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Anselm's Eagle

Length: 42 pages37 minutes


An ancient document presented at an "Antiques Roadshow" session purports to describe the journey of a party of monks from Lindisfarne led by Anselm, fleeing with the relics of St. Cuthbert from possible Viking attacks in the early Middle Ages, setting up a decoy casket at Ripon and, guided by a sea eagle, taking what they believe to be the genuine relics not to their supposed destination in Durham but for greater safety to a small settlement further inland in northern England. Even more improbably, according to legend the eagle returns many years later and dies at about the same time as Anselm himself. However, some time after the appearance of the document, a farmer in the now substantial village turns up what appears to be the dual burial of Anselm together with the eagle, not only arousing archaeological interest but inspiring the chairman of the hitherto ineffective local Tourism Committee with the idea of an exhibition that does attract visitors and enables him at last to escape gracefully from his reluctantly-held position.

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