Book of Saints and Friendly Beasts - Abbie F. Brown
Everyone has heard the Story of St. Francis of Assisi, but there were many other saints who tamed wild beasts, had special relationships with certain animals, and treated all living creatures with kindness. This book tells many of these lesser known stories of saints and their beasts, such as St. Bridget and the wolf and St. Cuthbert and his birds.
St. Bridget and the King's wolf.
In the old legends there may be things which some folk nowadays find it hard to believe. But surely the theme of each is true. It is not hard to see how gentle bodies who had no other friends should make comrades of the little folk in fur and fins and feathers. For, as St. Francis knew so well, all the creatures are our little brothers, ready to meet halfway those who will but try to understand. And this is a truth which every one to-day, even tho' he be no Saint, is waking up to learn. The happenings are set down quite as they read in the old books. Veritable histories, like those of St. Francis and St. Cuthbert, ask no addition of color to make them real. But sometimes, when a mere line of legend remained to hint of some dear Saint's relation with his friendly Beast, the story has been filled out in the way that seemed most likely to be true. For so alone could the old tale be made alive again. So all one's best is dressing old words new.