The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 357 

him down in a vineyard far away. Immediately the pheasant returned at a brisk pace to the father's cell.

The saint ordered it to be carried out again, and even further away, but with great stubbornness it returned to the door of the cell, and as if forcing its way, it entered under the tunics of the brothers who were in the doorway. And so the saint commanded that it should be lovingly cared for, caressing and stroking it with gentle words. A doctor who was very devoted to the holy one of God Mk 1:24 saw this, and asked the brothers to give it to him, not because he wanted to eat it, but wanting rather to care for it out of reverence for the saint. What else? The doctor took it home with him, but when separated from the saint it seemed hurt, and while away from his presence it absolutely refused to eat. The doctor was amazed, and at once carried the pheasant back to the saint, telling him in order all that happened. As soon as it was placed on the ground, and saw its father, it threw off its sadness and began to eat with joy.

Chapter CXXX

171 A cricket lived in a fig tree by the cell of the holy one of God Mk 1:24 at the Portiuncula, and it would sing frequently with its usual sweetness. Once the blessed father stretched out his hand to it and gently called it to him: "My Sister Cricket, come to me!" And the cricket, as if it had reason, immediately climbed onto his hand. He said to it: "Sing, my sister cricket, and with joyful song praise the Lord your Creator!" The cricket, obeying without delay, began to chirp, and did not stop singing until the man of God, 2 Kgs 4:9 mixing his own songs with its praise, told it to return to its usual place. There it remained constantly for eight days, as if tied to the spot. Whenever the saint would come down from the cell he would always touch it with his hands and command it to sing, and it was always eager to obey his commands. And the saint said to his companions: "Let us give permission to our sister cricket to leave, who has up to now made us so happy with her praises, so that our flesh may not boast vainly in any way." And as soon as it had received permission, the cricket went away and never appeared there again. On seeing all this, the brothers were quite amazed.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 357