored such claims, and heavily did they pay for it. The same can be said of my life. In life, I spent my days concerned with Goods and with Kin, reveling in my successes and my companions. These things were comforts in life, but they weighed down my soul and distracted me from compassion and faith. Look to the moral of the Swallow’s tale, and it is said that the Swallow is a stand in for “holy priests,” whose words should be heeded so as to instruct thee in a righteous life and allow thee entry to Heaven. I did not give thought to these men and their wisdom, and ’twas a difficulty for me. When Death came, I was like the foolish fowl, ensnared in a net that Death laid before me, woven of my own disregard.

Esope’s moral is like my own. Wise words there are in the world, and the men of the cloth will heartily share them with any ear inclined to listen. Do so, lest ye be tempted to a life waylaid by material goods and earthly distractions. Make not my mistake, all ye listeners, and avoid thou the fate of the foolish fowls.

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5 thoughts on “Listen to the Swallow

  1. Everyman,
    Your words are wise and true. I could not agree more that deeds on earth so follow you into Heaven, and that they are thus more significant than any duty here on Earth. Kindness unto others and acts of selflessness will reward you greatly in your life now and in the afterlife later. I can tell you for certain that good deeds in this life are a virtue, this can be told from my own account as well, through my tale of devotion.
    In regards to this tale, good deeds play an interesting part in this story. On part of the swallow, a good deed is attempted here through warning – or trying to warn – her fellow kin. Therefore, I can see how one might view the swallow as a symbol of holy priests. The Holy priests in a church are meant to guide one’s soul in the right direction. The swallow is trying to do this as well. The Holy priests are there to tell their followers that God is here to protect them from the doings of sin and hell. The bible is also a warning of avoiding sin and an indicator that Righteousness is the key to heaven. In this tale and in many of Aesop’s other tales, these key values can be found. You should read them at your leisure!

    Yours truly,
    Lanval

  2. To God be the glory for your triumphant turn around. I thank God for you, dear Everyman, and your quickening of the Spirit that allowed you to see your faults and turn from your wicked ways. The strength and power of our Almighty God has stripped you of everything to teach you an important lesson on good deeds and virtue. For if He had not shown you your arrogance and ill-will, you would still be lost and short of God’s glory. But mercy and grace are on the right hand of our Lord Jesus Christ who has graciously given you a second chance. When I think of how God’s love reaches even the most sinful, my eyes begin to water and my hands quiver. I am overwhelmingly glad for all the mercies I have seen and the visions from the Holy Spirit that has led me to all spiritual truth and I believe He has done the same for you with this fable.

    I must go now and cease from all this talking for many men have accused me of being a preacher and a heretic. I am neither but instead a woman who is in love with her Lord and seeks to please Him in every way possible.

    God bless you, dear Everyman, and let the peace of of Lord be with you always.

  3. Oh lo! I am a foolish fowl! If death were to spring upon me this instant, my actions towards Sir Gawain would send me straight to hell. I feel as if I am just a foolish fowl as you felt. I have not realized how bad my sin to insist Gawain seduces me is and can only hope to change the course of my fate while I still can. I am not so sure anyone would follow me to the mortal realm if I were put into your shoes, for I have committed a terrible sin in not only potentially dishonoring my own Lord, but insisting on sex with someone who isn’t even my husband is terrible.

    You have really opened my eyes to think of my life right now. I will change it before it’s too late.

  4. Everyman, I believe you have the best explanation to this fable. Thee really understand the preaching of the Swallow tale. It is all about the church and the holy persists. I feel it is about staying on the path of faith and steering away from sin. The Swallow is always watching and studying the Fowler so he does not get capture. He is a very wise animal and knows how to live in the Lord’s kingdom. His words mean more to the people as yours have. Thou did not think of the Fowler was symbol of death. I felt it was more of a symbol of sin and the devil. Always trying to capture the Swallow. If thy swallow was capture, what then? He would have been corrupted by the Fowler (sin) and forced into a horrid life instead of Heaven. Now thou has given good advice. Thy Swallow has helped open the eyes of many. Too bad thy could not have saved thee Lord from being sacrificed on the rood as many of the sinners watched. It was almost like he was the Swallow and the non-believers were the Fowler. They created a trap, caught him and now he is up in God’s Heaven. I wish thy could have thy child back and not have the image of him on the rood, however, thy knows he’s in a better place as I know the Swallow is now. Thee should always avoid foolish fowls and keep straight on the path to God’s Heaven; which is the right path for all good Christians.

  5. Everyman, how you inspire me. One day, when I am laying on my deathbed, I shall find a way to incorporate your story and your teaching into my own telling of my life. Something you said stood out to me especially. When you said “the men of the cloth will heartily share them with any ear inclined to listen,” I had to catch myself for the truth in this statement was so overwhelming. The fathers of the church, priests and preachers, messengers from God here on Earth, truly are beacons of light and knowledge. I was just chiding my wife for not revealing her secrets to one of these special men and for claiming to have knowledge in the way that they do and that God sends her messages. Everyman, if only my wife could understand in the way that you do that men of cloth are the only people on Earth connected to Him. Hopefully one day, with the combined efforts of you and I, she will learn.

    -John Kempe

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