In Misericords: medieval life in English woodcarving by M. D. Anderson, King Penguin no. 72, 1954, here’s a hunter and tigers:
“According to the medieval naturalists, the only way in which tiger cubs could be captured was for the hunter to seize one in the absence of its parents and then gallop away. If the pursuing tigress threatened to overtake him, he should throw in her path one of the small mirrors he carried for this purpose, so that, mistaking her own image in the glass for the lost cub, she should stop to fondle it while he made good his escape. The moral of the tale was a warning against the frivolous toys of this world which halt a Christian in his pursuit of salvation.”
I like the way the mother tiger is presented here as noticing, but not quite getting, perspective: she sees that an image in the glass is smaller than she knows herself to be, but instead of being aware that objects seen in the mirror will appear at half their actual size, she thinks the reflection is her little cub.
The metaphor also uses comparison terms that are (on reflection) maybe not quite intended: the mirror equates to frivolity, which keeps the Xtian from salvation – this is understandable – but salvation is equated to: ripping out the throat of a hunter.
Here’s a tiger, from Brixton, South London, spinning… is it a mirror? Is it an Aleph (from the story of J.L. Borges), ‘one of the points in space that contain all other points’, which appears as ‘a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance’? No, it’s a football. And the motto, in Latin, means, ‘We scratch, we will have bitten.’
Prof Christopher Frayling, a fan of cinema and vampires, was given a knighthood in 2001 and chose this coat of arms:
The motto means: Go ahead, punk, make my day. Christopher Lee also received a knighthood, in 2009, but I can’t find a crest for him.
He does not care.