(p.287) Appendix The Grimm Brothers’ Adaptation of Giambattista Basile’s The Tale of Tales
(p.287) Appendix The Grimm Brothers’ Adaptation of Giambattista Basile’s The Tale of Tales
A king has an only daughter who, to his distress, has never laughed. Nothing can arouse her. Finally, he has a fountain erected in front of the palace, with oil cascading from it. An old woman comes by and a boy breaks her jug. She curses and the boy pays her back in her own coin. She becomes so enraged that she grabs her skirt and lifts the curtain from her artwork.2 That makes serious Zoza laugh, but the angry witch turns to her and curses her.3 Zoza will have no husband unless she is taken by a king’s son who is now bewitched and is lying as if dead in a coffin outside his city and will not be awakened until a woman weeps into a jug hanging from a hook next to his grave until she fills it with her tears. Whoever fulfills this condition he will take as his wife. Zoza sets out on her journey and arrives at the house of a fairy, who at her departure gives her a nut to open only in a dire emergency, and sends her to another fairy. This one gives her a chestnut, and a third gives her a hazelnut under the same condition. Zoza finally reaches the grave. She weeps into the jug for two days, and it is almost full of her tears when she falls asleep, exhausted. A black slave woman comes by, picks up the jug, and fills it up with tears. At once, the king’s son awakes from his deathlike sleep, takes the black woman to his palace, and marries her. Zoza wakes up and sees what has happened. She goes to the city and rents a house across from the king’s son. He notices her but the black bat keeps flying around him and threatens him, unless he moves from the window.4 Now Zoza cracks open the nut. A little doll comes out. She puts it by the window and it sings most sweetly. The black woman demands it and (p.288) receives it. Zoza cracks open the chestnut. A mother hen comes out with twelve golden chicks. The black woman takes those too. Finally, Zoza cracks open the hazelnut. Out comes a doll spinning gold. The black woman must have this marvel as well. However, it makes her want to hear fairy tales. Ten young women are selected and Zoza is among them.5 Every day, each of them must tell a fairy tale and this entertainment lasts five days.6
I. 1 The Ogre7
Antonio is simpleminded; his mother boxes his ears,8 and he runs away from home. He reaches a mountain where an ogre is living in a cave, and starts to work for the ogre. After a couple of years he yearns to go home; the ogre gives him a donkey as farewell gift, telling him he mustn’t say “Bricklebrit!” to it.9 Antonio has walked less than a hundred steps when he says to his animal, “Bricklebrit!” upon which the donkey immediately discharges pearls and precious stones from its rear end. Full of joy, Antonio arrives at an inn and says to the landlord: “Take the ass to the stable but don’t say “Bricklebrit!” The wily landlord says it anyway, and when he sees the result, he switches the wonder donkey with a common one. Antonio returns home with this donkey and shouts to his mother: “We are rich, rich!” She spreads some rags on the ground, and he says “Bricklebrit!” but to no avail. The donkey does nothing but soil the rags. The mother thrashes Antonio, who runs back to the ogre. Though ugly, the ogre has a kind heart; he reproaches the boy for his imprudence but gives him a dishcloth to which he must say: “Open, my little dishcloth, and close!” but not before he gets home.10 Not far from the cave, however, Antonio tries it out and the little dishcloth is covered with the most precious things. He takes it with him into the inn and is cheated once again. He hurries to the ogre for the third time and works for him for three more years, but then he is overwhelmed with homesickness. The ogre gives him a fine-looking club, telling him he mustn’t say to it, “Up, little club! Down, little club!”11 Along the way, however, he says, “Up, little club!” Immediately the club raises itself up and thrashes him, and doesn’t stop until he says, “Down, little club!” He goes to the landlord, asks him to keep the club for him and forbids him to say, “Up, little club!” But the landlord disregards the prohibition; the little club attacks him and beats him so mercilessly that he calls Antonio for help. The boy first demands the donkey and the tablecloth back and when he has both of them, he orders, “Down, little club!” Then he joyfully goes home.
A man and wife are going through life without children. The wife prays: “Oh God, if I could only give life to something in this world, even just a blueberry bush!” After nine months, she gives birth to a blueberry bush, plants it with great care in a nicely decorated pot and sets it at the window. On his way to the hunt, the king’s son notices it and asks to buy it. She refuses for a while but finally consents. She asks him to treat the bush with care. He takes it to his chamber and looks after it and waters it himself. One night, when all the lights are out and all have just fallen asleep, a young girl gets into his bed, and leaves early in the morning.13 She returns for seven nights; on the eighth night he ties one of her braids to his arm so that she can’t get away, asks for light, and sees the greatest beauty in the world. He promises her that she will become his wife. Soon afterward he has to go hunt a wild boar that is ravaging the land. He tells her that he must leave her for three days. She asks him to tie a silk thread holding a little bell to the top of the bush. She tells him that if he pulls the thread and rings the bell, she will come. The king’s son calls his servant: “Open your ears and listen: while I am away, make this bed as if I were sleeping in it and water this plant, whose fruits have been counted; if one is missing, that will cost you your head.” Then he rides off. There were seven harlots with whom the prince had previously done business; they couldn’t understand why he had grown so cold.14 They paid a mason to make an underground passage for them to the prince’s chamber. But all they found there was the beautiful blueberry bush. Each of them plucked a berry, except for the youngest one, who took the whole top of the plant, from which the bell hung.15 As soon as it was touched, it began to ring. The fairy thought the prince had done this, and appeared. “So it is you who are diverting the water from our mill,” shout the harlots, “you deserve a good welcome.” They attack her and tear her apart.16 Each of them takes a piece; only the youngest doesn’t want to, although the others try to persuade her, and all she takes is a lock of the fairy’s golden hair. Then they leave. When the servant arrives to make the bed and water the bush, he discovers the dreadful thing that has happened. He picks up what is left of her flesh and bones, wipes the blood off the floor, and piles everything into the pot. The king’s son returns from hunting and pulls the thread, but his beloved doesn’t appear. He opens the window and sees that the top of the bush has been destroyed. His wailing could move a stone to compassion. He won’t eat or drink. Finally the fairy reappears, having revived from the remains left in the pot, and tells him everything.17 The marriage is celebrated festively. The seven harlots are also invited. Pointing (p.290) to his beautiful bride, the prince asks what someone who had hurt her would deserve. They answer: that person should be thrown alive into the private latrine. The sentence is carried out; only the youngest one is pardoned and is married to the servant.
I. 3 Pervonto18
Pervonto, a terrible dawdler, is sent by his mother to chop some wood. On the way he finds three young ladies who have made a bed out of grass and a pillow out of flint and are asleep under the heat of the sun.19 Out of pity, he takes his hatchet, chops some shrubs, and makes a lovely bower around them. In the meantime, they wake up and are pleased by his courtesy. Since they are the daughters of a fairy, they decree that everything will happen as he wishes. Pervonto then goes into the wood and chops a bundle of wood, and since it’s a burden to carry, he cries out: “I wish this bundle could take me home like a horse!” Immediately the bundle of wood begins to carry him like a horse. Vastolla, the king’s daughter, looks out of her window, sees that amazing ride, and begins to laugh; because of her sad disposition she had never before laughed in her life. Pervonto looks up and says: “Vastolla, may you become pregnant by this horse!” He spurs the bundle of wood and, had his mother not unlocked the door right away, he was racing so fast that he would have been knocked dead.20 Vastolla gains weight and becomes pregnant; the king gathers his counselors, and they counsel him to await the outcome. She gives birth to two baby boys as beautiful as golden apples. When they turn seven, the counselors suggest to the king that he throw a big party and invite all the noblemen in his kingdom so that the boys can perhaps identify their father. The king does as suggested, but nothing comes of it. To a second party, commoners and merchants are invited, but again with no results. To a third party, all the humble and the poor are called. Pervonto goes as well and as soon as he shows up, the two boys run to him and hug him. As soon as the king sees this, he is outraged and tears his beard out and orders that Pervonto and his daughter and the children be cast out to sea. Some young ladies, out of pity, give them a small cask of raisins and dry figs in the little boat just drifts along wherever the wind blows.21 Vastolla weeps and complains: “Tell me, cruel man, how did you cast a spell on me and lead me to such misfortune?” He answers: “Give me figs and raisins, and I will serve you” (“si vuoie che te lo dico, tu damme passe e fico”).22 She gives him a handful of both. After eating them, he tells her everything that happened to him. She takes heart and says: “Oh my companion, but (p.291) must we spend our lives in this miserable boat? Wish us a beautiful ship and make sure that it takes us to a port.” He answers: “Give me figs and raisins, and I will serve you.” He then transforms the boat into a marvelous ship provided with a crew and everything else. Now she says: “Dearest, transform this ship into a marvelous castle.” He repeats his phrase and does as she wishes. Afterwards, she asks to become a queen and asks him to acquire a handsome figure instead of his hideous one. Everything happens and they live content together. The old king gets lost while hunting and arrives there, and the two boys call him grandfather, grandfather! He is magnificently entertained and reconciles with Pervonto and Vastolla.
I. 4 Vardiello23
An intelligent woman had a son by the name of Vardiello, who was the dumbest simpleton in the land, but she thought him the most wonderful young man in the world.24 She had a hen that was sitting on eggs, and when one day she had to leave she said: “Sweetheart, keep an eye on the hen so that she doesn’t get out of the nest, otherwise the eggs will get cold and we will get no chicken.” “I will take care of it; I do have ears and I’ve heard everything.” She leaves, and the dumb simpleton nags the hen so long that it dies.25 He thinks: “You must make up for the loss, the eggs shouldn’t get cold, you must sit on them.”26 As soon as he sits on them, he crushes the whole batch. He feels like banging his head against the wall, but after a while his stomach is grumbling, and he decides to eat the hen. He plucks it and sticks it on a spit, lights a good fire, and roasts it. To have everything ready in time, he decides to tap some wine. When he turns the peg and the wine flows, he hears a loud noise. He checks what is going on upstairs and sees that the cat has snatched the hen off the spit. He runs after it to get the prey but forgets to turn the peg back and all the wine flows out.27 His mother must not see that, so he takes a sack crammed with flour and sprinkles it around. But he gets scared and doesn’t want to fall into his mother’s hands alive. He decides to eat the preserved nuts, which his mother had told him were poisonous, fills up his stomach with them, and crawls into the oven. His mother comes back, doesn’t see her young son, and calls out; finally he answers timidly: “Mother, I’m in the oven and I’m poisoned.” She asks again, and little by little he tells her everything. She frees him of his delusion and tells him that the nuts are not poisonous, just a stomach tonic, and pulls him out of the oven.28 Then she gives him a piece of fine cloth, which he must sell, but he shouldn’t get involved with people who talk too much. (p.292)
He goes to the city and says: “Cloth, cloth for sale!” But when someone asks: “What kind of cloth?” he wants nothing to do with him because he uses too many words. Finally he sees a plaster figure in a courtyard, and since it is mute, he sits down below it. He begins to talk to it and says: “Tell me, good friend, is anyone home?” Receiving no answer, he thinks this is a man of few words and says: “Won’t you buy this cloth? You may have it at a good price.” Since the figure keeps silent, he thinks he has found the right buyer, puts the cloth down, and says: “Give me what you want, I’ll come back tomorrow to collect the money.” He goes home, and the first smart person to pass by makes off with the cloth. Vardiello reassures his mother, and very early in the morning takes himself back to the figure and demands payment. But since it doesn’t answer, he takes a club and hits it in the chest with all his might, so that it breaks apart, and inside he finds a jar full of gold pieces; delighted, he goes back home and cries out: “Mother, mother, look at all these red beans!” His mother, who understands that it is another one of his larks, tells him that he must sit below the front door, goes upstairs and for a good half hour throws raisins and dry figs down on him. The dumb simpleton cries out: “Mother, mother! Spread out a large cloth, when the rain stops we will be rich.” Once he has eaten enough, he goes to sleep. One day two laborers happen to be arguing in court over a gold piece found in the ground. Vardiello comes by and says: “You fools, why do you fight over such a thing? The other day I found an whole jar full of red beans.” The judge is stunned and asks: “How? Where? When?” He answers: “By a palace, inside a silent man, when it was raining raisins and dry figs.” When he hears that, the judge sentences Vardiello to a madhouse. But the son’s stupidity made his mother rich.
I. 5 The Flea29
A king is bitten by a flea, catches it deftly, and since it is so beautiful, he has qualms about squashing it and puts it in a cage. He feeds it for a couple of days with his own blood, and in consequence it grows so much that he has to enclose it in a bigger cage. It keeps growing, and so the king has it killed and its skin dressed. Then he announces that whoever can guess to which animal this skin belongs will have his daughter as wife. Suitors come from all corners of the world; one says that it is the skin of a wolf, another that it belongs to a crocodile, and so on. Finally an ogre arrives and says that the skin belongs to the greatest braggart of all fleas. The king cannot break his word and gives him his unlucky daughter. The ogre takes her to his dark (p.293) house, which is in a remote and wild region and is adorned with human bones.30 Quite soon, the ogre brings the bodies of four slaughtered people to eat. When he is in the woods again, she sees an old woman passing by, to whom she complains of her unhappiness, and this woman is so touched that she wants her seven sons to come to the princess’s aid. These seven sons have amazing powers: every time Mase puts his ear to the ground, he hears everything that happens up to thirty miles away; every time Nardo spits, he makes a vast sea of soap; every time Cola throws a piece of iron, he makes a field full of sharpened razors; every time Micco throws a twig, he makes a thick forest; every time Petrullo pours some water, he makes a fearsome storm; every time Ascaddeo throws a stone, makes a sturdy tower; and finally Ceccone with his crossbow hits everything a mile away. The following day the old woman arrives with her seven sons and takes the princess away. Soon after their departure, the distance-hearing Mase hears the ogre going home, not finding anything, and chasing after the princess. Nardo spits and makes a sea of soap, but the ogre makes his way through it. Cola makes a field of sharp blades, but the ogre clothes himself in iron from head to toe and walks through it. Micco then makes a terrifying forest, but the enemy chops his way through it. Petrullo makes a huge storm, but the ogre undresses and swims through it. Ascaddeo makes a tower, and all of them rush to it and lock themselves in, but the ogre takes a ladder and is about to climb up. Ceccone is their last resort; he shoots at the ogre, who falls from the ladder. Then they cut off his head and take it to the king, who rejoices greatly because he has regained his daughter. He soon finds her a handsome husband, and bestows rich rewards on the seven sons and their mother.
I. 6 Ash Kitten31
A widower has a daughter whom he loves dearly, and also a remarkable governess. When he remarries, the girl complains to the governess about her stepmother, who treats her harshly. “Well, if I were your mother, you would be the apple of my eye.”32 “Oh, please tell me what I should do.” “Courage, my dear,” she replies, “asks your stepmother for an old dress, so as to save the one you are wearing, and when she goes over to the chest, she will tell you: ‘Hold the lid,’ and when she bends over, push it down hard enough so that it chops her head off. Then, don’t give your father any peace until he marries me.” The girl does what she asks, and her father, who is a prince, finally marries the governess.33 At the wedding, the girl notices a little bird, which flies over the wall and says to her: “If you have a wish, tell it to the (p.294) bird of the fairy of Sardinia, and it will be fulfilled immediately.” The new stepmother treats the girl well for six days: she gives her the best place at the table and gives her the best morsels. But then, unexpectedly, she fetches her six daughters and turns her husband’s favor toward them. As a result, the unlucky girl is isolated in a corner of the kitchen, where she has to do all the menial work and gets the name of Ash Kitten. It comes to pass that the prince must travel to Sardinia. He asks his six stepdaughters what they wish him to bring them. They request expensive clothes and similar items. He asks Ash Kitten also what she desires. She answers that he should say hello to the fairy’s bird and ask it to send her something. “But don’t forget,” she adds.34 The prince completes his business in Sardinia, buys his six stepdaughters what they had requested, but forgets his own child. He is about to travel home, but the ship cannot be taken out of the port. The owner of the ship grows desperate, and an enchantress35 reveals to him that it is the prince’s fault, because he hasn’t kept the promise he made to his daughter. He has thought about everything but has forgotten his own blood. He hurries to the fairy’s cave, gives her his daughter’s regards, and asks her for something to take back to her. The fairy reveals herself as a beautiful woman, it touched her that the girl remembered her, and rejoices at her love. She sends her a date, a hoe, a golden bucket, and a silk cloth, and says that she should plant the first and take care of the plant with the other things. The prince brings the gifts home. Ash Kitten plants the date in a nice pot, works the soil with the hoe, waters it with the golden bucket, dries it with the silken cloth, and after four days the date palm has grown so much that it is becoming as tall as a woman, and a fairy comes out of it and says: “What is your wish?” “Every time I leave the house, I want my sisters not to know it.” The fairy replies: “Whenever you desire something, come to the pot and say ‘My golden date, I have planted you with the golden hoe; I have watered you with the golden bucket; I have dried you with the silken cloth; strip yourself and dress me!’ And when you want to strip yourself, you need only say ‘Strip me and dress yourself.’ A big party is thrown; the six stepsisters go; Ash Kitten hastens to the pot, is adorned like a queen, and shows up at the party. Impressed by the girl’s beauty, the king asks his servants to find out where she lives. But she throws out some gold that she obtained from the date palm, and in this way she is able to leave the house unnoticed. Even more richly dressed and as beautiful as the sun, she arrives at the second party in a coach driven by six horses and with numerous attendants. The king again sends his staff after her, but she throws out jewelry and precious stones, and again escapes. To the third party she is driven by a golden (p.295) coach and accompanied by even more attendants. The king threatens his staff with harsher punishments if they let her go this time as well, but still can’t obtain any information about her. She asks her coachman to drive away as fast as possible so that no one may follow her, but in the rush she loses a shoe, which the servants pick up and take to the king. He announces that all the women in his land are to attend a party. All the women and girls arrive. The noble and the humble, the beautiful and the ugly, all of them try on the shoe, but it doesn’t fit any of their feet. The king asks whether all the women have come and no one has been left behind. The prince then says that the king has another daughter who only knows the ashes in the hearth and doesn’t deserve to present herself there. The king demands to see her. The shoe fits her perfectly, and the king takes her into his arms and puts a crown on her head. Enraged, her stepsisters hurry home.
I. 7 The Merchant36
A rich merchant has two sons who look so much alike that people can’t distinguish one from the other. Cienzo, the older one, hurts the king’s son. His father gives him an enchanted horse and an enchanted dog,37 and he rides away with them.38 He rides the entire day, and at night he arrives at a wood, where a decrepit house stands next to a tower.39 Since it is already night, the tower’s owner does not want to let him in. Cienzo throws himself on some straw in the house to get some sleep, but as soon as he closes his eyes his dog barks and he feels someone pulling him. He strikes around in the dark and falls back asleep. For a second time, something pulls his foot, and he yells and asks the invisible presence to reveal himself. Laughter follows and a voice says: “Come down and I will tell you who I am.” Cienzo finds a ladder and climbs down to a cellar, and there he sees three people sitting by a lighted lamp, which is placed on treasure.40 They tell him to help himself as he wishes. He sees the daylight and wants to climb out but can’t find the ladder. He begins to scream, and the owner of the tower hears him, comes down, and helps him to get out.41 When he finds the great treasure, he wants to give Cienzo his share, but Cienzo doesn’t want anything, and rides away with his dog. Soon afterwards he saves a sleeping fairy from the danger threatening her honor; gratefully, she invites him to her castle nearby, but he says he will accept this favor another time and keeps going.42 He reaches the castle of a king who is deeply distressed because a dragon with six heads has arrived in the country.43 The dragon eats a person a day and demands the king’s daughter. Cienzo chops off his six heads and cuts out (p.296) his tongue and takes a handful of dragon herb.44 He lets the king’s daughter hurry home and goes to an inn to rest. The king announces that whoever has killed the dragon will receive his daughter as wife. A rascal gathers the dragon’s heads, brings them to the king, and demands his daughter. The king takes off his crown and puts it on this man’s head. Hearing about the imposter, Cienzo writes the princess a letter and has his dog deliver it. He is then called to court, and with the dragon’s tongues he proves that he is the winner and marries the princess. The morning after the wedding he sees a new beauty, whose hair has such magic power that she can charm and bind whomever she wants. He follows her, and as soon as he steps into her house he stands still, unable to move. Meo, the second brother, has had no news of him and decides to look for him. His father gives him too a magic horse and a magic dog. He encounters the tower’s owner, who, believing that he is Cienzo, receives him with great courtesy and wants to give him some gold. He also finds the fairy, who welcomes him. He apologizes hastily, promises to stop by on his way back, and arrives at the king’s palace on the same day that Cienzo is charmed by the fairy’s hair. He is received by the servants with great honor and embraced by the princess as her spouse. At night, he divides up the sheets so that they are separated from each other and pretends to feel unwell. In the morning he sees the fairy with the magic hair.45 Meo goes to her house, but takes his dog with him. When he walks in, she says: “Hair, bind him!” But he cries out: “Dog, eat her!” He goes inside and places two hairs from his dog on Cienzo, who is then aroused from his sleep. Meo tells him everything, how he got there, how the princess was resting at his side, and also tells him that he divided the linens. Jealous, Cienzo cuts off Meo’s head. Cienzo goes home, and his wife soon reveals the innocence of the beheaded.46 He deeply regrets it, remembers the dragon herb, and thus brings Meo back to life; and everything ends well.
