Beast

Sources : Stork

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 41): Storks use the herb marjoram as a drug when they are sick. (Book 10, 31-32): No one knows where storks go or where they come from during migration; they depart and arrive only at night. When they are preparing to leave they all gather at a fixed place and depart together as if the appropriate date was fixed in advance. Some say storks have no tongue. They are highly valued in some places for their ability to kill snakes. Storks return to the same nest each year, and care for their parents in their old age.

Aelianus [170-230 CE] (On the Characteristics of Animals, Book 1, chapter 37): Storks have a very clever device for warding off the bats that would damage their eggs: one touch from the bats turns them to wind-eggs and makes them infertile. Accordingly, this is the remedy they use to prevent this happening. They lay the leaves of a plane-tree upon their nests, and directly the bats come near the storks, they are benumbed and become incapable of doing harm. - [Scholfield translation]

Gaius Julius Solinus [3rd century CE] (De mirabilibus mundi / Polyhistor, Chapter 40.25): There is a place in Asia in the open plains called Pythonos Come, where all the storks fly at the time of their first arrival. They tear the one who gets there last to pieces. These birds, they say, have no tongues, and the rattling sound they make is produced by their mouths rather than by their voices. [26] Storks possess extraordinary pietas: the same length of time as they spend educating their young, they themselves are in turn nourished by their own chicks. They cherish their nests so immoderately, that they lose their feathers from the constant sitting. [27] It is regarded an impious act in all places to harm storks, but in Thessaly most of all. Here there is an abundance of frightful serpents, which the storks pursue and eat, thus removing much evil from the Thessalian region. - [Arwen Apps translation, 2011]

Saint Ambrose [4th century CE] (Hexameron, Book 5, chapter 16.53): It is related that storks proceed in orderly array in the direction in which they propose to advance and that in many places in the East they form ranks together as if they were soldiers marching under the command of an officer. You could well believe that you were witnessing an army going forward with banners displayed such is the pageant of military precision which they show. They are under the leadership and direction of crows who accompany them, providing a stout escort and auxiliary force against any attacking army of birds. They undertake at their own risk campaigns that are planned by others. A proof of this is deduced from the fact that these crows are not found to stay any length of .time in these regions. - [Savage translation, 1961]

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:16-17): Storks (ciconiae) are named after the noise they make [canere, "sing"], which is not from their voice but from the rattling of their beaks. Storks are the heralds of spring, the enemies of snakes and the companions of society. They fly in line across seas to Asia, preceded by two crows who they follow like an army. They take extraordinary care of their young, even to the extent of loosing their feathers through constant brooding; but later their young feed them for as long as they spent raising their children.

Gerald of Wales [c. 1146 – c. 1223] (Topographia Hibernica, chapter 14): It is remarkable in storks that they desert places where the waters are warm, and frequent those where they are cold. For throughout the winter they harbour about the beds of streams, but in the first opening of spring change the temperature, betaking themselves to a free current of air. So the saints, who now sleep in the dust of the earth, during the wintry season of this world, which now is, when it is renovated and changed into a better state, enjoying for ever a serene atmosphere, will rise from their hiding-places at the first sound of the archangel's voice - [Forester translation, 1863, chapter 14]