The Reeve's Tale
by Tyler O'Brien
The Reeve's Tale
Standard of many homes at this time, the entire family slept in one room, on several different beds. Aleyn's bed is right next to the twenty-year-old daughter of Symkyn, Malyne, and in the middle of the night, slips into her bed and sleeps with her in order to punish the miller for stealing from the school. With a similar motive, John moves the cradle next to the bed of Symkyn's wife to his bed, so the wife would climb back into bed with John by mistake, and she did. After John sleeps with the miller's wife, the two rest until the morning. When dawn broke, Malyne informs Aleyn of the whereabouts of the corn her father had stolen, and he goes to retrieve it. Upon returning to the room, the shifted cradle throws Aleyn for a loop, and causes him to accidentally slip into bed with Symkyn, instead of John. Thinking he was speaking to John, Aleyn began disclosing how excited he was that he had slept with the miller's daughter, which enrages Symkyn, who punches Aleyn in the nose. In the midst of a full-fledged brawl, the action was halted when Symkyn's wife mistakenly hits him over the head with a pipe, thinking it was one of the clerks. The two boys then beat the miller senseless, then return to their university.
Who is the Reeve?
- Nunnery- a building or group of buildings in which nuns live as a religious community; a convent.
- Besmirched- damage the reputation of (someone or something) in the opinion of others.
- Solace- comfort or consolation in a time of distress or sadness.
- Bromeholm- piece of wood fashioned into a holy cross
- Beguiled- charm or enchant someone, usually in a deceitful manner