I. 8 Goat-Face47
A poor farmer has twelve children and has a hard time bringing home bread.48 One day he is working at the foot of a mountain. A green lizard comes out of a dark hole and begins to speak to the terrified farmer, saying: “Don’t be afraid, I am here for your good.” “What do you want?” says the farmer; “Have mercy on this poor fellow, who has twelve children to feed.” It answers: “Bring me your youngest child, I will raise and love the girl like my own life.”49 The farmer obeys, and early in the morning he takes his youngest child to the cave.50 The fairy raises her in a palace like a princess.51 It (p.297) happens one day that the king is hunting in the woods and gets lost; guided by the light, he reaches the palace, where he falls in love with the beautiful girl.52 She is given to him as his wife and leaves with him, without a word of thanks to the fairy. Enraged by this ingratitude, the fairy puts a curse on her: that she may have a goat face, with a beard and horns.53 Terrified by this transformation, the king places her in a small room with a maid and has them spin flax.54 The maid obeys, but the queen, who hasn’t noticed her transformation, is too arrogant to work. When the appointed time arrives for the work to be finished, she gets scared and rushes to the fairy to tell her about the misfortune she has encountered. The fairy embraces her out of her deep love and gives her a sack full of spun linen. The queen takes it, without a word of thanks. Afterwards, the king gives her and the maid two dogs to care for. The maid obeys, while the stubborn queen throws her dog out of the window and runs to the fairy, but an old man is standing by the door and doesn’t let her in; he asks who she is.55 She answers: “You old goat’s beard, don’t you know me?” “I’m a goat’s beard? You are a goat’s beard!” He fetches a mirror and holds it in front of her. As soon as she sees herself in that horrible form, she screams and is beside herself with dismay. The old man reproaches her for her ingratitude toward the fairy, who had welcomed her as a poor peasant girl and was solely responsible for the king having chosen her to be his wife. She reflects on this, rushes to the fairy, and asks her to forgive her. The fairy grants her forgiveness, gives her back her beautiful human form, and lets her return, dressed in the most splendid dress, to the king, who welcomes her with great joy and love.
I. 9 The Enchanted Doe56
There is a king who wishes to have a child, but his desire is not fulfilled. In vain he does good to pilgrims, until he reluctantly closes his door. At last, an elderly man gives him a piece of advice, that he should take the heart of a sea dragon and have a pure young woman cook it, and she will become pregnant just by smelling it, and the queen by tasting it. The king has all the necessary things fetched; a beautiful young woman cooks the heart in a secluded room, and it so happens that not only the girl but all the furniture in the room becomes pregnant.57 The queen eats some of the heart, and after four days, both she and the young girl both give birth to beautiful baby boys at the very same time, and the babies are so similar that it is impossible to distinguish one from the other. The furniture gives birth to little ones as well: bed, chair, table, to a small bed, a small chair, a small table, (p.298) and so on. The two boys grow up together and love each other so much that they are inseparable. The queen’s son is named Fonzo, and the other Canneloro. The queen becomes jealous of Canneloro, because Fonzo loves him more than her. She plots his death, and when she one day finds him alone, she throws red-hot iron at his face, but she only hits his eyebrow and has to stop because Fonzo is arriving.58 Canneloro pulls a curl over the mark, and without revealing the real reason to Fonzo, he asks the king permission to leave.59 He takes a suit of armor and a sword, which was born with him when the dragon’s heart was cooked, and a horse. Fonzo asks him for a sign of his love.60 Canneloro drives his dagger into the ground, and a beautiful fountain springs forth. Then he says: “As long as it is clear, I am doing well; if it becomes murky, I am in trouble; if it stops flowing and dries up, I am dead.” He drives his sword into the ground, and a blueberry bush sprouts.61 From the bush, whether it is green, limp, or withered, Fonzo will know his friend’s destiny. Canneloro arrives at a kingdom, where the king’s daughter is promised to whoever wins the joust.62 He is the winner and the wedding is celebrated, but after four months he is taken by an overwhelming desire to go hunting.63 The king warns him about an ogre in the forest, who assumes different forms. Canneloro, however, pays no attention to it, and is enticed the whole day by a beautiful doe, the form the magician has assumed, and at night he ends up in the magician’s cave.64 Since it is cold, he makes a fire, and the doe says: “Oh, sir, please allow me to warm myself up, I’m shivering from the cold.” “Please come,” says Canneloro kindheartedly. “Yes,” she answers, “but I am afraid you will kill me.” “Come over, you have my word,” he says. She asks him to first tie up his dog and his horse and then to fasten his sword. As soon as he does this, the ogre takes up his true form, grabs Canneloro, and throws him into a pit to preserve such a good morsel. Fonzo, who tends the fountain and blueberry day and night, finds the blueberry limp and the fountain dark. Without asking his parents for permission he hurries away, but takes two enchanted dogs with him. He reaches the kingdom of Canneloro’s father-in-law, which is in deep grief. Everyone thinks Fonzo is the one they had given up for dead, and the princess hugs him: “Sweetheart, where have you been for so long? Hunting led you to a great danger!”65 Fonzo, immediately understanding the situation, places a sword between the young lady and himself at night, and at the first ray of the sun hastens into the forest. The beautiful doe entices him too, and when he sees Canneloro’s armor lying by the cave, and the dog and the horse tied up, he liberates him.66 Together they go back, but the princess can’t distinguish them until Canneloro lifts up his hair and shows the mark on his face.67
Two terribly ugly old women lurking in the bushes under the king’s windows tell lies about their shoulders and hips, and the king, who can’t see that it is all pretense, believes that he has found divine beauties.69 He lusts after their looks and their favors. They don’t want the bird to slip away, so one of the women calls to him through the keyhole of the door; for eight days she tells him she would like to show him one of her fingers.70 When the desired moment finally arrives, one of the hags sticks a finger through the keyhole.71 Enthralled, the king reveals to her who he is and asks for her favors. She shows her willingness, but insists that she be taken to his bed at night and that no light burn, for she cannot tolerate anyone seeing her without clothing. The king promises her everything, but as soon as she falls asleep at his side, he lights a light and looks at her. At the sight of her ugliness he is filled with rage; he calls servants and with no hesitation has her thrown out of the window. Fortunately, she remains hanging by her hair from a fig tree and is not harmed. Early in the morning three fairies walk by, and the sight of her makes them roar with laughter, so they good-naturedly turn the old woman into a young, beautiful, rich, and noble fifteen-year-old girl, sitting on a velvet armchair. Now the king really falls in love and celebrates the marriage with a magnificent party, to which everyone is invited. The other old woman attends it as well and keeps asking her sister: “How did you do it? How did you do it?” Her sister avoids her, but finally, since she persists and keeps coming back with the same question like a fly that you can’t get rid of, she answers: “I had my skin peeled off.” Then the other woman says: “I will try my luck too.” She runs to a barber, gives him fifty gold pieces, and compels him to peel off her skin. He has her sit on a stool and skins her until the blood flows from her and she collapses.72
II. 1 Petrosinelle73
From her window, a pregnant woman sees a fine bed of parsley in a witch’s garden, develops a great craving for it, and, since the witch is away, goes in and gets some of it for herself.74 The witch comes home, and doesn’t know who has taken her herb. The woman keeps taking parsley until one day the witch catches her. She justifies her craving with her condition, but the angry witch doesn’t want to hear about it: “Your life is forfeited if you don’t promise me the child that you are bearing.” Out of fear, the woman promises (p.300) everything, and then gives birth to a beautiful girl, who has a sprig of parsley on her chest and thus is called Petrosinelle. When she is six years old,75 the witch takes her,76 drags her by the hair to a dark forest, and leaves her in a tower with no door and no staircase but with a small window, from which the girl must dangle her marvelously long hair, which the witch uses to climb up and down. One day, when the witch is away, the girl looks out of the window and sees a prince passing by. He falls in love, and after a few days they share that feeling.77 Wishing to be together, one night she pulls the prince up, and in the morning lets him down. An old woman betrays the love affair. “Thank you for the information,” says the witch, “but they can’t escape me, I have cast a spell. There are three acorns on one of the rafters in the kitchen, and as long as they don’t have them, they can’t run away.”78 The girl has heard everything, and the following night she reveals the secret to her lover. Luckily, they find the three acorns, make a rope ladder, and flee toward the city. The old woman tells the witch about their escape, whereupon the witch climbs down the same rope ladder and follows them. Petrosinelle, seeing her enemy approach, throws one of the acorns onto the ground. Immediately a ferocious dog comes out and attacks the witch, but she throws it a piece of bread and calms it down. Then the girl throws the second acorn, from which a wild lion shows up and pounds the ground with its tail, but the witch turns around, takes the skin off a donkey, and puts it on. When it sees this, the lion gets scared and runs away. Then Petrosinelle throws the last acorn onto the ground, and a wolf comes out, and the witch, still wearing the donkey’s skin, is torn apart. The lovers hurry to the king and obtain his consent to their marriage.
II. 2 The Green Meadow79
A woman has three daughters. The two older ones have no luck and no skill, whereas the youngest, whose name is Nella, achieves everything she undertakes, and for this reason she is deeply envied by her sisters but loved by others.80 The king’s son, who understands the art of magic,81 falls in love with Nella and wins her over. In order to be together without letting her evil mother know about it, he builds a crystal passage, eight miles long, which starts from his palace and ends under her bed. He has also given her a powder; when she wishes to be with him, she sprinkles a little powder on the coals, and he arrives at once. The envious sisters overhear the secret, destroy the crystal passage, and then throw the powder into the coals. The lover rushes to the passage, but having no clothes on he is seriously injured by the glass and is confined to bed.82 The doctors’ treatment is useless, so the (p.301) king announces that whoever heals his son, if it is a man, will have half of his kingdom, and if it is a woman, will have the hand of the prince, once he has recovered. Nella sets off, and the night overtakes her in a forest, not far from a hut where an ogre lives; to be safe she climbs up a tree.83 The ogre sits with his wife at dinner; Nella hears what they are saying to each other. The conversation moves to the prince’s illness, which no doctor can cure. The ogre says that he knows the only way to beat it, but doesn’t want to mention it. With his wife pressing him about it, he finally reveals that it would be his and his wife’s fat. Nella waits until they are done with their dinner, then comes down, knocks on the door, and asks if she could please be welcomed out of pity. The wife would like to eat up that good morsel, but the husband lets her in.84 As soon as they fall asleep, Nella slashes their necks, puts their fat in a pot, and with that goes to the king. He lets her into the prince’s room; she anoints his wounds, which heal up straight away, so he is as healthy as a fish. The king now demands that he take her as his wife, but the prince initially refuses until Nella washes her face clean and he recognizes her as his love. As a punishment, the sisters are pushed into a fiery furnace.
II. 3 Viola85
A man has three daughters, of whom the youngest, by the name of Viola, is so beautiful that she wins every heart. Even the king’s son falls in love and often passes by where the three sisters work; he says to her: “Good morning, good morning, Viola.” She answers: “Good morning, good morning, son of the king. I don’t care about you” (bonnì, figlio de lo Rrè, io sacchiu cchiù de te).86 Her sisters rebuke her for her disrespect, because she will make the prince angry, and they tell their father, who sends her away to an old aunt. As soon as the prince sees the nest empty, he weeps, but he spies her out and bribes the old woman, who hides him in a room where later she will send Viola with an excuse. Then she tells her: “Go downstairs and get me the measure.” Viola does it and so swiftly that she gets away like a cat. Again she says: “Get me the yarn.” She does it and slips away like an eel. Finally: “Get me the scissors.” Viola fetches them without the prince being able to grab her, but she cuts off the old woman’s ear: “You have deserved this because of your trading. And if I don’t cut off your nose it is only so that you can smell what kind of reputation you have.”87 Then she returns to her father, and the prince again passes by, greets her, and she gives her saucy response. The evil sisters think of another trick; their window overlooks the garden of a monster to whom they wish to deliver the little one.88 They (p.302) drop a skein of thread, which is part of an exquisite piece of work for the queen, and say: “If Viola, who is the smallest of us, doesn’t go down with a rope and take the skein back, we can’t finish it in time.” She is ready and is lowered down, while the wild man goes to his garden and discharges such a violent wind that Viola is terrified by the noise.89 The monster gets closer, sees the pretty girl, and thinks that his wind must have generated her with some tree; he rejoices greatly and embraces her affectionately and says: “My dear daughter, who could ever think that I was the father of such a beautiful face?” Then he hands her over to three fairies, who are to take care of her. When he doesn’t see Viola anymore, the king’s son thinks she is dead, and he grows so sad that he falls sick. Finally he learns her whereabouts, sends for the wild man, and tells him that he is sick and that, in order to get some fresh air, he must spend one day and one night in his garden. As a vassal of the king, the wild man must allow it. At night, the prince has a room very close to the one in which the wild man and Viola sleep. In the dark, the prince sneaks in and pinches Viola on the side twice. She jumps up and cries out: “Oh father, what a flea!” The wild man puts her in another bed; the prince comes back and pinches her, and she shouts again: “Oh father, what a flea!” The wild man changes the mattress and sheets, but the prince keeps coming back, and in this way the entire night goes by. In the morning the prince walks up to the man’s house; Viola is standing by the door, he greets her, and she answers as usual. Then he shouts to her: “Oh father, what a flea!” Viola immediately realizes what happened, rushes to the fairies, and tells them everything. They say: “Wait, we will repay him as he deserves; ask the wild man for the shoes with the bells.” At night they go there, and no one notices them in the house and bedroom of the prince, and as soon as he closes his eyes the fairies make a dreadful noise and Viola stamps the bell shoes together. The prince wakes up with a loud scream and cries out: “Oh mother, mother, help me!” At that point they slink away. The following morning, again the same snide remark, but when the prince says: “Oh father, what a flea!,” Viola answers: “Oh mother, mother, help me!” He declares himself defeated and asks for Viola’s hand. The wild man, when he hears who Viola’s real father is, finally gives up his belief that his wind generated her.90
II. 4 Gagliuso91
A poor man lying on his deathbed calls his two sons and tells them: “I can’t leave you anything as a sign of my love. To the oldest, Oratiello, I bequeath (p.303) the sieve hanging there on the wall; the youngest, Pippo, can take the cat.”92 Oratiello tries to make a living with the sieve. Pippo takes a look at his cat and says: “What an inheritance has my father left me!” The cat stands up and states: “You don’t know your luck; I can turn you into a rich man!” Each day early in the morning the cat goes to the sea, catches some expensive fish, brings it to the king and says: “Lord Gagliuso sends to his majesty this small gift.” The king thanks him kindly. Another time, he brings a fine bird from hunting, and so forth and so on, and the king finally expresses his desire to see the giver, in order to thank him in person. “My lord’s sole desire,” the cat replies,” is to give his life and blood for the king’s crown. Early tomorrow morning he will certainly come to pay homage.” But the following day the cat comes in a hurry and says that his lord apologizes, his valet robbed him of everything, even his shirt, in the night. At once the king sends him clothes from his own wardrobe. Then Gagliuso dresses up royally and is seated at the king’s table. Whenever he says something inappropriate, the cat embellishes it and emphasizes to the king his lord Gagliuso’s intelligence, bravery, and most of all his great riches.93 When the king expresses the desire to learn more about this wealth, which probably has no equal in the world, he sends out faithful servants to inquire about it. Making an excuse, the cat runs out first and orders everybody in the field, shepherds and herders, to say under penalty of life and limb that everything belongs to Lord Gagliuso. The king’s servants receive the same answer everywhere and report the great wealth of Lord Gagliuso. The king promises the cat a fine reward if he arranges a marriage between his lord and the king’s daughter. It takes place, and the king’s daughter receives a fine dowry, and with that, on the cat’s recommendation, her husband buys goods abroad and becomes a nobleman. After making his fortune, he thanks the cat and tells him that if the cat dies in a hundred years, he will embalm him and place him in a golden coffin in his room, so as to think about him forever. Three days later, the cat pretends to die. The wife cries out: “Oh, dear husband, it’s dead! What should we do?” “Well, grab him by the leg and throw him out of the window.” At these words, the cat jumps up, scolds Gagliuso for his ungratefulness, runs away without looking back, and shouts: “Beware of the peasant who becomes a nobleman!”
