The Squirrel

This text copyright ©1999 Professor Helen Nicholson



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From Nouveau Recueil Complet des Fabliaux, ed. Willem Noomen, vol. 6 (Assen/Maastricht, 1991), pp. 35–49. Translated Helen Nicholson, 1999. Translation copyright Helen Nicholson, 1999.

Survives in two manuscripts. Date unknown: twelfth or thirteenth century? Apparently written in the Ile de la France.


The text

I want to tell you about a lady who was the wife of a rich bourgeois. I've been told that she came from Rouen. I've also been told that they had a pretty daughter, a beautiful creature, for Nature had put all her efforts into her, and had made her a very attractive young lady. Her father and mother loved her, and cherished her as much as they could, more than their other children. The girl was fourteen years old.

Her mother gave her strict instructions. 'Daughter, don't be foolish or be a manhunter; don't be too ready to speak, because it can look bad for a woman when she is heard saying what she shouldn't. For this reason a woman must prevent herself from saying foolish things, because very often the outcome is disastrous. Above all, you must be careful never to name that thing which men carry which hangs down.'

She, who was getting annoyed at having had to listen for so long and could not keep quiet any longer, replied: 'Mother, tell me what it's called.'

'Quiet, daughter, I daren't say.'

'Is it the thing, my lady, which hangs down between my lord's legs?'

'Be quiet, daughter, no woman - unless she is a bad sort - should ever name that piece of tackle which hangs down between men's legs.'

'Why shouldn't I call it "piece of tackle"? Is it something you fish with?'

'Shut up, daughter, you're being silly! It's not called "a piece of tackle". We women should never name it directly or indirectly, that diabolic dangler!'

'What is it then, mother? Is it a tiddler or a cod which plunges and swims in our fish pond and in my father's pool?'

'No, daughter!' said the mother.

'Good mother, tell me! I am very sorry that I don't know. By the faith you owe me, tell me, even though it's forbidden!'

'Good daughter, it's the willy; I did not intend to say the word at all!'

When the girl heard it, she smiled and was delighted: 'Willy,' she said, 'thank God, the willy! I say, "willy", no matter who cares! Willy, wretch! Willy says my father, willy says my sister, willy says my brother, willy says our chambermaid; and willy here and willy there, and willy says everyone as they like! Even you, mother, say willy. And I, poor wretch, what have I done that I'm not allowed to say it? I will certainly name the willy! I give myself permission to say it! God give me willy, if I fail!'

When her mother heard that all her efforts had been in vain and that whatever she said to her daughter wasn't worth a crumb, she went off weeping. And at that moment, who should come along but a young man named Robin. He was big and fat and well rounded, because he was a prior's nephew, and he lived off bumloaves every day. From a hidden place where he was standing he had heard what the good woman had said to the maiden, and all that the young woman had said in reply, and he was very pleased and happy with what he had heard.

That big fat layabout held his willy beneath his clothes, and worked it up and down, so that it was large and stood erect.

'God save you, my fair friend!' he said.

'Robin, God bless you! Tell me, as God help you, what you are holding, what it's called.'

'My dear, it's a squirrel.'

'Robin,' she said, 'I would like to have it here to play with me, to frolic in my room and be up here with me, and feed itself as much as it liked.'

Robin said, 'Put your hand here, and hold it firmly, gently so that you don't hurt it, and if you like, stroke it.'

The girl held out her hand; and he took it at once and put his willy in her grasp. It certainly enjoyed that sort of treatment!

'Robin,' she said, 'it's very hot.'

'That's true, my lady, as God help me, it hasn't been well since yesterday evening.'

'By God's members, are you telling the truth, Robin?' she cried. 'It's all cocky! Ah, no,' she said, 'poor thing, poor little thing, i's shaking and shuddering.'

She felt the balls. 'Robin,' she said, 'what's this here?'

'My lady,' he said, 'that's its nest.'

'That's true,' she said, 'I can feel an egg, or two, I think; or there are more than nine!'

'No, there aren't.'

'Why not?'

'Sweet friend, there can not be more than two together in any month of the year.'

'Robin,' she said, 'it seems to me that it is a very good sort of creature. Does it produce anything that's good for you?'

'Yes, it does: it makes wounds better, and knows how to cure women, and cures slow pissing.'

'Then I value it all the more,' she said. 'Robin! What does it eat?'

'In God's name, my lady, nuts,' he said.

'Nuts?' she said, 'oh, what bad luck! I was so silly last night - I ate a whole fistfull! I wish I had them now, and then it could eat them this morning.'

'Don't worry,' Robin said. 'He will find them very well - don't worry about a thing!'


'Faith - in your stomach!'

'I don't know how he can get in.'

'Don't worry, trust me; he will find a way!'

'How? He will never get in.'

'Through your cunt.'

'Put him in, then! God help me, I'm delighted about that!'

At that, Robin embraced her, and threw her down, lifted up her violet dress, her underskirt and her underwear, and placed his squirrel in her cunt.

The youth was not ignorant; he began to move his hips, and to strike and to push, so that he would not fail in anything. Meanwhile she, who was enjoying it a great deal, said, 'Now, sir squirrel, God help you, shove yourself in! Find the nice nuts! Now, gentle beast, search for them; eat the nice nuts! Go in there, search more deeply, until you get to where the nuts are. God save my head, you are a sweet and gentle beast! I have never seen such a squirrel, or heard of such a good one, because he doesn't bite people, nor hurt me at all. Now, keep looking, fair dear friend! I certainly want you to find them!'

While the maid was saying this, and he was looking for the nuts, and not hanging back at all, he had shoved and pushed so much that - I don't know what happened, but I think Nature does it like this - the squirrel became unhappy, and its eyes began to weep, and it began to spit and vomit, and then it went soft.

'Stop!' she said, 'don't push! I can feel something pouring out! Don't do anything, Robin, don't push! You've pushed and shoved and banged so hard that you've broken one of the eggs. I'm very upset - it's a shame! It's your fault for getting carried away!'

Then Robin got up, as he had no more to do. She expected that the squirrel would want to come into her cunt again. 'That's all right, my dear friend!' she said to it. 'You may look for nuts in there; you will never be prevented in future from looking up and down in there.'

'That's all he wants', Robin said.

That's the end of this tale.

This text copyright ©1999 Prof. Helen Nicholson

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