Chapter 2 of François Rabelais's novel Pantagruel contains the following passage (quoted from the edition on Wikisource, emphasis added):
Car il ny avoit arbre sus terre quil eust ny feuille ny fleur, les herbes estoient sans verdeur, les rivieres taries, les fontaines à sec, les pauvres poissons delaissez de leurs propres elements vagans et cryans par la terre horriblement, les oyseaulx tumbans de lair par faulte de rosee, les loups, les regnars, cerfs, sangliers, daims, lievres, connils, bellettes, foynes, blereaux et aultres bestes l’on trouvoit par les champs mortes la gueule baye.
In the translation by Thomas Urquhart and Peter Antony Motteux, this passage reads as follows:
The grass was without verdure or greenness, the rivers were drained, the fountains dried up, the poor fishes, abandoned and forsaken by their proper element, wandering and crying upon the ground most horribly. The birds did fall down from the air for want of moisture and dew wherewith to refresh them. The wolves, foxes, harts, wild boars, fallow deer, hares, coneys, weasels, brocks, badgers, and other such beasts, were found dead in the fields with their mouths open.
Note that "wherewith to refresh them" is an addition by the translators. Does this translation correctly represent what Rabelais had in mind or is the description in Pantagruel based on a different kind of assumption? In other words, is the passage based on the assumption that birds refresh themselves with moisture from the air or that they need to moisture for something else?