II. 5 The Snake94
A woman would like to have a child, as a sick person longs for a glass of water, but her desire is not fulfilled. One day her husband, who works in (p.304) the forest, brings home a bundle of wood from the mountain; inside it they find a beautiful little snake. When she sees it, she sighs and says: “Snakes have little snakes, but I am not so lucky. My husband is a gardener but can’t plant a twig.” The little creature says: “Since you have no children, take me as your son, you will not regret it.” She puts it in a corner of the room, feeds it, and is very fond of it. Day by day it grows; when it has grown up, it tells the man: “Oh, I want a wife.” “Well,” he says, “I’ll go look for another snake for you.” “Listen, I want the king’s daughter. Go and tell the king that a snake desires his daughter.” The man presents its request. The king thinks that he must be out of his mind, and to get rid of him says: “Go and the tell the snake that it must first turn all the fruits in my garden into gold, then it will have my daughter.” The snake tells the man: “Go now and collect all the fruit pits you can find and sow them in the king’s garden.” He obeys and immediately trees with golden fruits spring up. But the king doesn’t want to give his daughter yet: “The snake must first cover the walls and the ground with precious stones.” The snake says to its foster father: “Get all the broken pieces you can gather and throw them onto the walls and the ground of the garden.” He does so, and they turn into magnificent gems: emeralds, rubies, carbuncles. The king, however, does not give in, and his third demand is that his entire palace be coated with gold. Again, this is not difficult for the snake: his foster father must varnish the palace with a bundle of herbs and it is immediately covered in gold. Now the king can’t demur any longer; the snake arrives at court in a golden carriage pulled by four golden elephants to take away his spouse. Everyone is trembling with fear, and the king and queen hide themselves. Only the bride remains; the snake embraces her with its tail and takes her to the bedchamber.95 There it sheds its skin and is a handsome young man with golden hair, and the princess is smitten with him.96 The king, who has seen the snake locking itself up with his daughter, says to the queen: “May the heavens have mercy on our poor child!” They look through the keyhole and see the handsome young man in bed and his skin on the floor. They burst the lock, walk inside, grab the skin, and throw it in the fire, which burns it. As soon as the youth becomes aware of it, he cries out: “Oh, what have you done!” At once he transforms himself into a dove and flies away. It knocks its head against the window until it breaks, but while pushing its way out it is deeply wounded by the glass. The king’s daughter plunges from the greatest happiness to the greatest unhappiness and doesn’t know how to console herself.97 Taking all her precious stones, she leaves, prepared to wander until she finds what she seeks. By moonlight she encounters a fox, which says: “I will accompany (p.305) you.”98 They reach a forest and rest there. The princess takes delight in the birds’ singing. “Oh,” says the fox, “if you could understand what they say as I do, it would be an even greater delight for you.” The princess asks the fox to explain it to her; after some hesitation, the fox says: “They are talking about a prince who was desired by a sorceress on account of his great beauty; but given that he didn’t respond to her wish, she turned him into a snake for six years.99 At last he was approaching the end, but his parents picked up the snakeskin lying on the floor and burned it. He flew out of the window in the form of a dove, but the smashed glass wounded him in the head, and no doctor knew what to do.”100 The princess realizes that they were talking about her sweetheart; she first of all inquires where his father lives, and then asks whether there is any way to cure him. “Only one,” the fox says: “his wounds must be smeared with the blood of those very birds.” The fox now has to catch the birds; it waits until it gets dark and the birds fall asleep and then grabs one after the other and pours their blood in a small bottle. When this is done, the fox says: “Oh you poor soul, this won’t help you at all if my own blood is not mixed with it!” and as soon as it says that it flees. The princess resorts to ruse: “Dear godmother, please stay, you don’t need to worry about your skin, there are others like you in the world; you can be sure that I don’t mean to do anything to you; stay with me and show me the way.” The fox lets itself be fooled; after no more than fifty steps the princess gives the fox such a blow with a club that the animal falls dead. Then she takes some of its blood and pours it in the small bottle and rushes to her sweetheart’s father. She promises to cure his critically wounded son if he becomes her spouse. The king answers: “Give him to me free and healthy so that I can give him back to you free and healthy; you give me a son, I will give you a husband.” As soon as she rubs him with the mixed blood, he is cured as if he had never had anything wrong with him. At that point the king demands that his son marry her, but he doesn’t want to, because he has given his word to another woman. Then she reveals herself, rejoices at his faithfulness, and the wedding is celebrated.101
II. 6 The She-Bear102
On her deathbed a queen makes her husband promise not to marry again unless he finds someone whose beauty comes close to hers.103 Since he can’t find anybody, he decides to marry his own daughter, who is the only one as beautiful as her mother.104 She despairs of finding help, when an old woman arrives: “Apart from death, there is a remedy for everything.” She gives her a (p.306) small piece of wood; as soon as she pops it in her mouth, she will turn into an ugly bear; as soon as she takes it out, she will regain her human form. At night, when the king wants to take her by force, she puts the stick in her mouth, and a fearsome she-bear appears, scaring him. He runs away, but the girl goes into a forest and lives in the company of other bears. A prince finds her there, takes her with him, puts her in a garden, and takes care of her.105 Once, when everyone is away and he is at home alone, he looks out of the window where the bear is kept and sees a wonderful girl combing her curly golden hair; to arrange her hair, she has taken the small stick out of her mouth. Astonished, he rushes down, but when he walks into the garden she has already resumed her bearish form. He grows melancholy and sick, and constantly cries out: “My she-bear! My she-bear!” His mother believes that the she-bear has harmed him and orders that she be killed; but the servants have mercy and take her into the forest. The prince, when he hears about the she-bear’s death, gets out of bed and finds out the truth from the servants; he rushes out into the forest, where he searches until he finds his she-bear again. He addresses her as a divine beauty and asks her to throw that horrible skin of hers away. Since she doesn’t answer, he becomes sick again, and the doctors predict that he will die. His mother tries to understand and asks him if there is anything she can do to alleviate his condition. He answers: “Nothing can console me like the sight of my she-bear. Let her come to my room; I want her alone to take care of me, cook for me, and make my bed.” The queen thinks he is talking nonsense, but does as he wishes. The she-bear walks in, approaches the prince’s bed, raises her paw, and checks his pulse. At his request, she prepares something to eat in the fireplace, makes his bed, and brings some roses from the garden to put under his pillow.106 The queen is totally astounded. Then the sick man also requests that the she-bear kiss him. The queen says: “Dear animal, do it.”107 While kissing him, the little stick falls out of her mouth, and the queen’s son holds a most beautiful girl in his arms.108
II. 7 The Dove109
An old woman full of wrinkles lives in a forest, and one day she wants to eat some beans.110 She fetches a worn old kettle, cleans the beans, adds herbs, and places the pot on the windowsill; then she goes look for some twigs so she can cook the meal. In the meantime the king’s son passes by with his hunting equipage, sees the pot sitting there, and has the malice to knock it over. When the old woman comes back, she is overwhelmed by fury and (p.307) utters the curse that whoever has broken her pot may fall in love with a witch’s daughter and endure all kinds of suffering from her.111 The curse begins to work, and the prince gets lost in the forest. All alone, he encounters a beautiful girl collecting snails and saying: “Stick, stick the horns out; mother cuts them off in the sunshine, so she gets a baby boy.”112 He speaks to her with loving words and she shows herself equally gracious. At this point the mother arrives like a wild beast;113 the prince shows his sword, but his strength recedes, and he remains captivated like a sheep when it sees a wolf, and the old woman takes him home. Then she says: “You must work like a dog, cultivate and sow a piece of land today, and if I come back and find that it hasn’t been done, it will be bad for you.”114 She hurries into the forest, where she does business with another witch.115 The young woman consoles her beloved and accomplishes the work for him. When at night the witch comes back, she calls to her daughter from outside: “Let your hair down!” Since there is no other staircase, she always climbs up on this golden one. Astonished, she sees that the task has been completed; it seems impossible to her that such a delicate youth has accomplished the heavy work. The following morning she asks him to chop six piles of wood, and each log into four pieces. The young woman carries out this task as well. At dusk the old woman comes up on the usual staircase; when she sees the wood all chopped she becomes suspicious, and the third day she orders the prince to fill up a dry well with a thousand barrels of water.116 The young woman says: “Here my art ends, we must escape.”117 They manage to get away through a tunnel in the garden.118 Not far from the city, he says: “Wait here a moment, you can’t enter in the royal palace on foot, I will accompany you in a magnificent procession.” In the meantime the old woman comes home and calls, but her daughter doesn’t answer. She finds the tunnel through which they have escaped and as soon as she becomes aware of their flight she utters a curse against her daughter, that her lover may forget her the first time he receives a kiss. His mother welcomes him with great joy and tenderness, but as soon as she kisses him on the lips, the witch’s curse comes into effect.119 Now his mother can easily persuade him to marry. But the abandoned young woman puts on male clothes, goes to court, and gets hired as an apprentice cook.120 During the wedding banquet, the prince cuts a cake, which she has prepared, and a beautiful dove comes out of it, which amazes everyone. It begins to speak and reminds him of his beloved and the promise he made to her, and then it flies out of the window. Everything comes back to the prince’s memory; he calls for the apprentice cook who has prepared the cake, and she reveals herself as his beloved.121 So he marries her, and during (p.308) the celebration the spirit of the old woman, whose pot of beans he once broke and who died of hunger, appears. She explains to him the connections between all the things that have happened to him.122
II. 8 The Kitchen Maid123
Some girls are playing, and they bet on who will be able to jump over a rosebush without touching it. No one succeeds; but when Lilla jumps over, she plucks a petal, which she quickly swallows without anyone noticing, and so she wins the challenge. After three days she feels her condition changing.124 She hurries to a good fairy, who tells her that the cause of this change is the petal. She secretly gives birth to a beautiful daughter, whom she brings to the fairies. Each of them gives a gift to the child, but being in a hurry the last fairy breaks her foot, and because of the pain she utters the curse that in six years, while the mother is combing her daughter’s hair, the comb will get entangled in the child’s hair and get stuck in it, and as a result the child will fall into a lethal sleep.125 Everything comes to pass. The child’s mother encloses the corpse in seven crystal coffins, one within the other, and places it in the most remote chamber of the palace, to which only she has the key. And because she soon feels that her own death is approaching, she gives the key to her brother, who must promise her never to open that chamber. One day, he goes hunting and leaves the house in charge of his wife, but he implores her not to open that chamber, the key to which is in his cabinet. She grows jealous, and when she sees the beautiful girl seemingly asleep in the crystal coffers that have grown like her, she believes her to be her husband’s secret lover, flies into a rage, and tears the girl’s hair. The comb comes out and the girl awakens to life. The woman mistreats her, dresses her in poor clothes, and relegates her to the kitchen as a common maid. At his return, her husband inquires about the girl. His wife answers: “Nothing more than a common kitchen maid.” It happens that the lord travels to a fair, and before leaving he asks all the people living in his house what they would like him to bring them. When it is finally the girl’s turn, she asks for a doll, a knife, and a grindstone, and if he forgets about them, may he be unable to cross the first river. He does indeed forget, but when he reaches the first watercourse and can’t cross it, the girl’s curse comes to his mind. He rushes back, buys what she asked for, and resumes his trip without any impediment. Once home, he gives her the three things she asked for. She hastens to the kitchen, puts the doll in front of her, and begins to recount her painful story, as if the doll were a living person. Since she receives no answer, (p.309) she takes the knife, sharpens it with the stone, and says: “If you don’t answer me, you leave me no choice but to kill myself.” The doll rises up and says: “Yes, yes, I heard you. Thank God I am not deaf!” The lord has a private room next to the kitchen, and hearing the incredible dialogue one day, he peeks through the keyhole and sees the girl telling the doll her entire fate, from the moment her mother swallowed the rose petal to her degradation to kitchen maid. “And as you don’t answer, doll, I’ll stick this knife into my heart.” Then she begins to sharpen the knife with the stone. The lord jumps out, embraces her as his beloved niece, banishes his heartless wife, and marries the girl to a handsome man.
II. 9 The Little Magic Box126
A poor woman with three daughters wants to cook something and tells her two oldest daughters to fetch water at a fountain. They refuse, so she decides to go herself, but the youngest says: “No, I will get the water; I am strong enough to carry it.” She takes the jug and walks out of the city to the fountain where she finds a manservant,127 who says to her: “My dear, would you like to go with me to my cave, so can give you something pretty?” “First I must take the jug of water to my mother and then I will come back right away.” She does so and the servant takes her through a cave into a marvelous underground palace. Everything is made of gold and silver; a table is set with fancy food. At night she is taken to a bed, its covers embroidered with pearls. When all the lights have been taken away, someone lies down beside her. This goes on for a while, and then she feels like seeing her mother. She says so to the servant.128 He gives her gold as a gift for her mother, but he tells her that she must be back soon and may not reveal anything to anyone about where she is living. She observes all his orders carefully. Her mother and her sisters want to go back with her, but she does not allow it. She returns a couple of times more and her sisters grow more envious of her good fortune.129 From a witch130 they finally learn everything, and on their sister’s next visit they reveal the secret to her, that at night the most handsome young man in the world lies at her side, but if she wishes to be perfectly happy she must follow their advice.131 When she lies in bed at night and the servant brings in her nightly drink, she must ask him to get her a napkin, and in his absence she must empty the cup. In this way she will stay awake, and as soon as her husband falls asleep, she must open the magic box (catenaccio, padlock), and then she will become the happiest woman in the world.132 She doesn’t recognize their deceit and does everything as she (p.310) is told. She lights a candle and sees a most handsome young man, as radiant as a rose, sleeping beside her. She opens the magic box. Then and there, several tiny women come out of it. On their heads they are carrying the finest yarn, but when one drops a skein, the careless girl cries out: “Dear lady, pick up the yarn!” At her shout, the young man wakes up, becomes angry, and asks his servant to lead her out of the palace wearing the old rags in which she had arrived. She goes home, but her sisters send her away. She wanders through the world.133 Finally she arrives at a royal palace, where she rests on a bundle of straw and is looked after by one of the queen’s maids. She brings a wonderful baby boy into the world. At night, when everything is asleep, a young man walks into the room and says: “Oh, my dear son, you should be washed in a golden basin and swaddled in diapers interlaced with gold. If only no rooster would ever crow again!” At the crowing of the rooster he disappears. The maid relates this to the queen, who by way of punishment orders that all the roosters be killed. The following night the young man arrives. The queen recognizes him as her son and embraces him. The curse, which had been cast upon him, is thus lifted.134 Because of this curse, he had to wander away from his paternal house until his mother embraced him and no rooster crowed anymore.
II. 10 The Friend135
A man has a tiresome friend, who is always hard on his heels, sits at his table, and can’t be got rid of politely. When he hears that his friend is traveling across the country, he says: “May God be praised that we are free from that nuisance for a day. We can cook something good for ourselves.”136 He goes out and buys a nice eel and a bottle of wine, and in the meantime his wife is to bake a cake.137 When everything is ready, they sit at the table, but as soon as they have sat down, they hear the friend knocking at the door. “Hurry up,” says the man, “first hide all the things on the table, then you can let him in. When he sees that the castle is empty, he will take off.” She quickly puts the eel in a cupboard, the bottle under the bed, and the cake under the blanket; the man himself crawls under the table and peeks through a hole in the rug.138 But the friend sees everything through the keyhole. When he comes in, he looks quite shocked and dismayed. The wife asks what the reason is. “Oh,” he says, “while I was standing outside waiting for the door to be opened, a serpent passed between my feet, and it was so ferocious! It was as big as the eel that you put in the cupboard. I was terrified and picked up a stone, the same size as the bottle under the bed, and hit the beast on (p.311) the head with it, giving it a wound no smaller than the cake you folks have under the blanket. And while the serpent was dying, I watched and listened, like my friend there under the table.139 I don’t have a drop of blood left in my body, and I’m terrified.” At these words, the man can’t restrain himself any longer; he sticks his head out from behind the rug and expresses his anger in a torrent of reproaches about such impudence, and the friend, blushing, finally takes off.140
I. 1 Cannetella141
For a long time a king would like to have a daughter but has no success; finally his wish is fulfilled, and he gives her the name Cannetella.142 When she has grown up, he asks her what kind of husband she would like. She doesn’t want one. However, the king doesn’t give up. Then she says: “He should be a man unlike anyone else in the world.” The king stands by the window, paying attention to the people who pass by and when he singles someone out, he always calls his daughter, so she can take a look at him. But she never likes the one he has selected.143 For the same purpose he throws a party, but with no result. Finally Cannetella says: “If I must take a husband, he must have a head and teeth of gold.” The king then announces that whoever fulfills his daughter’s desire will marry her and acquire the kingdom.” The king has an enemy, a wild man by the name of Scioravante;144 as soon as he hears about this, he has a sorcerer turn his head and his teeth into gold, shows up before the king’s window, and gains Cannetella. He carries her away on his horse and at night takes her to a stable. “This is your home,” he says. “During my absence, which will last six years, you are not allowed to see anybody and must live on the bread left over from the horses.”145 She laments her fate, whereby she has exchanged the royal palace for a stable, her fine blankets for straw, tasty morsels for horses’ bread. One day, she looks through a hole and sees a beautiful garden full of delicious fruits. She develops a great desire for them. “Who can betray me?” she thinks, and walks into the garden and finally satisfies her great hunger. But when her husband comes back, one of his horses betrays her and tells him that she has eaten grapes. The wild man becomes enraged, takes a knife, and is about to kill her, but she begs him on her knees to have mercy on her; only her hunger led her astray. Eventually, he spares her life for this time. “I am leaving again for six years,” he says. “Don’t do anything wrong, otherwise it’s (p.312) over for you; I know everything you do.” Cannetella bewails loudly her sad fate, which she sees as a punishment from the heavens. She cries so much that two streams flow from her eyes, and she becomes very emaciated. After some years her father’s chamberlain happens to pass by, and she calls him to come up; he doesn’t recognize her but nonetheless takes her home to her father.146 The father kisses her a thousand times, gives her something to eat, and asks her about her fate.147 She tells him what has befallen her: “It is more,” she says, “than one can possibly think. Dear father, I won’t move from your feet and would rather be your maid than a queen somewhere else.” In the meantime, the wild man returns to his home, and the horses tell him about Cannetella’s flight. Enraged, he rushes after her. An old woman lives across from the king’s palace; he gives her a hundred ducats to let him into her house so he can watch for the king’s daughter. He catches sight of Cannetella while she is combing her hair. As if her heart knew her imminent danger, she runs to her father and asks him to lock her up behind six iron doors;148 otherwise she is lost. He grants her wish, and the man goes back to the old woman and says: “Go to the royal palace to sell something, and secretly put this sheet of paper in the bed of the king’s daughter.”149 She agrees to do it for a hundred ducats, and as soon as she puts the paper in the bed, everyone in the palace falls deeply asleep. Only Cannetella stays awake. Scioravante breaks down all six doors, and she screams, but no one hears. When he is in the bedroom, he picks Cannetella up, along with the bed, to take her away; fortunately, the magic sheet falls out.150 Immediately people wake up, rush to the ogre, free the king’s daughter, and give him the punishment he deserves.
III. 2 The Girl without Hands151
A king has a beautiful sister named Penta and tells her that he wants to marry her.152 She is scared and says: “How can such a word come out of your mouth!”153 But he doesn’t take no for an answer and keeps repeating his forbidden desire.154 “You are beautiful from head to toe,” he says, “but I am especially in love with your beautiful hands.” “Wait a moment,” she says, goes to her room, and, under the pretext of accomplishing something secret, she has a servant cut off her hands, which she sends him on a plate covered with a silk cloth. When he sees this, the king becomes enraged; he has her pushed into a tarred box and thrown into the sea. Some sailors catch the box, and their leader, Masiello, takes her home to his wife, Nuccia, who is charged with taking care of her.155 Out of jealousy, however, Nuccia (p.313) throws her back into the sea. The waves toss the box here and there until a king aboard his ship notices it and fishes it out. He is stunned by the girl’s beauty, takes her with him and hands her over to his wife. She carries out every task with her feet: sews, combs the queen’s hair. Soon afterwards the queen feels that her death is approaching and says to the king: “If you want me to die in peace, promise me that you will marry Penta.” The king fulfills her wish; after the wedding night he has to leave Penta and go on a journey. In due time she gives birth to a beautiful baby boy, and the council sends a messenger with this communication to the king. On his way he runs into Nuccia and explains that he is taking a letter to the king to inform him of the birth of his son;156 the king has as his queen a beautiful girl without hands whom he found in a box in the sea. Nuccia realizes that the girl is the same Penta that she threw back into the sea. She gets the messenger drunk, takes the letter from him, and leaves a false communication stating that the queen has given birth to a dog, and sticks it, sealed, in the messenger’s satchel.157 The king receives the false letter but considers this misfortune a divine decree and responds that the queen should be taken care of. On his way back, the messenger stops at Nuccia’s house again; while he is asleep, she again takes the letter away from him and replaces it with a false one stating that the queen, along with the baby, should be burned to death without delay. The council thinks the king has lost his mind by condemning to death a wife who is like a pearl and an heir who is like a gem, and lets them escape. Penta arrives in a land whose king is a good sorcerer; she recounts to him her sad fate; then he tells her: “My daughter, you have found in me a father and a mother.” He gives her and her child shelter in his palace and proclaims that whoever comes to him and narrates his misfortune will be given a golden crown and scepter. Hereupon, unfortunate people from every corner of the world hasten to his kingdom. In the meantime, Penta’s husband returns home and hears about the unfortunate event; he sees the false letter, and it appears that the evil Nuccia is responsible. He has her arrested, and after she has been burned to death, he sails off in search of Penta.158 On the sea, he encounters another king, Penta’s brother, who is traveling to the sorcerer to tell him about his suffering. Both kings reach him by ship; the sorcerer welcomes them and seats them under his canopy. Each of them recounts his misfortune, and he realizes that one is Penta’s brother and the other her husband.159 He calls for the child and tells him: “Go and kiss your father’s hand.” The king feels such joy in seeing the boy that he puts a golden chain around his neck. “Now kiss your uncle’s hand also!” Then they ask: “To whom does he belong?”160 Penta, who has been (p.314) standing behind the door, jumps out with great joy; the sorcerer says: “Here I have given you the mother and child as the promised crown and scepter,” and Penta too receives something; he makes new hands grow on her, more beautiful than the previous ones.161
III. 3 The Face162
A king would like to know his daughter’s future and convenes all the astrologers; they inform him that she will face a danger because of a bone. As a result, the king locks her up with twelve young women in a tower and sternly orders that only meat without bones be given her. One day, when Renza (for this is her name) looks out of her barred window, she sees Cecio, a king’s son, passing by, and they are soon calling out to each other with the sweetest words. He proposes that she flee with him to his kingdom, where she will become his wife. Renza is wondering how she can possibly escape when a dog, which is assigned to the custody of the tower, runs into her room with a big bone in its mouth and lies under her bed. She takes the bone, chases the dog out, and finds the bone hard enough to gouge out a hole in the wall, through which she runs away with her beloved. At night they reach a place called Face (View? Viso) where there is a beautiful palace, in which they rest.163 Their luck doesn’t last long; Cecio receives a letter from his mother: if he wants to find her still alive, he must go to her without delay. He tells Renza: “Wait here for five or six days, then I will come back and pick you up.” He leaves, but Renza takes a horse, which she finds grazing in a meadow, mounts it, and gallops after him. On the way she encounters a hermit’s boy; she gives him her dress trimmed with gold, takes his sack and his rope and girds herself with it, resumes her journey, and soon catches up with Cecio. They greet each other, and he asks: “Dear Father, where are you coming from and where are you going?” Renza answers with a song:164
- “Where I come from, oppressed by pain,
- A young woman waits and wails: Oh beautiful face,165
- Alas, who has taken you away from me?”
