From an early draft of his Canterbury tales, Chaucer removed an account of the pilgrims staying at Anne
Hoy’s1 inn, an establishment that served bad ale, but good cheese. The missing account explained how Anne
kept her high-quality cheese stacked on stools, the largest rounds underneath the smaller rounds, to stop
rats and mice from getting at them.
Occasionally the stool holding the cheese would need some maintenance (for example, the legs would
start to buckle under the weight), and Anne would shift the entire stack from one stool to another. Since
she could only move a single (hundred-pound plus) round of cheese at one time, and she refused to stack
a larger-diameter cheese round on a smaller one (the outer par