The Red Book Of Animal Stories - online children's book

Stories of Animals, Fantastic and Mundane, Edited By Andrew Lang

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were at one time quite common, if we may believe a Scotch historian. Like their land brothers, they had a shaven spot on their heads, and wore robes and cowls ; but instead of trying to help those who needed it, in one way or another, as land monks were supposed to do, they ate up everybody that came within reach. After this it is a comfort to think that a pair of shoes made from the skin of the sea-monk would last fifteen years!
Having once invented sea-monks, it was easy to go on and invent a sea-bishop, and pictures of him may still be seen in early books of travels with a crozier in his hand and a mitre on his head, and splendid vestments over his shoulders. He must have been a beautiful prize to catch, but he was very rare, and did not flourish out of the wrater. One was sent to the King of Poland as a present, but he pined away, and at length, finding himself in the presence of some bishops dressed like himself, he implored them by signs to release him from captivity. Overcome with pity for their brother in distress, they prevailed on the King to grant him his freedom, and when he heard the joyful news the sea-bishop at once made the sign of the Cross by way of thanks. The bishops escorted their brother solemnly to the sea-coast, and as he plunged beneath the waves he turned and raised two fingers, in the true form of episcopal blessing, and has never been seen on earth again, as far as we know !
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