Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monkeyless Cathedrals

"There's a monkey holding an orange," she said. "It's supposed to represent the Kingdom of Animals. At least, that's what I'm told."

Back and forth and around and around I searched the windows, paintings, carvings and statues of St Barbara in Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic. Others in my group searched with equal diligence. There was no monkey. Biblical scenes, saints, sinners and martyrs aplenty, but no monkey. I was disappointed.

Stepping inside the Salisbury Cathedral a neat little woman in a green sash honed in on me with a smile. "Would you like a leaflet? It's a little map with a suggested route. In-" her smile faltered. "English? Or...something...else?"

I smiled. "English will be fine."

"The monkey, if you can spot it," reads the pamphlet, "resides high up in the South Quire Aisle, poised to hurl a nut at those entering the Vestry."

Up and down the South Quire Aisle marched I, neck painfully bent and eyes straining to make out the gloomy arches above. Biblical scenes, saints, sinners, martyrs and tombs aplenty, but no monkey. I was disappointed.

There are no bears in America.

There are no monkeys in cathedrals.

1 comment:

  1. Huh, you didn't look very hard...