Cecio truly takes her for a boy and says: “Your presence is so dear to me that I ask you never to leave my side.” Together they reach the queen, who called her son only to give him a wife who had been chosen for him. Cecio asks his mother to consider the boy his brother and treat him as such. He is to sing for him and eat at the same table with him and his bride.166 Only when she is in a solitary garden can Renza complain about her harsh destiny (p.315) and great pain, and about the unfaithfulness of Cecio, who has forgotten her. She has to go back to the house, but eats nothing and drinks not a drop of water. Cecio asks: “Is there something wrong?” “I am not feeling well,” she answers. It is now bedtime. At Cecio’s command, a sofa must be prepared for the boy in the wedding bedroom. Renza must repeat the words that are a dagger piercing her heart. “Oh,” says the bride, “what a sad song this is!”167 and she accuses Cecio of not caring about her. Then he kisses her, but as soon as Renza hears the sound of the kiss, her heart breaks and she dies. Cecio calls the boy: “Keep going with the song; it gives me a great pleasure.”168 When no answer follows, he quietly arises and takes the boy’s arm, but the boy stays still; so he puts his hand on his face and feels that it is cold. He calls for lights, and when he looks at the dead boy, he sees that it is Renza, recognizing her by a mole between her breasts. In consequence, he stabs himself in the heart. When the bride, paralyzed by the shock, comes to her senses, she calls the queen to show her this tragedy. Soon Renza’s father arrives as well and sees the sad fulfillment of the prediction.169
III. 4 Sapia Liccarda170
A rich merchant has three daughters: Bella, Cenzolla, and Sapia Liccarda. One day, before leaving, he locks their windows and gives each of them a ring with a stone that is stained as soon as the person wearing it commits something shameful. He has just walked out of the gate when they open the windows and show themselves at the door.171 On the other side of the street, from the royal palace, the king’s three sons flirt with the girls and soon become more intimate. The two older ones, Ceccariello and Grazullo, quickly win Bella and Cenzolla over, and at night they sneak into the house. But the youngest girl, Liccarda, is prudent and doesn’t let the third son, whose name is Tore, beguile her. Like a snake, she slips into her room, and in vain he tries to open the door. Bella and Cenzolla become pregnant and join Tore in beguiling Liccarda as well.172 They tell her: “Have mercy on our condition; we have such a craving for a piece of bread, like the one the king eats; you can get it for us.”173 Liccarda makes a ragged dress, walks into the royal palace, and begs for a piece of bread, Tore keeps an eye on her and tries to grab her, but she turns her back on him and skillfully kicks him away.174 Since his trick hasn’t worked out, after a couple of days the sisters come up with a new craving, this time for the pears in the king’s garden. Liccarda again dresses up as a beggar; the king is already there, and his mouth waters as soon as he sees the beautiful girl; he himself climbs up the tree and gets the (p.316) pears for her, but when he wants to get down, she whips the ladder away, and the king would have spent the night in the tree if a gardener hadn’t passed by and helped him down.175 Bella and Cenzolla bear two beautiful baby boys; they tell Piccarda: “Please take them to their fathers.” She takes this task on too and places the two princes in their beds, but puts a large stone on Tore’s bed. When they see the two babies, Ceccarillo and Grazullo rejoice, while Tore strikes the stone and hurts himself. In the meantime, the merchant returns, and by taking a look at his two oldest daughters’ stained rings, he realizes what crime they have committed and wants to kill them.176 But the two princes show up and propose to them, so he is satisfied and arrange the wedding for that evening. Liccarda makes a beautiful image out of sugar paste, puts it in a basket, and covers it up with cloths. When it is time to sleep, she has the basket brought into the room, places the statue under the linen sheets, and hides behind the bed curtain. Tore walks in, and thinking it is Liccarda, he scornfully cries out: “I don’t like you anymore; I detest you. What can a cricket do against an elephant!”177 He takes his dagger and stabs the statue. Not content, he wants to suck her blood too; he takes the dagger out and brings it to his tongue. When he finds its taste sweet and flavorful and thinks he has murdered such a sweet girl, he regrets his fury and in desperation raises his hand to kill himself with the same dagger. Then Liccarda comes out, takes his hand, and says that everything she did was only to test his faithfulness.178
III. 5 The Beetle, the Mouse, and the Cricket179
Nardiello is a good-for-nothing. His father gives him a hundred ducats, with which he must go to Salerno and do some buying.180 On the way, by a rocky spring he runs into a fairy who has a beetle that is playing the loveliest melody on a zither.181 He gives her his hundred ducats, puts the little creature in a box, and runs home to show the treasure to his father. His father thinks there are diamonds in the box; when he sees the beetle, he scolds Nardiello but again gives him a hundred ducats. In the same place he finds another fairy with a mouse that dances very prettily. He buys it with the money and brings it home. He is scolded again and again receives a hundred ducats. He gives them to a third fairy for a cricket whose song is so sweet and lovely that everyone falls asleep. This time, however, he is beaten by his father and flees, but takes the three creatures with him. He ends up in a land where the king’s daughter has not laughed in seven years because she is melancholy;182 the father, having tried all possible means in vain, proclaims that whoever (p.317) can make her laugh will become her husband. Nardiello comes forward, is allowed in, and takes his three creatures, which play, dance, and sing in such a charming and amusing way that the king’s daughter finally bursts out laughing. The king resents having to give his daughter up to such an ordinary man and thus establishes the requirement that if he doesn’t consummate the marriage within three days, he will be thrown to the lions. But he wickedly orders that the man be given a sleeping potion each of the three evenings. Nardiello falls asleep all three evenings and is thrown into the lion pit. Here he opens the three boxes and says: “Dear creatures, since the time has arrived that I must die, I am setting you free. Go wherever you want!” But the creatures perform so many fascinating and amusing acts that the lions stand as still as statues, and the mouse says: “Cheer up, dear master, since you have freed us we want to serve you more; you have always loved us and cared for us. We have magic powers and we want to save you from danger.”183 The mouse then makes a hole so large that Nardiello can slip through it; then the creatures take him to a shack and ask what he wishes for. Nardiello answers: “If the king has married his daughter to another man, I want him also to be unable to consummate the marriage.”184 That’s nothing, the creatures say. The king has indeed married his daughter to a powerful man.185 The creatures hurry to the nuptial room; at night, as soon as the newlyweds lie down, the groom falls asleep. The beetle hears him snoring, gets on the bed, and makes him soil himself.186 The bride makes such a racket that he has to get out of bed. The doctors attribute the incident to the wedding banquet. The following night the valets suggest that he wrap himself in sheets. He falls asleep safely; the beetle, finding the entrance blocked,187 calls the mouse, which chews the sheets to pieces so that the beetle can accomplish his task again. Once more the bride has to get out of bed. The third night he decides to stay awake and follows the recommendation to put a wooden case (? tappo di ligno) around the threatened part; he lies there without moving and without sleeping.188 The beetle says: “At this point our art has come to an end.” But the cricket begins to sing so lovely that the bride does fall asleep. Since the barricade is so tough, the mouse comes up with something else. It stirs its tail in a pot of mustard, sneaks up to the sleeping man on the bed and smears his nose with it. He jumps up to sneeze; the wooden case shoots off because of the movement and hits the bride so hard that she can only think that her husband wants to kill her.189 At her shrieks, the king arrives in a rush and the suspicious groom is kicked out of the land. “This is the result of our bad behavior toward poor Nar diello!” says the king. The beetle then replies: “Console yourself; he is still alive and thanks to his good qualities (p.318) deserves to be your son-in-law.” The three creatures bring him in; the king hugs him and gives him his daughter.190
III. 6 The Maidservant191
A poor farmer has seven daughters, and a rich farmer has seven sons.192 One day, the poor man pays a visit to the rich one, whose son is sick. The rich man asks him how many children he has; he feels ashamed of his numerous daughters and says: “Seven, four sons and three daughters.” “Ask one of your sons to come here,” says the other, “so he can keep the sick one company.” The poor man doesn’t know how to get out of this situation. He goes home and asks his daughters one after the other: who would like to cut her hair and wear men’s clothes? The six oldest daughters cut him off with impudent words, but the youngest answers: “Father, for the love I have for you, I will transform myself not only into a man, but even into a beast.”193 Her hair is cut and men’s clothes are made for her, and she goes to the sick young man and serves him with care. When he looks at this great beauty, he guesses her gender and falls deeply in love with her. He shares his thought with his mother.194 She says: “We must find that out soon!” and asks the girl to go to the stable and ride a wild colt. She obeys and behaves in a manly way. The son doesn’t want to give up his opinion, so his mother devises a second test. She must take a shotgun and open fire. The girl shoots like a man. The son clings to his doubt and, when his mother sees him so stubborn, she proposes that he go swim with the alleged girl. But she suspects this plan, and asks to be called home.195 So the rich man thus goes to the poor one; everything comes out, and not only this one, but also the other six couples marry one another.196
III. 7 Corvetto197
Corvetto is one of the king’s servants and is his favorite but for this reason is hated by the courtiers.198 They try to set a trap for him, but he keeps his eyes and ears open; moreover, he is endowed with magic powers. An enemy of the king, a wild man, lives in a desolate forest on a mountain; he has a horse, the finest horse in the world, which also has the gift of human language.199 The courtiers succeed in persuading the king to order Corvetto to bring this horse to him. Corvetto sneaks into the wild man’s stable, saddles the horse, and rides it away. It shouts: “Come quickly! Corvetto is taking me away!” and the wild man rushes after him with lions, bears, and wolves, but Corvetto (p.319) is faster and joyfully rides the horse home. Now his enemies incite the king to demand the wild man’s precious jewelry as well. Corvetto rides up and at night, and when the man has lain down with his wife, he gently pulls off his jewelry. The man flares up and shouts: “Wife, wife, what are you doing?” “Nothing,” she answers, “I am lying still.” He reaches down with his hand and catches Corvetto’s face. “The gremlin! The gremlin!” he screams, “servants, quick, bring some light!”200 But Corvetto, who has already thrown the jewels out the window, makes a bold leap and leaves with his booty. It is still not enough, the third time he must even get the wild man’s palace for the king. Corvetto goes over and finds the wife alone; she has recently given birth, and her husband has gone out to invite their relatives. Corvetto offers to help her with the preparation of the party. She is very happy about it and asks him to chop two pieces of wood. He takes the ax and hits her on the head with it, and she falls to the ground. He then rushes to the front door and digs a deep hole, which he covers with green branches. He stands behind the door, and when he sees the wild man arrive, he shouts: “Long live the king!”201 The wild man, angered by his insolence, hurries to catch him, but falls into the hole. Corvetto then locks the door and takes the key to the king, who rewards him by giving him his daughter as a wife.
III. 8 The Simpleton202
A rich man has a son who is, however, dumb and naïve. He gives him a good handful of ducats and tells him he should depart and do some business.203 On the way, the simpleton finds a man whose name is Fast-as-Lightning (Furgolo) because he can run like lightning, and to prove it he catches up with a deer in a couple of strides. He takes him on, and after four miles he runs into another man, by the name of Hare’s-Ear (aurecchia a lleparo), who only needs to keep an ear on the ground to be able to hear everything that is taking place in the world.204 Afterwards a third one: Hit-the-Target (Ceca deritto), who from a great distance can shoot an arrow and hit a pea on a stone. He finds a fourth one, Wind-Player, who can blow every wind from his mouth; finally a fifth one, Strong-Back (Forte-schiena), who is so strong that he can carry a mountain on his shoulders as if it were a feather. As evidence, he carries so many pieces of rock and tree roots that a thousand carts couldn’t take them away. The simpleton takes them all on and arrives in a kingdom where the king’s daughter can run as fast as the wind. The king has proclaimed: whoever overtakes her in a race will have her as his wife; but if he is defeated, he will give up his head. The simpleton comes forward, (p.320) but insists that another run on his behalf.205 “As far as I am concerned, whoever wants to come can come,” says the king’s daughter. Fast-as-Lightning takes the simpleton’s place, runs like a flash of lightning, and is the winner. Given that a second race must take place, the king’s daughter gives Fast-as-Lightning an enchanted ring that makes whoever wears it weak in the legs and unable to walk, let alone run.206 In the meantime, Hare’s-Ear hears the private conversation that she is having with her father about all this. On the following day, when the race is about to start and Fast-as-Lightning can’t take a step, Hit-the-Target, informed by Hare’s-Ear, takes his crossbow, shoots the stone on the ring worn by Fast-as-Lightning and to which the magic was tied, and splits it. As a result, Fast-as-Lightning regains his strength, reaches the king’s daughter with four leaps, and reaches the finishing line before her. The king resents the fact that his daughter must go to the simpleton and wants to buy him out with gold. The simpleton asks only for what one of his companions can carry on his shoulders; this is granted, and Strong-Back hauls away all the treasures of the kingdom. The king regrets this; he sends out armed people after them to bring it back to him, but Hare’s-Ear has heard everything, and when they approach, Wind-Player blows such a powerful north wind against them that they fly scattered into the air.207 The simpleton happily arrives home with his wealth.208
III. 9 Rosella209
The Great Turk has leprosy, and the doctors suggest that he take a bath in the blood of a great prince. He dispatches an army, and it succeeds in capturing a king’s son. However, the doctors, who have doubts about the results and are afraid of being punished, postpone the treatment with the excuse that the youth’s blood is not yet pure but troubled by his sadness and grief. So he is treated well and led to the Turk’s daughter, Rosella, in a beautiful garden, where they fall in love with each other.210 Spring arrives, when blood is usually very fresh, and the girl, who has received magic powers from her mother and knows what awaits her beloved, says: “Take this fine sword and hurry to the shore, where you will find a ship in which, thanks to this magic sword, you will be welcomed with great honor, as if you were the emperor himself.” She writes a spell and places it in her mother’s pocket, and as a result the mother falls into a deep sleep. Then she takes a bag full of precious stones, hurries to her beloved, and they sail away. In the meantime the Great Turk happens to go to the garden, and seeing that both of them are missing, he raises a tremendous alarm; his wife, however, doesn’t wake up, and nothing can wake her up until the spell is found and removed.211 Since (p.321) she immediately understands everything, she runs to the sea and throws in the branch of a tree, which turns into a ship on which she sits and goes after the fugitives. Although she is invisible, Rosella spots her. Rosella gives her lover a chain with an iron blade and shows him in which direction to throw it.212 Eventually he grabs the old woman’s hands and cuts them off.213 She screams out loud and casts a curse on Rosella that the king’s son, as soon as he steps ashore, will forget her. She goes back home with her bleeding stumps, narrates what happened to her, and gives up her life, which she has maintained for so long by virtue of her art; the Great Turk too dies of despair.214 Meanwhile, the two arrive home; he tells Rosella to wait on the ship, so that he can return to her ceremoniously and take her to his father’s palace. She waits three days, but he doesn’t come because the curse has taken effect and he has totally forgotten her. Rosella lands and rents a house in front of the king’s palace. The courtiers soon notice the new beauty and try to win her favor. She leads them on for a while; finally she tells one of them that if he brings a thousand ducats and a splendid dress, he can spend one night with her. When he arrives, she is already lying in bed, and she tells him that he must first lock the door because she forgot to. But as soon as he closes it, it opens up again, and he can do nothing else all night but close the door, so that at dawn he leaves ashamed. The second night another man comes with the same gift, and she tells him that before lying down he should put out the light. But the more he blows on it the more it flares up, and he is in the same situation as the previous one and is left out of breath. The third one has no better luck; she tells him that he should first comb her hair, but the more he works on it the more it gets tangled, and so he combs in vain until the day breaks. The three men recount to one another how they have been fooled, and finally they inform the king. He asks for Rosella and reproaches her for what she has done. She says: “One in your court has done the greatest injustice to me”215 and recounts how she saved him from the Great Turk, who is her father, and freed him from captivity and joyfully took him home. The king has her seated with great honor and asks: “Who is he?” She takes a ring off her finger: “The person to whom this ring will jump is the betrayer!” The ring slips onto the finger of the king’s son, and thanks to the power of this ring he regains his memory. He runs to his beloved Rosella and takes her in his arms.216 She is baptized and married to him.
III. 10 The Three Fairies217
A widow named Caradonia, a wicked and jealous woman, has an extremely ugly daughter, named Grannizia. She marries a widower, Antonio, who has (p.322) also a daughter from his first marriage; named Cecella, she is a model of beauty and goodness. Yet she is mistreated by her stepmother, has to do all the basest chores: sweep, feed the pigs, take care of the donkey. Good fortune rules that one day, while she is carrying the garbage along the old walls, her basket falls down. While she tries to see how she can get it back, she spots an imp down there.218 She says to him: “Give me back the basket that slipped from me.” He answers: “Come and get it.” She crawls down between roots and stones, and at the bottom she finds three fairies, one more beautiful than the other; their hair is like spun gold. They take the girl by the hand and lead her to a magnificent palace. There they sit down, put their heads in her lap and have her comb their hair.219 She does this with care and skill. They ask: “What do you find on this head?” “Neither dirt nor vermin, only pearls and garnets,” she answers courteously.220 Then they take her around and show her the treasures and wealth of this magical palace. Finally they go to a room where all kinds of the finest garments are hanging. They tell her she should choose one. The humble Cecella takes the most modest thing there, a checkered underskirt. Then they ask her which door she wants to go through when she leaves. Again she answers humbly: “Through the stable door.” They dress her in a fine dress and lead her to the golden door and say: “Go, and when you are below the door, look up.” She does as they say, and as soon as she raises her head, a golden star falls on her forehead. With this adornment she hurries home and tells her stepmother everything that has happened to her. She sends her daughter Grannizia down there. She has to comb the fairies’ hair, and when asked what she finds on their heads, she answers rudely: “Such big vermin.” When she is shown the fine things and asked to take something, she snatches the best one with both hands. When asked through which door she would like to leave, through the golden one or the garden door, she answers: “Through the best possible one.” They tell Grannizia to look up when she is under the door, and when she does so, a mark of shame (no testiculo d’aseno) falls on her forehead and stays there.221 When she gets home, her mother fumes with rage, tears off Cecella’s beautiful clothes, and has her perform the basest tasks, which she fulfills with great patience. It happens that a noble gentleman named Cuosemo sees this jewel in the mud,222 falls passionately in love, and asks the stepmother for Cecella’s hand. She tells him to come back at night, and, instead of the real wife, gives him a false one, Grannizia. Cuosemo is alarmed by the transformation, but he takes his wife home, and without having touched her he takes her back the following day.223 Caradonia is not there; she is gone to the woods to get some twigs. When he calls after her, a little cat close to the ashes says: “Meow, meow, the young woman is in the barrel.” Cuosemo goes to the barrel and hears something (p.323) moving and knocking inside it; then he takes an ax and breaks it open, and inside finds the beautiful Cecella. Beside himself with joy he takes her in his arms as his proper spouse: “Sweetheart, how did you end up in this barrel?” She tells him about all the abuses that her evil stepmother inflicts on her. Cuosemo takes Grannizia, pushes her into the barrel, closes it up, puts Cecella on a horse, and rides away with her.224 Caradonia comes back home with a huge bundle of twigs, lights a fire, places a big kettle on it, and when the water boils she pours it into the barrel. When she thinks Cecella is now dead, she opens it, and finds her own daughter, whom she has killed. Full of despair, she runs to the well and throws herself in.
