Ailred was fourth. They say as a babe he reared up like a lily in his tub and spoke the Pater Noster through nor would take of his mother’s teat for the forty days and night of Lent save Sabbaths. He grew to a sheaf of bones made fast round the middle with a monk’s rope.
The pictish king of Galloway was the devil fleshed. He had the gold eyes of a toad and a forked beard. On cold nights he’d slit a slave’s belly open like a sack so he could dabble his feet in the warm bowels. He tied together the limbs of women in labor for sport and drank blood. Ailred went to him. Throned on a rock, the king was picking his teeth with the bone of a weasel when Ailred knelt and watered his shins with tears. They say a light went forth from Ailred then that blinded the king’s gold eyes, and a creature was seen passing forth out of the king hung all over with bottles of the blood he’d drunk, and the king swore holy faith from that day on and took him the name of Ailred for his own. Thus with no loss of seed or purity, my friend got him a son that day upon the rock, and Jesu a forkbeard, pictish knight though blind as a bat from that day on.
From page 5 of Godric, by Frederick Buechner. Open this book at random and you will find a miraculous piece of writing wherever your eyes land.