TreeSquare: the tree that never grew

Glasgow city crest on St Mungo Museum of Religion

Becky’s Square Challenge for July is TreeSquare. Although it’s a daily challenge, I shall only drop in occasionally, and am starting off with a little bit of Glasgow history (no surprise there). My square also fits with Jude’s monthly Life in Colour challenge, which for July is blue.

Glasgow’s City Crest, a representation of which is shown above, is based on the miracles of St Mungo, our patron saint and founder. They are:

  • the bird that never flew
  • the tree that never grew
  • the bell that never rang
  • the fish that never swam

What is the the tree that never grew? As a boy in the monastery, Mungo was left in charge of the holy fire in the refectory. He fell asleep and some of the other boys, who were envious of him, put out the fire. When he woke and found what had happened, Mungo broke off some frozen branches from a hazel tree and caused them to burst into flames by praying over them.

Do you believe it? It’s certainly a nice story!


  1. I’m hoping the boy Mungo wasn’t as saintly as it appears on the surface and that he put a really bad curse on his classmates. Who knows? The fish story reminds of the Othello and Desdemona’s lost handkerchief? Plagiarism? Not Mungo, surely.


  2. Not a very ‘green’ thing to do nowadays. He should have looked for fallen wood on the ground rather than damage a live tree, frozen branches or not. Sounds a feeble excuse to me. ‘The branches that never grew.’ :o)


  3. I’m afraid I’m rather sceptical when it comes to tales like this though they do make good stories. Mungo’s classmates don’t sound like very nice kids so I’d like to think the robin story is true 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you like it, Jude. Here’s the rest. I wonder at the morality of his classmates!

      The Bird: Mungo restored life to a robin, that had been killed by some of his classmates.

      The Bell: the bell is thought to have been brought by Mungo from Rome. (Not really any miracle here!)

      The Fish: Queen Languoreth of Strathclyde was suspected of infidelity by her husband. King Riderch demanded to see her ring, which he claimed she had given to her lover. In reality the King had thrown it into the River Clyde. Faced with execution she appealed for help to Mungo, who ordered a messenger to catch a fish in the river. On opening the fish, the ring was miraculously found inside, which allowed the Queen to clear her name.

      Liked by 1 person

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