IV. 1 The Rooster’s Stone225
Minecaniello, a poor man, has nothing left apart from a short-legged rooster; hunger forces him to sell this as well. He takes it to the market, where two men strike a bargain with him and ask him to take the rooster to their house. They are sorcerers, and he hears one say to the other: “The rooster has a stone in its head, and if we take it out and set it in a ring, we can wish for whatever we desire and it will happen.” Minecaniello hurries home with the rooster; he himself takes the stone out of its head and has it set in a ring, and to try out its capacity he wishes to be a handsome young eighteen-year-old and to have the most splendid palace in the world.226 His wishes are fulfilled immediately, and the king doesn’t hesitate to give him his daughter as a wife.227 In the meantime the two sorcerers find out Minecaniello’s good fortune and try to trick him. They make a doll that plays music and dances; they entice Minecaniello’s daughter to wish for the rare object. All they ask is to take a close look at her father’s ring, so that they can have a similar one made for themselves. As soon as he comes home, she wheedles the ring out of him, just to play with it a bit. When the sorcerers have it in their hands, they run away, and the first thing that they do is to destroy Minecaniello’s good fortune; he becomes old again and his palace disappears; as a consequence, the king chases him away in disgrace.228 He curses his daughter’s foolishness and goes off, full of despair, into distant parts of the world. In his wandering, he arrives at the kingdom of the mice. He is seen as a spy for cats and is taken to the mouse king, to whom he presents a bacon rind and recounts his sad fate. Two experienced mice are summoned; they tell him to cheer up, for they have heard the two sorcerers talking about the ring; one is wearing it on his finger and never takes it off. They depart with Minecaniello. (p.324) At night, the mice sneak into the sorcerer’s bedroom; one of them gnaws on the finger with the ring; he thinks it is too tight, takes it off, and puts it on the nightstand next to him. The other mouse quickly puts it in its mouth, runs away, and takes it to Minecaniello, who transforms the two sorcerers into donkeys, himself into a young man again, and wishes for his past good fortune.229 Now the king welcomes him cordially.230
IV. 2 The Two Brothers231
A dying father gives his two sons good instructions.232 Marcuccio takes them to heart and leads an industrious and virtuous life, but despite his education he is poor and unlucky. Parmiero squanders what he has and rejects his brother’s advice. Saddened, Marcuccio climbs a high mountain so as to throw himself off the precipice; there a beautiful woman appears with a laurel crown on her golden hair, consoles him, and tells him he must go to a certain kingdom, where the king’s daughter is deathly sick, and he should feed her a fresh egg so that she will immediately regain her health.233 He does what she says; he is rewarded by the king and becomes his first counselor. Parmiero’s fate leads him to this land as well, but he is so hungry, weak, and poor that he decides to hang himself in a hut outside the city. But the rock to which he fastened the rope breaks off, and an old hidden treasure comes to light.234 He resumes a lavish life, but is suspected of a crime and taken to the judge.235 Marcuccio is the highest judge and recognizes him; a chance discovery reveals his innocence.236 Marcuccio welcomes him into his house and shares with him the fruits of his good fortune.
IV. 3 The Three Kings237
A king has three beautiful daughters; another has three sons, who want to marry them, but the father doesn’t want to give them his daughters because the three suitors have turned into animals by magic.238 The first, a falcon, calls all the birds of the sky at once and asks them to destroy everything green, not to spare even one leaf. The second, a stag, calls the quadrupeds, which must ravage all the fields. Finally, the third, a dolphin, uses sea monsters to stir up such a storm that no ship is left intact. In this devastation, the king decides to give up his daughters. At their departure, the queen hands a ring to each of them, so as to make them recognizable, and says that, if anyone visits them with one of these rings, he will be someone of their blood. The falcon takes his wife to his marvelous castle on a mountain; the stag leads his wife into a forest, where a house with the most beautiful garden (p.325) awaits her; finally the dolphin carries his wife on his back through the sea to a rock where his castle is.239 Meanwhile the queen bears a beautiful baby boy who, when he is fifteen years old and hears his mother’s constant complaint about her three married daughters, decides to look for them. She gives him a ring exactly like the one his sisters received so that they will be able to recognize him. He takes off and reaches the falcon’s castle on the mountain, and while he is observing its beauty, his sister notices him and calls him in. She recognizes him by his tale, which the ring confirms. When the falcon gets home, she hides her brother. At first he doesn’t want to hear about a brother-in-law,240 but then he becomes more lenient, and when the brother appears in front of him, he treats him in the best possible way, and after fifteen days when he takes his leave, the falcon even gives him one of his feathers, saying: “Keep it carefully; when you need me, throw it on the ground and say: ‘Come, come!’ I won’t delay.” The young man goes on traveling and finds his other sisters, the one living with the stag and the youngest with the dolphin on the island. At his departure, one gives him a hair and the other a scale, with similar words. Continuing his journey, he arrives at a forest, where a tall tower stands on an island in a lake. At one of the windows he sees a beautiful young woman at the feet of a wild dragon, which is asleep. She calls him; he wishes to free her from the hands of the monster. He thinks about how to do it; then he recalls his brothers-in-law’s gifts. He quickly throws the feather, the hair, and the scale onto the ground and cries out: “Come! Come!” Immediately the falcon, the stag, and the dolphin appear and ask what he needs. “Only that you free that young lady from the claws of the dragon.” The falcon calls up griffins, which fly in, grab the young lady, and carry her over the lake to the young man. In the meantime the dragon wakes up, sees what has happened, gets up, and wants to tear the young man apart, but the stag calls up lions, tigers, bears, and panthers, which charge at the dragon and defeat him. To do something too, the dolphin makes such a storm arise over the lake that the tower is shaken to its foundations and collapses.241 Afterwards, the falcon, the stag, and the dolphin regain their human forms and turn into handsome young men, for the curse was dissolved as soon as they freed a princess from her affliction.242 The four couples hasten joyfully to the parents’ house.243
IV. 4 The Seven Bacon Rinds244
An old witch brings home seven bacon rinds that she has panhandled and gives them to her daughter to cook;245 the daughter, however, while the old woman is away to get some vegetables, can’t resist her craving and eats the (p.326) rinds, one after the other. Afraid of being punished, she cuts up the sole of an old shoe into seven pieces and throws these strips in the pot. The old woman gets home, and soon the dish is ready; she starts eating but can’t chew the rinds. The daughter denies doing anything, but this doesn’t help her; the old woman grabs the broomstick and beats her. A merchant passing by is sorry for the girl, takes her as his wife, and escorts her to his comfortable house.246 On Monday, he gets up early and gives her twenty rolls of flax.247 She is to spin it in twenty days, which is when he returns from his journey.248 He will give her a beautiful gift. Once he has taken off, however, all she can think about is frying pancakes and eggs, sleeping, and loafing around. Meanwhile, the time of her husband’s return approaches, and she thinks: “You must do something”; she takes a long pole and makes wild preparations for spinning.249 By chance, some sorceresses pass by and can’t help but laugh, and they kindheartedly grant the lazy girl that all the flax in the house be immediately spun, woven, and bleached.250 She goes to bed as soon as her husband arrives and pretends to be exhausted and sick because of the hard work;251 but while her husband goes to the doctor, she cracks nuts open and throws the shells out of the window. The doctor explains the sickness as the result of an idle life, but the husband doesn’t believe him, and she tells him that she has been cured by his mere gaze.252
IV. 5 The Dragon253
A cruel king travels with his wife to a remote castle. In the meantime, a sorceress takes possession of his throne. He asks a prophetic wooden statue about his kingdom, and it answers him: he will recover his kingdom when the sorceress loses her eyes.254 But since she knows how to defend herself against this adversity, the king becomes enraged at women, and violates and then kills all those who fall into his clutches. Such a destiny even befalls Porziella, a young woman whose beauty has no match in the world. He has already drawn his dagger when a bird drops something onto his arm, making his blade fall from his hand.255 This bird was a fairy, whom Porziella once had saved from a looming danger.256 The king, disconcerted by this event, does not kill her but locks her up in a cell, giving her nothing to eat or drink. But the bird arrives, reassures her with human words, and brings her food and even grapes for her thirst through an opening in a corner of the floor, which is connected to the kitchen.257 Meanwhile, Porziella gives birth to a beautiful baby boy, whom she names Miuccio. When he grows up, the bird suggests that she should break some of the floorboards so that the (p.327) opening will be large enough for Miuccio, and then, with ropes that the bird has brought with it, his mother can lower Miuccio down into the kitchen as soon as the cook is not around. He is not supposed to reveal where he comes from but must say that he is lost and seeks a master. When the king sees him and likes him because he is so handsome, he hires him as his page and loves him, without suspecting who he really is; the queen, however, hates him because the king holds him in such esteem, and tries to ruin him.258 She tells the king that Miuccio has bragged that he is able to build three castles in the air. So he orders him to carry this out on pain of death. Miuccio doesn’t know what to do, and wails; the bird arrives and helps out: he makes three castles out of cardboard, and three griffins come and carry them in the air; as a result, the king, who has come with the entire court to see it, loves him even more. But the queen’s envy grows; she concocts something new and makes the king believe that Miuccio has volunteered to blind the sorceress and take back the lost kingdom. The king demands this also. The bird has advice for this difficult problem too; it gathers a large group of birds and asks who dares to attack a sorceress’s face. A swallow, which has made its nest on the royal palace and hates the sorceress, presents itself.259 It darts forth, and when the sorceress lies down on a couch, it lands on her head and lets filth fall on her eyes, which blinds her.260 In desperation the witch runs to a cave and pounds her head against the wall. The king regains possession of his entire realm. For the third time, the queen comes up with something against Miuccio. Not far from the castle lives a fierce dragon, which was born at the same time as the queen and whose life is tied to hers and therefore can’t continue to live after her death.261 Only one thing can save her: if her temples, her breastbone, her nostrils, and her dimples are smeared with the dragon’s blood, she can have her life back.262 Now she tells the king that Miuccio, his favorite, brags that he can kill the dragon, and although it is her brother it is also her enemy, and she’d rather keep her husband than a hundred brothers. The king, who loathes the dragon but doesn’t know how to free himself from it, calls Miuccio and orders him to fulfill the task; otherwise he will lose his head.263 The bird doesn’t abandon him and gives him an herb: “Take this to the dragon’s cave and throw it in; soon it will fall deeply asleep, and then chop its head off.”264 Miuccio takes a sharp knife with him too, and when the beast is asleep, he tears it apart. With each cut he makes, the queen feels her own life weakening; she calls the king and tells him that she feels that Miuccio is killing the dragon; dying, she asks him to smear her with her brother’s blood before burying her.265 When Miuccio arrives and announces that he has completed the (p.328) task, the king orders him to go back and get the dragon’s blood. On the way the bird comes up to him and asks what he plans to do. Miuccio explains. Then the bird says: “The dragon’s blood will be your ruin!” and tells him that the king doesn’t know that Miuccio is of his own blood, and that his mother lives in a prison. But the king, who has followed Miuccio, hears everything. Porziella is freed and becomes his wife; the bird turns into a beautiful young woman, whom Miuccio marries.266
IV. 6 The Three Crowns267
A king wishes for children, and when he expresses this wish aloud in a garden one day, a voice responds from a bush: “King, which do you want, a daughter or a son?”268 The king discusses the matter with his counselors; he finally chooses a daughter and gives his answer to the bush.269 After nine months his wife gives birth to a baby girl.270 She is locked up in a sturdy castle and carefully watched. When she has grown up, she is promised to a king.271 She has to be taken to her husband and for this reason leaves her home for the first time. As soon as she steps out, the wind seizes her and carries her to a forest, and to the front of an ogress’s house. There she finds an old woman who tells her: “Oh, you unlucky girl; it’s all over for you when the ogress comes home and sees you! One thing I can tell you: go inside the house and clean and tidy everything up and then hide.” When she comes home, the ogress rejoices at the wonderful order and tidiness, which are unusual, calls the old woman, and praises everything to the skies. She leaves again, and the old woman says to Marchetta (this is the name of the king’s daughter): “Now prepare something good, but you can trust her only when she swears by the three crowns that she is not going to do anything to you; only then can you let yourself be seen.”272 Marchetta kills a goose and prepares an excellent dish. The ogress comes and asks: “Who cooked this?” “I did,” says the old woman, “and think nothing of it.” She eats and finds it so delicious that she swears by many things that she will look with great favor on the person who cooked it. Marchetta hears this from her hiding place but doesn’t move. Finally the ogress says: “I swear by my three crowns that out of love I will do everything for him.” Then Marchetta jumps out and shows herself. The ogress stays true to her word: “I will treat you like my daughter. I turn over to you the keys to every room. You may open all of them, except the last one. If you serve me well, I promise you by my three crowns that I will take care of you generously.”273 But as soon as the ogress leaves, Marchetta is so tortured by curiosity that she opens the forbidden (p.329) room. Three girls, all dressed in gold, are sitting on three chairs and seem to be asleep.274 Their mother has enchanted them, because a great misfortune awaited them unless a princess arrived and awoke them.275 Because her feet make a noise as she walks in, they wake up and want something to eat. Marchetta cooks three eggs apiece in the ashes. They step out of the door to catch some fresh air; meanwhile the ogress comes back and is so angry with Marchetta that she slaps her. She takes offense and quits her service to her and wishes to go into the wide world. She persists in her decision, despite the ogress’s kind words to her. At her departure, she gives her a ring that she must wear with the stone inside of her hand and pay no attention to it until in a moment of great danger she hears the echo call her name (Orca).276 She also gives her male clothes.277 In this outfit she meets a king who is hunting. Taking her for a beautiful lad, he hires her as his page. The queen, however, falls madly in love with him and makes advances to him.278 Marchetta keeps her distance, and out of revenge she is accused of pursuing the queen with inappropriate love. On her way to death she cries out: “Who will save me from the gallows?” The echo then calls the ogress (“chi mme libera de sta forca?” “Orca”). Then Marchetta remembers the ring and looks at the stone, and at once a mighty voice resounds three times in the air: “Let her go, she is a girl!” The king has the deceitful queen thrown into the sea and Marchetta becomes his wife.279
IV. 7 The Two Cakes280
Two sisters, Luceta and Troccola, have two daughters, Marziella and Puccia. Marziella is beautiful and good, Puccia is ugly and wicked, and so are their mothers. One day Luceta tells Marziella: “Go to the fountain and get me a bucket of water,” and for that she gives her a small cake.281 While she is eating it by the fountain, an old woman comes by and asks for a piece.282 “Here,” says Marziella, “have some. I wish it were sprinkled with sugar.” “May the heavens bless your good heart,” says the old woman, and grants her that every time she breathes, roses and jasmines will come out of her mouth; when she combs her hair, pearls and garnets will fall from her head; finally, wherever she puts her foot down, lilies and violets will sprout.283 The girl thanks her, and as soon as she gets home, everything the old woman has said comes to fruition. When Troccola learns about this great fortune, she wants the same to happen to her daughter. She sends her too with a cake to the fountain. The old woman shows up again and asks for a piece. “It’s hardly my job to give you cake,” Puccia answers scornfully and in a (p.330) few bites wolfs it all down. The angry old woman curses her: “When you breathe, may foam come out of your mouth as if you were a mule; when you comb your hair, may vermin fall from your head; and wherever you go, may stinking flowers pop up.” As soon as Puccia gets home, the curse takes effect, and so resentment against Marziella grows even more in the mother’s and the daughter’s hearts. Meanwhile Ciommo, Marziella’s brother, enters into the king’s service, and when one day the conversation is about women’s beauty, he extols above all others his extraordinary sister, even more so because of the white woman’s gifts.284 The king demands to see her; if she is as described, he will marry her. Ciommo informs his mother that she must come with her daughter quickly. Luceta is sick, so she asks her sister to take her place and accompany Marziella; the sister is very eager and brings Puccia along. They take off on a boat, but in the middle of the sea, while the sailors are asleep, the mischievous Troccola throws her innocent niece into the water. A beautiful siren quickly appears, takes Marziella in her arms, and carries her away.285 Troccola brings Puccia to the king for his wife, but when he tests her and vermin instead of pearls fall from her hair and stinking weeds instead of lilies sprout under her feet, he throws mother and daughter out and has Ciommo tend geese as punishment. He takes them to the beach where they look for food, and while in a shepherd’s hut he laments his fate; in the evening he takes the geese back. It comes to pass that Marziella emerges from the waters and feeds the geese with royal paste and gives them rose water.286 When in the evening the geese were confined in a small garden under the king’s window, they began to sing: “Quack, quack, quack, beautiful are the sun and the moon, but even more beautiful is the one who feeds us.”287 The king becomes aware of this, calls Ciommo, and asks what the geese grazed. “Nothing but fresh grass.” The king sends a faithful servant to observe; he sees Marziella arrive, and reports everything to the king. The following day, the king himself goes there, hides, catches sight of Marziella coming out of the waves and feeding the geese; then she goes down again and combs her hair, from which pearls and garnets fall. The king calls Ciommo from his straw hut and asks if he knows that beautiful girl. He hastens there, embraces and kisses her as his sister. Marziella recounts Troccola’s and her daughter’s betrayal. With great joy, the king invites her to follow him, but she can’t yet, because the siren restrains her by a golden chain fastened to her foot and drags her down if she lingers too long in the air.288 The following day the king frees her from the chain with his own hands; then she is led to the royal palace and is married to him.289
A woman gives birth to a baby boy every year until she has seven. She becomes pregnant again; her seven sons threaten her: “If you don’t give birth to a girl, we will get up and leave.” When the time draws near, they tell her: “We will go to the hilltop across from here; if you have a boy, put an inkstand and a feather by the window, but if it’s a girl, put a spindle (? cocchiara) and a distaff.”291 Fortunately, it is a girl, but the silly wet nurse, who is supposed to put out the sign, takes the wrong one, and the seven sons believe it’s a boy. They take off and end up in a thick forest of a wild man’s house.292 Since a woman once gouged his eyes out while he was asleep, he is so angry with the whole female gender that he devours every woman he can catch.293 Tired and hungry, they ask him for a piece of bread; he promises them food if they wish to serve him; they only need to make sure that one of them always waits on him.294 They choose to stay with him. Meanwhile, their sister grows up and when she hears that her brothers went far away because of her,295 she makes up her mind and looks for them. Like a pilgrim, she wanders from place to place until she arrives at the forest where her brothers are, and they welcome her with great joy.296 They give her a small room where the wild man can’t smell her,297 and urge her to give some of her food to a cat that lives in the house. Cianna, this is the girl’s name, is very careful and becomes good friends with the cat.298 It happens that one day the brothers have to go hunting for their master, and they ask her to cook a bowl of peas. In it she finds a hazelnut and eats it alone, without sharing it with the cat. Out of malice, the cat jumps on the stove and dampens it until the fire goes out.299 Cianna doesn’t know what to do; she runs out of her room and ends up in the wild man’s quarters, where she looks for fire. He immediately notices a girl’s voice and yells: “Welcome! Just wait a second, I’ve found what you need.”300 Then he reaches for a whetstone, smears it with oil, and begins to sharpen his fangs. Cianna hurries back to her room and barricades herself, as well as she can, with benches, bedsteads, and stones and whatever else is available. Since he can’t get in, the ogre blusters and tries to break down the door, but in the meantime the seven brothers come home and see the disaster.301 “We know nothing about this, maybe this damned woman crept in while we were hunting! But let’s go, I will take you to a place where we can catch her right away.”302 They take him by the hand and lead him to a pit and throw him in. Then they cover it with earth. Now they let her sister out of her room and tell her she should be careful not to pick any stalk grown on the wild man’s grave; otherwise the seven of them will turn into (p.332) doves. They want to spend the winter in the house and then go back home. One day, while they are away collecting wood, a wanderer passes by, sees a monkey sitting on a spruce tree, and teases it; it throws a fir cone at him and makes a dreadful gash on his face.303 The wounded man screams so miserably that Cianna hears him, and out of pity runs to grab some rosemary, which grows on the wild man’s grave, and makes a plaster with it, adding salt and chewed-up bread, which she applies to his wound. She waits for her brothers to have dinner; they fly in as seven doves, reproach her for forgetting their warning, and say: “It would have been better if your hand had been cut off than that you had plucked that rosemary; now we must keep flying, and there is no hope for us, unless you find the mother of Time.”304 Cianna begs her brothers to forgive her and says that she will travel through the whole world until she finds the old woman. She also asks them to stay in the house, and sets off. She reaches the sea and sees a whale, which asks: “Beautiful girl, what are you looking for?”305 “I am looking for the house of the mother of Time.” “Keep walking along the seashore, and when you reach the first river, look up and you will find someone who will show you the way.306 But do me a favor too; when you arrive at the old woman’s, ask her what I should do so as not to bump into the rocks and end on a sandbank.” When she reaches the stream, she walks up and arrives at a beautiful country, where she finds a mouse, which tells her: “If you want to go to the mother of Time, you still have to travel a lot, but don’t get discouraged and keep walking toward that mountain. But when you get there, ask the old woman how we can free ourselves from the tyranny of cats.” She exerts herself and keeps going, and when she sits on a stone, exhausted, she sees a multitude of ants dragging a stock of corn. Cianna asks them the same question. “Keep going,” they say, “if you’re looking for the mother of Time. But do us a favor and asks her how ants can prolong their lifespan.” Cianna resumes her walking and finds a tall, ancient tree, which speaks to her: “Come under my shade and rest a little.”307 The girl excuses herself: “I’m looking for the mother of Time.” “You are not far from your destination,” says the tree; “on top of that mountain you will find a house, that’s where she sits; but ask her how I can regain my lost honor.”308 Cianna finally reaches the foot of the mountain, and there she finds an old man lying worn out on a heap of hay. She recognizes him as the old traveler whose wound she had healed.309 He says: “I bring to Time the interest earned from the earth; he is a tyrant who snatches everything away and demands a tribute from everything, primarily from people of my age. Since I received a good deed from your hands, I will reward you and inform you about everything.310 On the (p.333) peak of the mountain you will find a wrecked house; only the coat of arms over the door is undamaged: a snake biting its own tail, a deer, a raven, and a phoenix. Sitting inside you will see an old woman with a beard that reaches the ground and hair on her head that covers her heels.311 She sits on a clock and, since her eyebrows are so thick that they cover her eyes, she won’t be able to see you when you arrive.312 As soon as you walk in, you must take the weights away from the clock, then call the old woman and tell her what you want from her. She will call her son (lo tiempo) so that he can eat you;313 but since the weights will be missing from the clock, he won’t be able to come, and she will be forced to do what you wish. Do not believe her until she swears by the wings of her son, but do everything she says.” After speaking these words, the old man dissolves into dust, and Cianna buries him.314 Then she climbs the mountain, but waits until the old woman’s son leaves the house. He appears as an old man with a long beard and an old cloak, and has big wings; he moves so quickly that she soon loses sight of him. Scared, she steps into the house and immediately takes the weights away from the clock. Everything happens as the pilgrim told her. The old woman finally swears by her son’s wings to fulfill her desires; so Cianna hands over the weights of the clock and soon her son (lo tiempo) shows up and answers the questions she has submitted.315 The tree can’t be dear to men as long as it has a treasure under its roots. The mouse won’t be safe with the cat unless it ties a bell to the cat’s leg, so that the mouse can hear it when it gets close. The ant can live a hundred years if it doesn’t fly, because when the ant is about to die it grows wings. The whale will travel untroubled if it becomes good friends with the water mouse, because the whale can use it as a guide. Finally, the doves will regain their human forms if they sit on the pillar of wealth. Cianna walks down the mountain, and then the seven doves arrive. They have followed her, and tired of so much flying they settle on the horns of a dead ox lying there, and soon they recover their human forms, because the horn as cornucopia was the pillar of wealth.316 They travel back together and take the answer to the tree. A great treasure is dug out from under its roots, and the eight siblings divide it up and take it with them. When they lie down in a thicket, exhausted by the journey, some thieves arrive, tie up their hands and feet, and make off with their treasure. They would have died of hunger had the mouse not shown up, and when it hears the answer to its question, out of gratitude it gnaws their cords to pieces. The ant shows up as well, hears the reply, and shows them the cave where the thieves have stored the treasure. They recover all their possessions, set off, and reach the sea, where the whale is waiting and welcomes the good (p.334) advice. In the meantime the thieves, who have been looking for them, show up with weapons, but the whale saves them, for it takes the eight of them on its back and guides them through the sea to their homeland, which they reach happily and with their treasure.317
