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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, October 24, 2013

a clergyman's pet stag picks out the heretics

Two anecdotes among many colorful ones of a Cornish clergyman named Robert  Stephen Hawker, better known as the Vicar of Morwenstow.

One innocent guest was regaled . . . with the story of a preceding visitor who for his unlucky garb had been pinned to the earth by the Vicar's pet stag Robin. "This Evangelical," said Hawker, "had a tail-coat; he was dressed like an undertaker, sir. Once upon a time there was one like him travelling in Egypt, with a similar coat and a tall hat; and the Arabs pursued him, calling him the 'father of saucepans, with a slit-tail.'" The guest to whom the story was told wore a like garment, and found the situation somewhat embarrassing.
The tame stag, with its proper hatred of Evangelicals, was not the only odd pet that made favour in the Vicar's eyes. At one time he was attended everywhere by an intelligent black pig, and it is as like as not we shall meet him in his glebe surrounded by a dog and nine or ten cats. Both dog and cats are so indulged that they accompany him to church and circle about him while he performs the divine office.

 -- Paul Elmer More, "Shelburne Essays 4th series." The Vicar of Morwenstow, p. 13. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1911.  Doesn't this gentleman sound fascinating?  There's a fair amount about him on the web, including a whole website all about him.


Undine said...

I love that guy.

parlance said...

Pets in church. Yes!
I went to a sad funeral recently of a youngish woman who had died of Parkinson's disease, and I was astonished to see a friend's dog wandering the aisles. My friend goes everywhere with his dog and had spent hours every week taking the dead woman on photography excursions.
It was a lovely moment to see the dog there, and especially when the mourning family mentioned him in the eulogies.

curator said...

Hi Undine and Parlance!
Parlance, what a marvel to finally have a first hand report of a dog in church. My condolences on the sad event and my warmest sympathies to her family.