Beast

Jay


Latin name: Graculus
Other names: Choucas, Geai, Gragulo, Iaye, Jackdaw

A very noisy bird

General Attributes

The jay or jackdaw is a noisy bird. It lives in forests and flies from tree to tree, singing noisily. A captured jackdaw can be kept in a cage and can be taught to talk. If such a bird escapes back to the forest, it is even noisier than before.

Allegory/Moral

Jays represent gossips, those who take pleasure in repeating gossip and listening to slander. The escaped jay represents the man who leaves a monastic order, and turns his gift of speech to slander.

Sources

Aelianus [170-230 CE] (On the Characteristics of Animals, Book 6, chapter 19): Now the jay can imitate all other sounds but especially the human voice. - [Scholfield translation]

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:45): The jay or jackdaw (graculus) is not named, as some would have it, because it flies in a flock (gregatim), but because it is garrulous. It is a talkative bird with a rude sound.