The Canterbury Tales

The plot test of the Nuns Priests Tale

What is the resolution of the Nun's Priests tale?

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The poor widow and her two daughters, hearing the cry of the chickens, ran after the fox toward the crove, and many other men and animals ran after them. Chaunticleer managed to speak to the fox, and encouraged him to turn to his pursuers and curse them, telling him that he was going to eat the cock. The fox agreed – but as he opened his mouth to agree, the cock broke from his mouth suddenly and flew high up into a tree. The fox tried to persuade him down, saying that he had been misinterpreted, and that Chaunticleer should fly down in order that he might “seye sooth” (tell the truth) about what he had meant, but Chaunticleer knew better this time. The fox finally cursed all those who “jangleth whan he sholde holde his pees” (chatters when he should hold his peace).

The narrator then addresses everyone who thinks the tale is mere foolery, asking them to take the moral of the tale, rather than the tale itself: taking the fruit, and letting the chaff remain. Thus ends the Nun’s Priest’s Tale.