IV. 9 The Crow318
King Milluccio loves hunting more than anything else. In a forest one day he finds a freshly killed crow on a piece of marble, and when he sees the red blood flowing down the snow-white stone, he sighs and cries out: “If I only had a wife white as this stone, red as this blood, and with hair black as the feathers of this crow!”319 His brother Jennariello finds him buried in these thoughts, motionless as a statue. At last he draws out of him what he desires, and he promises to wander through the whole world until he finds such a woman for him.320 He departs; in a big city he buys a beautiful falcon and a magnificent horse for his brother, and keeps seeking the unknown beauty.321 He first refuses to speak to a beggar but later tells him the reason for his journey.322 The beggar says: “I will show you the daughter of a magician. She is the one you are looking for.”323 He then knocks on the door of a house; Liviella shows up and offers a piece of bread to the poor man. Jennariello is immediately convinced that she is the right one. He gives a generous gift to the beggar, gets hold of a box full of all sorts of fine items, and walks up and down in front of Liviella’s house, loudly boasting of his goods, until she comes and takes a look at those fine things.324 “This is nothing,” he says, “I have some real treasures on my ship. Come and see them.” Curious, as soon as her father goes out, she hurries with her nursemaid to the ship.325 While she is looking at all those things, Jennariello raises the anchor and sails off. She is terrified when she discovers the ruse, but when he reveals everything to her and describes the handsomeness of the king, she is soon content. During the journey, all of a sudden the waves rise up and clouds gather in the sky.326 Jennariello climbs up the crow’s nest, hoping to spot land where he can set anchor; then he notices a couple of doves, one male and one female, passing by. The male dove wails: “Coo! Coo!” “What’s the matter?” asks the female dove. “Oh, the poor king’s son bought a falcon, but as soon as it sits on his brother’s hand, it will peck his eyes out. But if he doesn’t bring him the creature or if he warns him about it, he will turn to stone.” Once again the male dove wails: “Coo! Coo!” “What’s the matter?” asks the female. “The poor king’s son bought a horse for his brother. The first time he sits on it, he will jump off and breaks his neck. But if he doesn’t take it to him or if he warns him about it, he will turn to stone.” Finally, for (p.335) the third time the male dove wails: “Coo! Coo!” and says, “He is taking a beautiful woman to his brother, but the first night they lie together, a wild dragon will come in and devour them. But if he doesn’t take her or if he alerts him about it, he will turn to stone.” Soon the sea calms down and the wind abates. Jennariello becomes very sad because of what he heard. Milluccio sees the ship from afar. He stands by the shore and rejoices at his brother’s return.327 “What is this falcon?” asks Milluccio. “I bought it as a gift for you.” “The biggest treasure wouldn’t have given me a greater joy,” says the king, and wants to take it on his arm. But Jennariello grabs a large knife and slits the bird’s neck. Milluccio is astounded but doesn’t want to ruin the joy and asks about the horse.328 Jennariello gives the same answer; the king wants to mount it, but in the blink of an eye Jennariello cuts off the horse’s legs. Once again Milluccio restrains himself out of joy for the young bride his brother has brought him from his journey. The wedding is celebrated with great pomp; as soon as the two lie down in bed and fall asleep, Jennariello creeps behind the bed, and when the dragon arrives he fights it with his knife, but one wrong thrust hits one of the bed posts. The king then wakes up and the dragon disappears. But when he sees the knife in his brother’s hand and the post split in the middle, Milluccio cries out for help and firmly believes that his brother intended to kill him. The following day he calls for a trial, which condemns him to death.329 Now Jennariello reveals everything to Milluccio, but as soon as he speaks of the falcon, his feet turn to stone; when he speaks of the horse, half of his body does so; when he speaks of Liviella, he becomes totally petrified. In vain the king weeps for his error. In the meantime, the queen gives birth to two beautiful boys. One day, while she is away and the king is with the two little ones in the hall before the statue of his faithful brother, an elderly man with long hair and a beard walks in and tells him he can bring his brother back to life if he daubs him with his children’s blood. He resolves to do it, and the petrified image comes back to life.330 The king has the two innocent victims laid in a coffin; then the queen comes back, and devastated at this sight wants to throw herself out of the window, but her father, the magician, floats toward the window on a cloud, brings the children back to life, and makes everyone happy.331
IV. 10 Pride Punished332
A king had a daughter as haughty as she was beautiful, and no suitor was good enough for her. Among the suitors there was even a king, who for a long time offered her his sincere love, but to no avail. All his words were thrown to the wind. So he leaves.333 He lets his beard grow and makes himself (p.336) unrecognizable, then goes back and serves as a gardener.334 One day, under the window of Cintiella—this is her name—he spreads out a stunning golden dress. She wants to have it; in exchange, the gardener asks to be allowed to sleep in her antechamber one night, which she grants. The next day he spreads out an equally marvelous petticoat. She acquires this as well, and in exchange he sleeps one night in her antechamber. The third day, he spreads out a wonderful jacket that goes well with the other items, but he doesn’t want to give it to her until she allows him to spend one night in her bedchamber, to which she finally agrees.335 She has him sit in a chair, and with charcoal she draws a line on the floor, which he may not cross.336 Then she lies down on her bed and falls asleep, but he doesn’t respect the ban.337 When later she becomes pregnant, she has no choice but to run away with him. He takes her to a stable next to his palace, where she leads a sad, pitiful life.338 The maids who bake the bread tell her she should help them and then fill a pot with food, which she puts into a bag.339 The king arrives but is unrecognizable to her because he is wearing his royal clothes, and says: “Who is this creature? She has ‘swindler’ written on her face. Search her bag, and you will see.” The king disguises himself again and finds Cintiella deeply distressed because of the abuse she has just endured, for the pot of food has been snatched from her bag.340 The time of her delivery drawing near, she tries to get hold of some baby clothes, but the king, in his royal appearance, pulls them out from under her apron, and accused of being a thief, she has to return to the stable. He disguises himself and rushes to console her, so that sadness should not overwhelm her.341 He tells her that the queen has promised her son to a foreign lady and wishes to have a dress of gold and brocade made for her. Since she has the same figure, the measures will be taken on her. Cintiella shows up in this kind of dress before the king, who as a gardener suddenly approaches her, consoles and kisses her.342 She only thinks that the heavens are sending her this to inflict a just humiliation on her because of her past pride.343 But the king’s mother calls for the girl and has sympathy for her condition. She is laid in a royal bed and gives birth to two beautiful baby boys. The king arrives, embraces and kisses her, and reveals to her that he was the gardener.344
V. 1 The Goose345
Two sisters live in the harshest poverty and support themselves with spinning. One day they go to the market to offer their yarn for sale, and with the (p.337) money earned they buy a goose, but it becomes so dear to them that they take it to bed with them.346 Instead of soiling itself, the good creature deposits nothing but pieces of gold in the bed, and soon the poor sisters grow rich.347 Two women who live nearby notice their prosperity;348 they make a hole in the wall and see the goose standing on a bed sheet and letting pure pieces of gold fall on the bed.349 One of them walks over and asks if she could borrow the goose for a couple of hours; she just bought some goslings and would like them to get used to the house. They kindly grant her request.350 Together the women spread out a cloth and encourage the goose, which fills it with filth instead of gold; same thing happens a second time, and they can’t stand it anymore because of the stench. Flying into a rage, they wring the goose’s neck and throw it out of the window. As chance would have it, the king’s son is riding by on his way to go hunting, and pressed by a natural necessity he dismounts and uses the freshly killed goose, which is lying in a corner close to him, for his convenience.351 But the goose is not dead and gets such a firm hold on him with its teeth that he screams in pain. Since no one is able to remove it, he announces that whoever frees him from this agony will have half of his kingdom, and that if the person is a woman he will marry her. The youngest sister alone succeeds, because she needs only to call the goose and it lets go and runs to her.352 She becomes queen and her sister is well taken care of.353
V. 2 The Months354
There are two brothers: Cianne is rich but wicked, Lise is poor but good. Lise decides to go out into the world.355 In the evening, he arrives at an inn, where twelve youths are sitting together by the fire and warming themselves up. When they see that his clothes are ragged and he is shivering because of the cold, they invite him to join them. One asks: “How do you like this time of year?” Lise answers: “Every month does its duty,” and praises their variety. “But you will admit that March is a nasty month,” and he criticizes the dampness, the frost, and so on and so forth. Lise, on the contrary, praises it as the time in which new life takes form.356 The youth is pleased with this because he was the month of March itself, and he gives him a nice little hat (cascatella) with which he can fulfill all his desires.357 Lise thanks him, puts it on his head, and wishes for a litter on which he can be taken home; on the way, he wishes for a delicious meal, and arrives home in grand style.358 His brother Cianne, as soon as he sees such abundance, wants to have the same luck. He drives to the inn where the twelve months are gathered. The month of March poses him the same question, but Cianne curses it and receives a (p.338) club as a gift, to which he is supposed to say: “Give me a hundred!”359 Cianne hurries home, thinking that it could only mean a hundred coins, and declares: “Give me a hundred!” But he receives blows. Because of his screaming, Lise rushes to him, puts the club to rest, and calms his brother down.360
V. 3 Pintosmauto (? Enamel Painted)361
Betta, the daughter of a merchant, doesn’t want to get married. One day when her father travels to the market, she requests sugar, seasoning, aromatic water, and similar things, as well as pearls, rubies, garnets, two sapphires, some spun gold, and finally a dough tray and a silver knife. When she has everything there, she gets started; she blends it all together, and with the dough she builds a most handsome young man; his hair is spun gold, his eyes sapphires; his teeth pearls; his lips rubies. Finally, he also receives life.362 With great joy she takes him to her father and says, “This should be my husband.”363 A marvelous party is thrown; a queen attends and takes Pintosmauto, as he is called, away to her kingdom.364 Betta sets out to look for him; she arrives at the hut of an enchantress, who feels sorry for her condition, because she is pregnant, and gives her three phrases.365 When necessary, she should recite one of them, and she will find help. Betta finally reaches the palace where Pintosmauto is.366 She says the first phrase (tricche varlacche, ca la casa chiove!). A wonderful coach, which drives itself and is studded with precious stones, suddenly appears. The queen would like it, but Betta will give it only if she is allowed to spend one night in the king’s bedroom. The queen accepts, but gives Pintosmauto a sleeping potion. As a result, Betta expresses her suffering in vain. For the second phrase (anola, tranola, pizze fontanola!), she receives a birdcage with a bird made of precious stones, which sings like a nightingale. She gives it away for a second night, but again the king has been given a sleeping potion and hears nothing. But the following morning he goes into the garden, and there an old man, whose house is adjacent to his room, tells him everything he heard the night before.367 With the third phrase (tafaro e tamurro, pizze ngongola e cemine!), Betta receives splendid clothes made of gold and silk. She sacrifices them for the third night. Pintosmauto doesn’t take a sleeping potion, stays awake, and hears clearly what Betta says.368 Everything comes back to him, like a forgotten dream. He jumps up, embraces the unlucky Betta, then creeps up to the sleeping queen, takes back the three valuable things and all her precious stones, and hurries away with Betta, who gives birth to a beautiful baby boy.369
A poor gardener buys a piglet for each of his three daughters. The two older ones take their animals to a good pasture, but they don’t let the youngest daughter go there. She thus takes her piglet to a forest, where she finds a fountain and a tree with golden leaves. She brings one leaf back to her father, who turns it into a lot of money, and little by little she brings him all the other leaves.371 In consequence, the tree stands totally bare, but when she notices that the bark too is made of gold, she gets an ax and hacks the tree down. Under the tree she finds some stairs, goes down them, and arrives at a magnificent palace.372 A table has been set. Parmetella—this is the girl’s name—takes a seat. While she is eating, a handsome young man walks up to her and says: “You shall become my wife and the most joyful woman in the world.”373 She is seated in a carriage made of gemstones and four golden horses lift her up.374 At night, he says to her: “When you lie in bed, put out the lights.” But as soon as she closes her eyes, he lies next to her, and departs at the crack of dawn.375 The second night, she stays awake and lights a candle and sees the astonishing beauty of the young man. At that point he wakes up and laments her ruinous curiosity, because of which he will be cursed for seven more years, and disappears from her sight.376 She goes away, and in a cave she finds an enchantress.377 This merciful woman gives her a spindle, seven figs, a pot of honey, and a pair of iron shoes and says: “Walk and never stop, until these shoes are worn out. Then you will find seven women, sitting on high and spinning, with the thread hanging down and wound around the bone of some dead person. Quietly creep up close, take the thread off the bone and attach it to the spindle, which you must smear with honey and stick the figs onto it. When they pull it up and taste its sweetness, they will want to see who did that. They will make all sorts of promises, but don’t trust them and don’t come out until they swear by Thunder and Lightning (pe Truone e Lampe) that they will not eat you.” Everything takes place as announced. As soon as Parmetella reveals herself, the women say: “Traitor, it is your fault that our brother must be a slave for seven years.” After giving their word, they explain how she can save herself from their mother. “Hide behind this kneading trough. When she comes, grab her breasts from behind, which she has thrown her shoulders like satchels, and pull them and don’t let them go until she swears by Thunder and Lightning (this is her son’s name) that she will do you no harm.” The girl does as suggested, but for that very reason the old woman torments her. She mixes up twelve different kinds of vegetables and says: “You wretched (p.340) girl, sort these out for me, otherwise you’ll pay dearly!” Parmetella is unable to do it and starts to wail. Then Thunder and Lightning (the handsome young man) arrives and tells her to throw all the vegetables on the ground; then he gets a huge number of ants to separate them.378 The old woman is angry when she finds the job done. She gives her twelve quilts, which she must fill with feathers.379 Thunder and Lightning comes to help. He says that she needs to cry out loud: “The king of the birds is dead!” As soon as she does this, clouds of birds, covering the sky, arrive. They flap their wings and enough feathers fall to fill all the quilts. The old woman plots something new: “Run to my sister. She wishes to send me some music. I want to get Thunder and Lighting married and to give a royal party for him.” Through someone else, however, she tells her sister that she should kill Parmetella and cook her. They will eat her together. But Thunder and Lightning meets her on the way and gives her a loaf of bread, a bundle of hay, and a stone, and tells her: “In that house you will find a dog, to which you will throw the bread; then a horse, to which you will give the hay.380 Finally you will arrive at a door that always slams. You will steady it with this stone. The ogress will be sitting upstairs with her child in her arms. She has heated up an oven to roast you. She will tell you: ‘Hold my little girl and wait. I will go upstairs and get the music,’ but be aware that she will only be sharpening her fangs to tear you apart. With no mercy, throw the baby into the oven; she is the offspring of an ogress. Take the music that lies behind the door and hurry out before she comes back. But I tell you, do not open the box that contains the music.” Everything happens as predicted. The problem is that Parmetella is too curious, and on her way back she opens the box. At once the music flies out and makes the hell of a noise. As soon as the ogress hears it, she comes running down, and when she can’t find the girl, she shouts out of the window: “Kill the traitor!” But the door answers: “Why should I hurt her if she brought me rest?” The horse: “Why should I kill her if she gave me hay?” The dog: “I let that poor girl go, she gave me bread!” In tears, Parmetella runs here and there after the tunes. Thunder and Lightning meets her again and rebukes her for her curiosity; then he calls the tunes back and locks them in the box. When she gets home, the old woman complains about her sister, who has acted against her will. In the meantime, the bride arrives and has every possible bad quality.381 A big party is prepared. Parmetella is seated on the edge of a pit, because the old woman hopes that she will fall into it.382 Thunder and Lighting asks her to give him a kiss; she refuses.383 The bride says: “Why do you refuse to kiss such a beautiful young man; for two chestnuts I let a shepherd smother me with kisses.” After the (p.341) dinner, while going to bed, she says again: “For two chestnuts, I let a herdsman who tended sows kiss me.” Thunder and Lightning can’t contain himself any longer: he kills her with a knife and then embraces Parmetella and says: “You are my wife and the flower of all women.”384 They lie down; in the morning the old woman comes and, as soon as she sees her son in Parmetella’s arms and learns the entire course of events, she runs to her sister to consult with her. But out of sorrow for the loss of her baby the sister has burned herself up as well, and the old woman has no option but to slam her head against the wall.385
V. 5 Sun, Moon, and Talia386
At the birth of a king’s daughter, wise men announce to him that she will be in great danger because of a tiny piece of flax.387 Therefore, he forbids spinning, but when she grows up and sees a woman walking by who is spinning, Talia rushes down, takes the distaff in her hand, and begins to spin.388 But soon she gets a tiny piece of flax stuck under her fingernail and at once falls down as if dead.389 The king has her sit on a marvelous chair, and along with his court he abandons that desolate house.390 After some time, it so happens that another king is hunting in that region;391 a falcon flies through one of the windows, and the king knocks at the locked portal, but no one comes to open it. He finally climbs up a ladder and is greatly surprised to find no living being inside. He walks into the room where Talia is sitting in all her beauty.392 He thinks she is asleep and calls to her, but she doesn’t hear; so he lifts her up, brings her to a bed, tarries by her, and then climbs down.393 After nine months, still enchanted in her sleep, with the assistance of two fairies Talia gives birth to twins, a boy and a girl. The fairies place them at her breasts, and when once one of the two mistakenly sucks at their mother’s finger, the baby pulls out the piece of flax. Talia immediately wakes up as though from sleep and greatly rejoices at the sight of the babies; invisible hands bring food to them.394 At that time the king remembers his adventure, looks for the house, and finds Talia with two wonderful children.395 He reveals himself, comforts her, and leaves her with the promise that he will come back soon and gives the children the names of Sun and Moon.396 In the meantime, the queen becomes suspicious, and using promises and threats she gets one of the king’s servants to tell her everything.397 She sends him to Talia in the name of the king, and he takes the children away.398 Then she delivers them to the cook, who is told to kill them and prepare a dish with them. But since they are so beautiful, he doesn’t kill (p.342) them and slaughters two young goats in their stead. While the king is eating his meal, she says repeatedly: “A great dish, you are eating what is yours!” Since she reiterates these words, the king reluctantly leaves.399 She summons Talia as well, claiming that the king is waiting for her. As soon as she arrives, she has a big large oven heated and condemns her to death.400 Talia only asks that she be allowed to take off her clothes. At every piece of clothing that she removes, she sends out a loud cry. After taking off even her underskirt and crying out for the last time, the king appears. He has his wicked wife thrown into the oven along with the dishonest servant, rewards the cook who has cared for his children, and marries Talia.
