The Canterbury Tales

what amazing things does the boy do after he is left for dead?

After the man cuts his throat, he gets up and does something.

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The widow searched all night for her missing child, begging the Jews to tell her where her child might be found, but they refused to help her or give her any information. Jesus, however, gave her the idea to sing in the place where her son had been cast into the pit: and as she called out to him, the child, although his throat was slit, began to sing his Alma redemptoris.

The provost praised Christ and his mother, Mary, and had the Jews tied up. The child was taken up and carried, in a great and honorable procession to the nearest abbey, his corpse singing all the while. The local provost cursed the Jews, and ordered their death by hanging. Before the child was buried, holy water was sprinkled onto him, and he began to speak. The abbot of the abbey questioned him as to how he could sing, and the child answered that the Virgin Mary had placed a grain on his tongue that allowed him to speak. The abbot took this grain from his tongue, allowing him to die, and finally pass on to heaven. The child was buried in a marble tomb as a martyr, and the tale ends with a lament for the young child, but also for “Hugh of Lyncoln” (a real child martyr, allegedly slain by Jews in Chaucer’s day).