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[Tidbits] Fleshfork


I have this cauldron filled with boiling oil resting on a bed of
flaming embers in my back yard and I find a couple of sheep’s heads
or cow’s heads or maybe even horses’ heads and I toss them in…

Well… you do get the idea… yes?

So is cutlery jewelry? Debatable to some. Take a spoon… miniaturize
it… cast it in gold and hang it around your neck. Is it jewelry?
These things are around you know.

And if instead of a spoon it was a fork. And instead of
miniaturization it was large enough to dip into a steaming cauldron
filled with edible goodies… is it still jewelry? The answer to that
is this: I don’t give a flimsy farthing. To me it’s jewelry and
belief is in the mind of the believer and life is all about
perception and usually has very little to do with reality and you all
know what I mean… do you not?

In Irish literary texts fleshforks and cauldrons are often mentioned
as important elements of a family’s household goods. Here’s how one
of the story’s go. There were once five great banquet halls and in
each hall there were seven doors and seven roads led to the doors and
seven fireplaces resided in each hall upon which rested seven
cauldrons. Alas… there was no Snow White and no Grumpy and Dopey
and Sneezy or any of the other seven dwarfs.

Into each cauldron was placed an ox and a salted pig. Alas… no
horses. It was a time of plenty and a time of cruelty coupled with a
touch of malevolence. Ill will was often the order of the day. Many
were invited (this may be an extrapolation on my part) to dine… and
each guest was given his or her fleshfork (another extrapolation). At
this point the guests would meander into the grand banquet halls and
thrust their fleshforks --with great passion and skill–into the
roiling waters of the steaming cauldron… and whatever they snagged
at their first attempt they ate… and if they snagged nothing they
ate nothing and were not permitted a second chance.

I suspect this is where the ill will and malevolence came in …
because these fleshforks… while extraordinarily interesting and
attractive looking… with perhaps a slight flavor of being a device
meant more for a torture chamber than for skewering meat… had
little else but two small hooks at the end to grab that pound of
flesh so eagerly yearned for. Nothing like the three or four tined
instruments we use today. Nothing as convenient as a pair of barbed
tongs if such a thing even exists.

Ah… but that fleshfork… decorated with ravens and swans… that
was a thing of beauty. Don’t know the size of it. Don’t know what
it’s made of. But I do have an image of it. I know you all knew that.

So… ya wanna see? Go. Peek. And imagine yourself in a great banquet
hall approaching a hot cauldron filled with pigs and oxen…
fleshfork in one hand… platter in the other. You’re starving.
You’ve got one shot. Ready…

So. You want to see? Go look. You know where. And tell me this. Would
you wear this just for show and pleasure … or would it have to be
as an offering to someone with divine powers in exchange for a little
favor? Something in return? A little reward for your sacrifice? You
all do know how this works… do you not?

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits… click it… and you will see represented on
our pages an image of a Fleshfork made of unknown material.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark



You are one of the greatest story tellers! I enjoyed this very much.
Is this how the “all you can eat” buffet restaurants began?

Please keep writing.


So that is where the saying “a pound of flesh” comes from. Really
enjoy and look forward to your tidbits. blessings pat


Actually, a pound of flesh comes from Shakespeare’s “the Merchant of