V. 6 Sapia401
The son of a king is so pigheaded that he learns nothing, not even the alphabet. A noblewoman has a beautiful and intelligent daughter by the name of Sapia, who has to attend to the blockhead’s learning. She starts her teaching so skillfully that in the end he becomes the most intelligent man in the entire kingdom.402 But he can’t forget the beatings that he received during his lessons and decides to take revenge. He goes to his father and says that he would like to marry Sapia out of gratitude, and requests separate chambers for him and his wife. He keeps her there in harsh conditions and gives her bad food, to the point that she barely survives. She says: “Have you forgotten what I did for you, and now you treat me like a slave?” He answers: “That’s why I married you, to repay you for how you treated me when you were my teacher.” Later she gives birth to three children, and through her mother’s clever stratagems he fully accepts her as his wife and regards her with favor.403
V. 7 The Five Sons404
A man has five sons. Since he can’t feed them, he tells them: “Go out into the world and learn some craft. You must be back in a year.”405 They all return at the appointed time. When they sit down to dinner, they hear a bird sing. The youngest runs out to listen to it. When he goes back in, their father asks each of them about their crafts. The oldest has learned the art of stealing and has become a master thief;406 the second shipbuilding; the third archery; the fourth knows the herbs that bring a dead person back to life. Finally, the fifth understands the language of birds. “Well,” says the father, “what did the bird outside say?” “He said that an ogre took away a king’s daughter and left her on the peak of a cliff. Whoever brings her back will receive (p.343) her as wife.” “We are really in luck!” the brothers cry out. The second brother builds a ship, on which they sail to the cliff.407 The ogre is asleep with his head resting on the girl’s womb. They signal her to be quiet and to say nothing. Then they place a large stone under the sleeping ogre and take the girl away.408 They leave with her, but the ogre wakes up and follows them in a cloud.409 The third brother, the shooter, takes his bow and shoots an arrow through the ogre’s eye. Terrified, the young woman drops dead, but the fourth brother saves her by looking for an herb, which he puts it in her mouth, and she comes back to life. The king rejoices greatly but doesn’t know which of the five brothers should receive the young woman, because each of them deserves her equally. Finally, the father requests her for himself, for he was the one who had his sons learn a craft, and the king gives her to him.410
V. 8 Nennillo and Nennella411
A man has two children, Nennillo and Nennella, from his first wife. He loves them very much, but their stepmother is an evil woman who doesn’t give the children enough to eat and torments them so much that the unhappy father, as a result of her oppression, finally takes them out into the forest, gives them a piece of bread, and abandons them with these words: “If you want to come home, just follow the path of ashes that I have scattered.”412 The children find their way easily and arrive at home late. Their stepmother screams and raves, and their father leads them back into the forest and tells them that if they want to come home, they should follow the path of bran that he has scattered. But the bran is blown away, and they get lost and wander in the forest for a couple of days and eat acorns and chestnuts.413 Then God saves them.414 A king is hunting in the forest. As soon as hear the dogs barking, Nennillo flees into a hollow tree, but Nennella runs away and arrives at the sea, where a fisherman and his wife welcome the poor child.415 The dogs run to the tree and bark; the king finds the handsome boy and takes him with him. When he grows up, he becomes an expert cutler. In the meantime, Nennella has to flee from pirates with the couple who care for her, and in the middle of the sea their little boat capsizes.416 A magical fish swallows Nennella. In its belly, she finds a tidy dwelling.417 It swims with her to a rocky shore, where at that very moment Nennillo is sharpening a knife. Nennella sees him through the fish’s throat and calls to him: “Oh brother, brother! The knives are sharpened, the table is set, but without you I must spend my life in a fish!”418 He pays no attention, but the king sees the fish and hears the repeated appeal: “Oh, brother, brother!” The fish gets (p.344) closer, lays its head on the shore, and Nennella appears on dry land in all her beauty. The king proclaims that the person who lost two children, Nennillo and Nennella, in the forest should present himself at the royal palace.419 Their father arrives and recognizes them with joy;420 their stepmother is summoned and asked what the right punishment would be for a person who exposed those two beautiful children to a deadly danger. She answers: “[That person should be] locked up in a barrel and rolled down a mountain.” This self-imposed verdict is carried out and the king provides for the two siblings.421
V. 9 The Three Citrons422
A king has a son who is the apple of his eye but who, to his father’s chagrin, doesn’t want to hear about marriage.423 One day, sitting at the table, he cuts his finger, and two drops of blood fall in the milk that he has in front of him.424 And while he contemplates the beautiful mixture of red and white, the thought comes to his mind that he must find a woman who is white as the milk and red as the two drops of blood. He heads out and travels through the world;425 he finally reaches an island and finds an old woman there, to whom he recounts his fate.426 She tells him to depart so that he may attain his happiness.427 A second elderly woman tells him the same; he meets a third one who is sitting on a wheel, with all kinds of food beside her.428 She gives him three citrons and a beautiful knife, and tells him to return to his kingdom, and he will find a fountain in a forest, and she explains what he must do with the three citrons and how everything will come to pass.429 He does indeed find a fountain, takes out the knife, and cuts one of the citrons.430 At once, the most beautiful woman emerges and says: “Give me something to drink.”431 Overwhelmed by her appearance, however, he pays no attention, and she disappears. The same thing happens with the second citron. Finally, with the third citron he quickly offers her some water and holds in his arms a girl of marvelous beauty, who is as white as milk, as red as blood.432 He then says: “I will go home and look for clothes and come back for you in splendor. In the meantime, climb up this tree, which forms a summerhouse within its enclosure.” Meanwhile, an ugly maidservant is sent to fetch water from the fountain.433 She sees the fairy reflected in the surface of the stream; she believes it is her own image, and amazed by her beauty she breaks the jug to pieces and goes home.434 Her mistress gives her a new jug, but things go the way they did the first time. She gets sternly reprimanded and receives a goatskin that she must fill up. (p.345) Since she believes once again that she is looking at her own great beauty, she takes a pin from her hair and pricks the leather container so that the water spurts out from a hundred holes. The fairy then bursts out laughing. “Ah, you are the one,” says the maidservant, “who misled me. But what are you doing here, beautiful girl?” The fairy tells her everything. The black maid says: “Come, I’ll comb and arrange your hair before your husband returns.” The fairy accepts the offer and comes down the tree, but the wicked woman sticks a pin into her breast.435 “Dove! Dove!,” cries the fairy, who turns into a dove and flies away. The king’s son soon arrives to pick up his bride. He is beside himself when he finds the black maidservant. But she succeeds in making him believe that she is the right woman, and he takes her with him.436 Great preparations are made for the wedding party. In the kitchen, there is slaughtering and cleaning. A beautiful dove lands at the kitchen window and says: “Cook in the kitchen, what is the king doing with the black bride?”437 The cook ignores the bird, but when the dove returns a second and a third time and asks the same question, the cook goes and tells the bride. She understands well and tells him to kill the dove and cook it. The cook seizes it, douses it with hot water and then plucks it, and throws the water with some of the feathers onto a tree.438 After three days, a citron tree sprouts and grows. From a window, the king sees the tree and asks how it got there, and the cook tells him the entire course of events. The king orders that the tree be cared for, and that any harm inflicted on the tree will be punishable by law. After a few days, three fine citrons appear, identical to those he had received from the old woman. He has them plucked from the tree and takes them to his chamber; he has a large container of water brought in, and since he also has his knife, handy, he does what he did by the fountain in the woods. From the third citron the right bride appears, receives water, stays with him, and tells him everything. The black woman is burned, and her ashes are scattered to the wind.
V. 10 Conclusion to the Introduction439
It is now Zoza’s turn to tell a story. She begins with her own fate, speaks of her natural melancholy, the event that led to her laughter, but even more to her tears; the old woman’s curse; her pilgrimage to the tomb and her treacherous sleep. The black woman flies into a rage and wants her to be silenced, but the king’s son dismisses her and lets Zoza continue. Then she tells about the black woman’s betrayal, and since the woman says nothing and is found guilty, he orders that she be buried alive.440 Finally, he marries Zoza. (p.346)
(3.) Basile does not use the term “witch” (Hexe), but only “old woman” (vecchia). Basile, Lo cunto de li cunti, 12; Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol.3 (1822), 280. From now on we shorten the Italian title (Lo cunto and The Tale).
(5.) The Grimms fail to mention that in Basile the female storytellers are extremely ugly and crippled; the Grimms beautify them by calling them “young.” Basile writes a parody of the attractive young ladies in Boccaccio’s Decameron. Basile speaks of “ten women,” whose names are, for example, “hunchback Popa,” “snout-faced Ciullia,” and “cross-eyed Paola” (The Tale, 41–42).
(6.) The storytellers’ introductory remarks to each tale are deleted from the Grimms’ summaries, along with the four long poems at the end of each of the five days.
(7.) “Vom wilden Manne,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 281–82.
(8.) Literally, “washes his head without soap,” an Italian idiom.
(9.) “Bricklebrit” is a magical expression that the Grimms use in tale 36 of their collection (“The Wishing Table, the Gold Donkey, and the Club in the Sack,” in The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, 138; Kinder-und Hausmärchen, ed. Heinz Rölleke, vol. 1, 200). In Basile, the forbidden words are much more graphic and vulgar: “Arre, cacaure” (Lo cunto, 36). The Grimms recreate a magical rhyme and cadence but remove the verb “to shit” (Basile, The Tale, 45: “Giddy up, shit gold!”). This is an explicit case of significant editorial intervention on the Grimms’ part, considering that in other tales they keep the original, untranslatable expression in parentheses.
(10.) The use of the diminutive (Tüchlein) is also in Basile’s version (tovagliuolo).
(11.) In this second case, the diminutive (Knüttelchen) is added by the Grimms. Basile only says “club” (mazza).
(12.) “Die Heidelbeerstrauch,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 282–84. The Italian title is “La mortella” (The Myrtle). In his rewriting of this tale (“The Fairy Tale of the Myrtle-maiden”), Clemens Brentano is faithful to the original title. A possible explanation of the Grimms’ incorrect translation may be the common confusion between the Italian words mirtillo (blueberry) and mirto (myrtle). Blueberry is also present in the Grimms’ German Legends and in Brentano’s The Youth’s Magic Horn.
(14.) The summary passes from present to past tense.
(15.) In Basile, each harlot takes a branch of the plant.
(16.) From this point on, the summary switches tense again.
(17.) In Basile it is the prince who is eager to know “everything” in detail (The Tale, 59). According to this summary, on the contrary, the fairy seems to be anxious to complain about the seven women’s abuse.
(18.) “Pervonto,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822). 284–86.
(19.) Basile speaks of three “young men” (tre guagnune) and not three young women. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 76. The ending in “e” (guagnune) may have misled the Grimms. It is also true, however, that the image of three magical ladies is more ‘poetic’ and thus makes more sense in the Grimms’ view of the fairy tale. However, a few sentences later Basile specifies that they were “sons” ( figli) of a fairy, thus dispelling all possible doubts about the gender of these magical creatures.
(20.) The Grimms rewrite this humorous scene. Basile says: “He arrived home almost immediately, with so many little kids in tow taunting and shrieking at him that if his mother hadn’t been quick to close the door behind him they would have killed him with blows of citrons and broccoli” (The Tale, 63).
(21.) Basile speaks of a barrel, and not of a boat (Lo cunto, 82: “la votte”). Again, we encounter a sort of beautification of the original text.
(23.) “Vardiello,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822). 286–88.
(24.) Note the shift from the present to the past tense in this summary.
(25.) The Grimms summarize in one sentence a rather lengthy but amusing description of how Vardiello ends up killing the hen. The hen dies when the young man, angry because the bird is not following his orders, “threw his cap, and after the cap he threw a rolling pin, which hit her squarely and caused her to stretch out her legs for the last time and croak” (Basile, The Tale, 71).
(26.) The summary switches to the present tense.
(27.) The summary omits that a second cat was running after the first cat with the hen.
(29.) “Der Floh,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822). 288–89.
(30.) The summary makes no mention of the princess’s long monologue in which she complains about her father’s unjust decision. The girl’s name is also removed. Her name is Porziella. Her speech opens as follows: “Just what kind of bad service have I performed in this house with you to be delivered into the hands of this bogeyman?” (The Tale, 78). The king tries to convince his daughter that her marriage to the ogre is God’s will.
(31.) “Aschenkätzchen,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 282–84.
(32.) In Basile, it is the girl who wishes that the governess were her mother, because she shows the girl so much affection. The girl interrupts her teacher’s speech and asks her what she needs to do in order to get rid of her stepmother. By manipulating the dialogue between the governess and the girl, the Grimms try to make the girl more passive than she actually is. Lo cunto, 124.
(33.) Basile reveals that the widower is a prince at the beginning of the tale. At first the prince thinks that his daughter is joking when she asks him to marry her governess.
(34.) Basile has the girl express a much harsher warning to her father: “If you forget, may you be unable to go forward or backward. Keep in mind what I say.” The Tale, 85. The Grimms tone down the Italian Cinderella’s forceful character.
(35.) Basile uses the word fata (fairy). Zauberin is the Grimms’ translation. In “Rapunzel” (1857), a Zauberin owns the garden surrounded by a high wall. This character can cast spells and detect the signs of secret occurrences, but she is not a fairy. Same meaning of the term Zauberin is in the tales “Die Sechs Diener” and “Die Krystallkugel.”
(36.) “Der Kaufmann,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822). 292–94.
(38.) This summary edits out a heated discussion between son and father in which the son defends his actions by saying that the king’s son provoked him, and his father responds to his overconfident son that the king may decide to execute him because of his disrespectful behavior.
(39.) One of the most moving and autobiographical passages of The Tale of Tales is absent from this summary. In leaving Naples, where he lives with his father and brother, Cienzo is overwhelmed by melancholy and delivers a passionate monologue that opens as follows: “Here I go, my beautiful Naples, I’m leaving you! Who knows if I’ll ever be able to see you again” (Basile, The Tale, 92). This omission can be easily justified because Cienzo’s long monologue is irrelevant from the plot standpoint, even though it also gives this character a psychological depth that is foreign to the Grimms’ concept of fairy tale, which is supposed to represent abstract, two-dimensional figures.
(40.) According to Basile, these three people look like papute (fantastical creatures that scare children, a sort of bogeyman). These creatures cry: “My beautiful treasure, now I’m going to lose you” (Basile, The Tale, 94). They tell the young man that that treasure is meant for him alone.
(41.) In Basile, the tower’s owner hears Cienzo because he is taking a piss in the ruined house.
(42.) The fairy is not asleep in Basile’s tale (cf. Lo cunto, 146). The Grimms’ summary presents (p.379) her as a sort of Sleeping Beauty rescued by her Prince Charming, which is not what happens in the Italian tale. A band of delinquents are about to rape her when Cienzo shows up and saves her (Basile, The Tale of Tales, 94–95).
(44.) The dragon had rubbed his neck with some herb growing nearby and “stuck its head back on” (Basile, The Tale of Tales, 95). The Grimms emphasize the magic nature of this herb by turning it into a “dragon herb” (Drachenkraut) even though Basile does not say that this herb had magic qualities because it was somehow connected to the dragon.
(45.) Basile stresses that both brothers find the fairy very attractive and this is why they go to her house. It is her great beauty (“since he liked the looks of her very much”) that draws them to her and not her magic powers, which she uses once they are in her house. Cf. Basile, The Tale, 99.
(46.) The role of the wife is here limited to the recognition of the brother’s innocence, whereas in the Italian tale she comes across as a much more defiant woman, who first gets angry at her husband for showing interest in another woman, and then expresses her resentment toward his brother, whom she sees as her husband, because he refuses to comply with his marital duties.
(47.) “Das Ziegengesicht,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822). 294–95.
(50.) Basile emphasizes the farmer’s melancholy through a long monologue in which he expresses his deep sorrow, whereas his wife has the optimistic belief that maybe something good will come of this transaction. (Basile, Lo cunto, 168–70).
(51.) Basile does not use the word “fairy” at this point of the tale.
(52.) Basile does not mention that the girl, whose name is Renzolla, is “beautiful.” When he arrives at the palace, the lizard appears to him in the form of a young lady and welcomes him. After a rich meal, the king goes to bed and Renzolla is one of the young people who serve him: “Renzolla herself pulled the socks off his feet and the heart from his breast, and in such a charming manner that the king felt love’s poison” (Basile, The Tale, 103–4).
(53.) At this point, Basile uses the word “sorceress” (maga) and not “fairy” (Basile, Lo cunto, 172). This fluctuation (lizard-fairy-sorceress) is common in Basile’s tales, which creates a problem for the Grimms’ much clearer distinction among the diverse nonhuman characters (ogres, witches, fairies, angels, etc.).
