The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 356 

friendship. At nighttime with its calling and noise, it anticipated the hour when the saint would usually rise for the divine praises. The holy one of God Lk 4:34 was very grateful for this because the falcon's great concern for him shook him out of any sleeping-in. But when the saint was burdened more than usual by some illness, the falcon would spare him, and would not announce such early vigils. As if instructed by God, it would ring the bell of its voice with a light touch about dawn.

It is no wonder that other creatures revere
the greatest lover of the Creator.a


169 Once a little cell was made on a certain mountain. In it the servant of God did penance rigorously for a period of forty days. After that span of time was over he left that place, and the cell remained in its lonely location without anyone taking his place. The small clay cup from which the saint used to drink was left there. Now, some people one time went to that place out of reverence for the saint, and they found that cup full of bees. With wonderful skill they had constructed the little cells of their honeycomb in the cup itself, certainly symbolizing the sweetness of the contemplation which the holy one of God Mk 1:24 drank in at that place.

Chapter CXXIX

170 A nobleman from the area of Siena sent a pheasant to blessed Francis while he was sick. He received it gladly, not with the desire to eat it, but because it was his custom to rejoice in such creatures out of love for their Creator. He said to the pheasant: "Praised be our Creator, Brother Pheasant!" And to the brothers he said: "Let's make a test now to see if Brother Pheasant wants to remain with us, or if he'd rather return to his usual places, which are more fit for him." At the saint's command a brother carried the pheasant away and put




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 356