All posts tagged: Ben Stroud

Three Omens of Federico da Montefeltro



Urbino, 1472

Ottaviano held the staff high and steady as Scipio tugged at the bunches of leaves fixed to its top.

“He remains content?” Ottaviano asked the giraffe’s keeper.

“He does,” the keeper said. “Twice since sunrise he’s moved his bowels.”

Ottaviano watched Scipio chew. With his knobbly horns, his puzzled hide, and his great neck, he had clearly been made for a far different existence in his home beyond the Nile, a home for which even the library’s grandest atlas possessed only the most rudimentary of maps. And yet, snatched from that home, confined to his pen, the animal betrayed neither alarm nor sorrow.

Three Omens of Federico da Montefeltro