When we are introduced to the characters, we find out that a knight is married to a woman, but his wife is in love with the knight who lives next door.
The text states, “At the window of her bedroom suite, the lady would stand, and oh! How sweet! Talking thence with her loving friend”. When no one was around, the two would meet each other at the windows and speak so that no one would suspect .
One night, the knight got a little agitated about how often his wife got up and asked her to tell him where she’d go. In the text it states, “Her lord and master got all het up; then asked her to represent why she got up and where she went”.
After the wife lies to her husband and tells him that she gets up at night because of the bird, the knight sends for the bird and attains it. He is excited to show his wife what he found and expects her to be happy because the noisy bird won’t keep her up anymore. To seal the deal, he snaps the birds neck.
The woman wraps the dead bird in precious gold and sends a servant to deliver the bird, as a farewell to her lover. The two are sad because they will no longer be able to sneak to the window at night and see each other anymore.
According to the text, “Then he sealed up his reliquary to ever after with him carry”. The sad knight, had the bird put in a beautiful box with a load of valueables. He carried this bird with him everywhere as a symbol of his love for the woman