The Bat, The Bramble and the Cormorant

I was reminded of this fable this weekend. Not because of the moral of the story but because it would make a cool name for a pub and exactly what I’d name mine if I ever opened one. Hannah had taken me to two pubs in Oxford, one called The Lamb and Flag (we think it was – Hannah remembered where the place was but we never actually ckecked the name and we passed a different Lamb and Flag later so either Oxford has two, or we went to a pub with an entirely different name…) and The Eagle and Child. Now I think I’m right in saying that The Lamb and Flag probably has Navy origins what with associations to the royal navy flag and/or Lamb’s Navy Rum. I might be wholly wrong there. The Eagle and Child did have a display that babbled something about somebody’s coat of arms and a child that was raised by an eagle and underground tunnels (that are still there apparently). Unfortunately it wasn’t really very interesting and I had forgotten the story before I left the place (and not due to drinking as I was only on my second).

My pub would boast a display that recounted how a bat, a bramble and cormorant met and decided to go into business together. They agreed that each of them would bring something to the new venture in the way of capitol with the bat securing a large monetry loan, the bramble arranging to buy a large quantity of cloth on credit and the cormorant getting his claws on a large stocklpile of copper. The three needed to transport their wares abroad but whilst they were at sea fell victim to a violent storm that scuppered the ship. The three partners made it to land but the ship and all of their goods and monies were lost. To this day the bat never goes out after dark fearing he will run into his creditors, the bramble strives to catch the clothes of passers by hoping to recover some of his cloth and the cormorant flies over the sea looking for traces of the lost cargo of copper. The moral is something like, make sure you make careful investments, or choose your business partners carefully, lest you spent the rest of your life affected by your misadventures. I’m sure there’s more to the story than that but I couldn’t find anything further. This fable never seems to get the exposure of stories like The Hare and the Tortoise or the Fox and the Grapes but I will always love it because it has the coolest name. You might say to your mate, “Fancy a pint at the Bat, Bramble and Cormorant?” or “Got absolutely leathered in the Cormorant last night?”. Although having said that people would probably just shorten my pub’s name to “You and Dave goin’ down the BBC later?”. At least you won’t mistake it for another pub.