Eased myself back into Middle English this week by reading Robert Mannyng of Brunne's Handlyng Synne. This is a fourteenth century religious manual that contains stories which could be used for sermons on different sins. Found a wonderful story in the section on envy:
There once was a pair of hermits, but one of the hermits left to become an abbot. The hermit that remained was so lonely that he prayed to God to give him some company. God send the hermit a bear that both kept him company, and also herded his sheep without eating them. News of this tame bear spread far and wide, eventually reaching the abbey where the hermit's old companion was. Though he was happy his friend had found company, his monks were jealous. So they decided to kill the bear, not realising the bear was sent as a gift from God. As a result all the monks involved in the death of the bear were smitten instantly with leprosy of the most extreme form.
I know I may find few people who agree with me but I find this story really sweet!