(56.) “Die verzauberte hirschkuh,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822). 295–97.
(58.) The prince wants to go hunting with his friend and needs to melt lead to make bullets. The prince leaves the room because he has forgotten something. The queen walks in and throws a “red-hot bullet mold” at Canneloro (Basile, The Tale, 111).
(59.) In the Italian version, Canneloro wears a hat to cover the wound (Basile, Lo cunto, 186). The Grimms introduce a more poetic, but incorrect, touch. In the Italian, Canneloro asks his friend, and not the king, permission to leave. What is missing from the summary is Canneloro’s passionate declaration of eternal love for his friend, who is “my heart” (“che sì lo core mio”). Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 186.
(60.) In Basile, the prince is devastated when he hears that his friend is leaving and in tears asks him for a sign of his love.
(66.) Basile writes that many other people were in the pit along with Canneloro.
(67.) Again, in Basile’s tale Canneloro wears a hat to cover the scar.
(68.) “Die geschundene Alte,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 298–99. In a footnote, the Grimms note that in the 1788 edition of Basile’s book the title is “La vecchia scoperta” (The Uncovered Old Woman”).
(69.) This is one of the Grimms’ least successful summaries probably due to the story’s crudeness and lack of magical or poetic elements. The initial part of the summary is problematic. In Basile, the two elderly women live in rooms beneath the king’s window to avoid the sun, even though, as this summary states, their home is in the gardens in front of the king’s residence. Moreover, the summary is unclear about the meaning of the women’s actions. In Basile, they claim that the lightest thing fallen from above (a flower or a discarded letter, for instance) has inflicted serious pain to their shoulders, heads, etc. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 200.
(70.) Basile writes that both women, and not just one of them, want to titillate the king. The German summary introduces a difference between the two old women as if to emphasize that one is better than the other and thus deserves the final reward, as it usually happens in fairy tales where one sister is more compassionate than the other.
(71.) The summary omits that the women spend those eight days sucking their fingers in order to make them as smooth as possible.
(72.) At the end of each of the first four “days” Basile inserts a long poem that serves as intermission between one set of ten tales and the next. All poems have a satirical tone and deal with frequents topics of baroque culture, such as the corruption and the transiency of the world. For instance, the first is titled “The Crucible” and describes a device that reveals men’s “stains” (The Tale, 126–38: 127). The Grimms ignore these poems altogether.
(73.) “Petrosinelle,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 299–300.
(76.) Basile writes that every time the girl ran into the ogress on the street the ogress told her to remind her mother of her promise. Tired of hearing this, the mother gives in and instructs her daughter to say “Take her” next time she sees the ogress. Basile, The Tale, 148.
(78.) Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 286. Basile reports the ogress’s words as indirect speech, which the Grimms turn into a direct one, which is more incisive, also considering that it concerns the description of a spell. The Grimms thus bring the magic element to the forefront.
(79.) “Die grüne Wiese,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 300–302.
(80.) Often the heroines’ names are omitted from these summaries. The use of the character’s name is not consistent.
(82.) Basile makes it clear that the prince is naked because he is ready to “enjoy” the girl.
(83.) Before leaving, Nella “colored her face, disguised herself.” The summary mentions that at the end, the prince recognizes her only when she washes her face, but omits the reason that has made her unrecognizable. Cf. Basile, The Tale, 154.
(84.) In the Italian version, the ogress does not wish to devour the girl. She is willing to give her some bread but doesn’t want to welcome the girl into their house. The Grimms create an unfair opposition between the decent male monster and the bestial female one, which is not in the original (p.381) tale. During their conversation at the dinner table, the ogress is very surprised that no one can help the young traveler. It is the ogre who lets the girl in because he wants to eat her. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 302–4.
(85.) “Viola,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 302–4.
(86.) The Neapolitan sentence is inserted in the German version. The problem is that its real meaning is “Good morning, son of the king, I know more than you.” Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 310. I have transcribed the Neapolitan words as they appear in the Grimms’ summary. The free translation could just be due to a misunderstanding, but it could also be an attempt to turn the tale into a love story, whereas in Basile the girl not only rejects the prince, she also states that she is intellectually superior to him. The Grimms may have added the Italian words in parentheses to make the reader aware of the difference between the original meaning and their adaptation.
(87.) Viola cuts off both her aunt’s ears (Basile, Lo cunto, 314). Viola’s violent reaction is not fully understandable in this summary, whereas Basile makes it clear that the aunt essentially sells the girl to the prince who wishes to kiss her.
(88.) This sentence reflects the Grimms’ wish to recreate a scene close to their sensibility. Basile doesn’t define the sisters as “evil” and the owner of the garden is more specifically an ogre and not a monster (Ungethüm). In Basile, the sisters are tired of Viola’s disrespectful behavior toward the prince. Finally, in this German sentence the cunning and brutal Viola is suddenly reduced to a child (“little one”). The result is a vignette very distant from Basile’s text. Cf. Lo cunto, 314; Kinderund Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 302.
(89.) The Grimms use “wild man” (wilde Mann) as synonym for “monster” in this summary. See the figure of the “wild man” in their famous tale “Iron Hans” in which a wild man is found in a forest at the bottom of a pool: “His body was as brown as rusty iron, and his hair hung over his face down to his knees.” The wild man is dragged to the royal castle where “everyone was amazed by it.” At the end of the tale, the wild man reveals his real identity. He was a king who, because of an evil spell, had been turned into a wild man. The ending coincides with his retrieving his noble, civilized form. Cf. “Iron Hans,” in The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, 482–88: 483.
(90.) Basile portrays the ogre as a goodhearted and sensitive person. This summary edits out the key fact that, as soon as he realizes his mistake, the ogre himself calls the girl’s real father and informs him of his daughter’s great fortune. The ogre leads the tale to its happy ending. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 320.
(91.) “Gagliuso,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 304–5. In a footnote to her English translation of Basile’s book, Nancy Canepa gives a succinct analysis of this famous tale, from Straparola to Perrault. Basile, The Tale, 163.
(92.) As usual, the summaries remove all references to real geographical locations. The tale takes place in Naples. Basile mentions specific points of the Neapolitan coast where the cat picks up the fish for the king.
(93.) The Grimms try to improve Basile’s text. In Basile, Gagliuso only keeps asking the cat to keep an eye on his rags because he is afraid that someone may steal them. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 328. The Grimms stress the poor man’s inability to behave properly while eating with the king.
(94.) “Die Schlange,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 305–8.
(95.) Basile describes the princess as a brave and moral girl who accepts her destiny to respect her father’s decision. When her parents, who at the arrival of the beast hide terrified, shout at her that she should run away, the princess firmly responds that she will not avoid her fate. In this summary, she comes across as a mute pawn in the confrontation between the king and the serpent. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 342. Also eliminated is the fact that the snake kisses the girl passionately before turning into a handsome man.
(96.) Basile writes that the two have some sexual intimacy. Basile doesn’t say that the princess falls for him.
(97.) Basile has the prince scream at the king and queen “renegade dogs” before flying away. (p.382) In a like manner, the princess openly accuses her parents of having destroyed her happiness. Cf. Basile, The Tale, 172.
(98.) The fox’s direct speech is not in Basile. The animal does not impose its decision in the Italian version. In Basile, the third-person narrator reports that the animal only asks the girl if she would enjoy its company. The princess accepts the fox’s offer, but the girl’s direct speech is omitted in this summary. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 344.
(99.) Basile speaks of an “ogress” (orca) and not a sorceress (Zauberin). The curse is supposed to last seven, and not six, years. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 346; Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 307. In an important article, Heinz Rölleke explains the meaning of numbers in the Grimms’ tales. In particular, the number 6 concerns “the time limit of weeks, months, and years,” even though the numbers 3 and 7 are the most frequent ones (Rölleke, “Zeiten und Zahlen in Grimms Märchen,” in Die Märchen der Brüder Grimm. Quellen und Studien, 269–77: 274).
(100.) Basile doesn’t specify what part of the prince’s body was wounded.
(101.) Note that this is one of the Grimms’ most extensive adaptations of Basile’s tales. “The Snake” has all the ingredients of a Grimm tale, such as the quest through the woods, speaking animals, a cursed prince who first turns into a serpent and then into a dove, one of the Grimms’ most cherished animals. The Grimms synthesize the dialogues and make them into sharp verbal exchanges. The Grimms emphasize the fox’s ‘magical’ identity by having it pronounce a concise and forceful sentence absent in Basile. In like manner, the final exchange between the princess and the king has the poetic cadence present in many of the Grimms’ own tales.
(102.) “Die Bärin,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822). 308–10.
(104.) The king notices his daughter’s beauty after having inspected a huge number of women who had come to his kingdom from every corner of the world in the hope of marrying him.
(105.) In Basile, the prince takes the she-bear with him because it “crouched close to the ground and wag[ged] its tale like a puppy” (Basile, The Tale, 181). The prince is not enthralled by the she-bear’s mysterious charm, as this summary seems to imply. The prince simply finds this animal very tame and pleasant. In Basile, the girl acts seductively.
(107.) Again the Grimms reduce a dialogue (in this case between the queen and her son) to one short incisive sentence that acquires a symbolic power, since after the queen’s brief order the she-bear turns into a beautiful girl. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 368.
(108.) The finale of this summary is a clear and romantic image, even though Basile’s tale doesn’t end here. The girl declares her love for the prince and the queen asks her to tell her story. Concluding that the girl has behaved very morally, the queen consents to their marriage.
(109.) “Die Taube,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 310–12.
(113.) In Basile, the ogress is much more terrifying than a “wild beast.” He gives a detailed description of a truly monstrous creature that vaguely resembles a harpy of classical mythology.
(114.) In Basile the ogress says that she will eat him up if he doesn’t do as she orders.
(115.) The ogress pays a visit to other ogresses in the forest.
(120.) The girl steals the clothes of a servant working at an inn.
(122.) The story doesn’t end here. Before leaving, the old woman’s ghost curses the prince a second time: “May the beans that you threw away always appear before you, and may the proverb ‘He who sows beans sprouts horns’ come true” (Basile, The Tale, 194). The girl, whom Basile now calls “fairy” ( fata), reassures the prince that the curse will never come true (Basile, Lo cunto, 392). The tale ends with the two lovers celebrating their love in bed.
(125.) In Basile the curse is supposed to take place after seven years.
(128.) This part of the tale from the girl’s descent into the underground palace to her sleeping in bed next to someone is translated almost verbatim from the Italian text.
(130.) Basile speaks of an ogress, not a witch.
(131.) They tell her that she is given a sleeping potion every night before the mysterious young man lies next to her.
(132.) The Grimms keep the original Italian term with its German translation in parentheses.
(136.) In Basile, the man says: “Oh, may the Sun in Leo be praised” (Basile, The Tale, 204). He doesn’t mention God. The man says “we” because he is married and his wife is also given a name in Basile. The tone of the Italian tale is more humorous because the main character is very stingy even though he is extremely rich, and his friend shows an incredible ability to gobble down everything the couple has prepared for lunch or dinner.
(138.) The man sees through a hole in the tablecloth that hangs down from the table to the floor.
(139.) In Basile, the scene is more morbid. It is the dying snake that looks at its killer, and the animal’s gaze resembles that of the friend who is hiding under the table. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 426.
(140.) This is a rare tale almost entirely dominated by a series of long monologues, which the summary can skip entirely without affecting the plot. “The long flow of reproaches” in reality synthesizes two pages of reproaches, curses, and insults directed at the disrespectful visitor.
(141.) “Cannetella,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 317–19.
(142.) The summary doesn’t explain the name Cannetella. The king chooses this name to thank the Greek “goddess Syrinx” (Basile, The Tale, 217), that is the nymph desired by the god Pan. She turns into a reed (canna in Italian) to escape the lustful god. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.690–712. The king had made a vow to Syrinx. This explicitly un-Christian opening is cut out from this German summary.
(144.) In Basile, the king’s enemy is not a “wild man.” Scioravante (or Fioravante) is a capable sorcerer who conjures up some demons who turn his head and his teeth into gold. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 466. The Grimms probably transform this character into a ‘wild man’ to make the tale more coherent. When he marries the princess, Scioravante takes her to a stable, which could be an appropriate dwelling for a wild man. At the end of the tale, Basile defines this character as ‘ogre,’ who is somehow close to the image of a wild man.
(147.) Her father doesn’t recognize her at first. He only realizes that she must be his daughter because of a wart on her right arm.
(148.) She asks for seven, and not six, doors.
(150.) Basile doesn’t define the sheet of paper as “magic.”
(151.) “Das Mädchen ohne Hände,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 319–21.
(152.) The king and his sister have two long dialogues. At first, the king tells her that he wishes to marry her because it is inappropriate to lose something of great value and she is “of the same breath” that he is (The Tale, 224). Again, the summary cuts out a woman’s strong reaction to a man’s abusive behavior.
(154.) The modest Penta tells her brother that, after studying her face in a mirror, she has found nothing that can justify her brother’s passion because she is an ordinary woman.
(158.) Basile’s macabre baroque taste stages a horrific scene. Nuccia is “covered in wax. And when she was thoroughly waxed and tallowed he placed her on a huge pile of dry wood and set her on fire, and as soon as he saw that the fire, with its bright red tongue of flames, had devoured the wretched woman, he hoisted his sails.” (Basile, The Tale, 230).
(160.) The Grimms distort the tale’s finale to create a more powerful narrative effect. This brief question is not in the Italian text, which simply states that the boy’s uncle asks the sorcerer if the child is his, the sorcerer’s, son. Basile, Lo cunto, 494.
(161.) In the Italian tale, the sorcerer says that he will give Penta’s husband not only the golden crown and scepter, but also his kingdom. The sorcerer wishes to ‘adopt’ the entire family.
(162.) “Das Gesicht,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 321–23.
(163.) The Grimms find the name ‘Face’ inappropriate and hypothesize that maybe Basile means ‘view’ (Aussicht), which would make more sense, also because viso and vista sound similar. But the correct translation is indeed “Face.”
(164.) Basile only says: “And Renza answered.” “With a song” (Lied) is added in this summary. The emphasis on the Volk’s natural and simple poetry according to the Grimms is obvious. Cf. Basile, The Tale, 236.
(165.) The Grimms add a footnote in which they stress that Renza’s song alludes to the place (p.385) called “Face” where she was supposed to wait. Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 322. In Basile, Renza says “Oh white face” and not “Oh beautiful face.”
(167.) The bride uses the word “music,” not “song,” but it is in this passage that Basile calls Renza’s verses canzona (song) and writes that Cecio asks her to repeat those verses. In Basile, the bride’s long reaction to Renza’s words doesn’t have the poetic tone of the Grimms’ concise sentence. The bride vents her anger in a very vulgar tone (cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 512). Her first words are: “You have broken my ass with this white face!” (Basile, The Tale, 239).
(169.) Basile writes that the queen “had the two of them thrown into a ditch.” Renza’s father arrives when they are about to be buried. The dismissive sentence and bleak baroque ending is cut out. Basile, The Tale, 240.
(170.) “Sapia Liccarda,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 323–24.
(171.) The difference between the two older sisters and Sapia Liccarda is clearly stated from the outset. Sapia Liccarda is very angry with her sisters because of their unbecoming behavior. The door remains locked in Basile and the princes will enter through the window. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 524.
(172.) Sapia Liccarda sternly scolds her sisters, and the prince convinces them to help him seduce their younger sister. Basile emphasizes the prince’s responsibility.
(173.) The sisters present their request as a response to Sapia Liccarda’s harsh disapproval. They make her believe that they agree with her reprimands, and she offers her help because she feels sorry. Basile, Lo cunto, 526.
(174.) In Basile, the girl is much more combative. She goes to the palace with a flax comb and when the prince tries to catch her, she turns around and he catches the comb that scratches his hands badly. The girl doesn’t kick the prince.
(176.) In Basile, the furious father doesn’t mention murder. He feels like beating and torturing his immoral daughters.
(177.) The prince’s speech in the Italian version is as usual much longer and makes no allusion to the prince’s previous affection for the girl. The prince only vents his anger due to his repeated humiliations. The comparison between the elephant and the grasshopper is a quotation from Basile. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 530.
(178.) The story ends with the two lovers sleeping together. The prince now understands that postponing the sex with the girl has made the experience much more pleasurable, and also comes to appreciate her morality. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 532.
(179.) “Der Käfer, die Maus und die Grille,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 325–27.
(181.) The beetle (or cockroach) plays a guitar in Basile.
(182.) In this case, the summary fails to mention that Nardiello travels to Lombardy. The more vague term “land” evokes the ‘universal’ fairy-tale motif of the princess who can’t laugh.
(184.) In Basile, Nardiello states that he doesn’t want the marriage to be consummated, with no direct reference to the husband being unable to fulfill his marital duty.
(185.) The Grimms don’t mention that this “powerful man” is from Germany. He is ridiculed in the second part of the tale.
(186.) The beetle enters the German man’s anus and makes him defecate.
(189.) This is not what the Italian tale says. The bride is almost killed by the blow but the king expels the German man because he has soiled his nuptial bed for the third time. Basile, Lo cunto, 550.
(191.) “Die Dienstmagd,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 327–28. The German title is very distant from the original Italian “La serva d’aglie,” which literally means “The Garlic Forest.” Nancy Canepa correctly translates it as “The Garlic Patch” (Basile, The Tale, 255). The Grimms may have misunderstood the term serva, which is the Neapolitan version of the Italian selva (forest), because in Italian the word serva exists but it means “servant.” The recent Italian version of Basile’s book ( Il racconto dei racconti, trans. Ruggero Guarini [Milan: Adelphi, 2010], 341 ) keeps the word selva (forest) in the title but mentions in a footnote that in his seminal Italian version Benedetto Croce, like the Grimms before him, had opted for a new title: “Belluccia.” Croce and the Grimms choose the main character’s first name as title.
(193.) As usual, the Grimms synthesize and rewrite the female figure. In Basile, the girl’s words betray a much livelier and spunkier character: “If disguising myself as a man is not enough to serve you, I’ll become an animal. I’ll shrink down to nothing to make you happy!” (The Tale, 256).
(194.) In Basile, the young man becomes very melancholy, and his health deteriorates significantly. His mother asks him if something has caused the worsening of his health. At this point he reveals to her his doubts about the girl’s real gender. Basile, Lo cunto, 560. The Grimms often remove allusions to melancholy, which affects several of Basile’s characters.
(195.) She asks a servant to rush to the beach and tell her that her father is about to die.
(196.) This finale is far too vague and incorrect. In Basile, after the debacle at the beach, the son goes back to his mother who suggests that he go to the girl’s house right away. By looking at how she walks down the stairs, he should be able to understand if she is really a woman. The girl has the time to change clothes but forgets to take off her earrings. The son proposes to her and together they go back to the rich man who rejoices at his son’s full recovery and thus offers to the poor man to marry his other six sons to his six daughters. Contrary to what the Grimms’ summary states, it is the poor man who goes to the rich man’s house and not vice versa. Basile, Lo cunto, 564–66.
(197.) “Corvetto,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 328–29.
(199.) The wild man is a savage ogre in Basile. The ogre is angry with the king because he persecuted him.
(202.) “Der Dummling,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 329–30.
(204.) The young man asks Hare’s-Ear what he can hear at that moment, and he reports that the simpleton’s father is rejoicing at his son’s departure. The young man is deeply saddened by this information. Basile, Lo cunto, 586.
(208.) Basile adds that the simpleton shares his wealth with his companions.
(209.) “Rosella,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 330–32.7.
(212.) This is a confusing rendition of what the girl says. She gives the prince a blade and tells him that when he hears the sound of chains hooking up to their boat, he must throw the blade blindly. (Basile, Lo cunto, 602).
(213.) The prince simply chops them off. He has no chain to hold the woman’s hands.
(214.) Basile says the Turk and his wife go to hell because she learned her art from “her master,” the devil. He doesn’t say she had survived for a long time thanks to her magic powers. Whereas Basile explicitly connects the old woman’s skills to the devil, the Grimms present her not as a witch but as one of their evil female characters whose wicked nature is somehow linked to magic. Thanks to magic, these characters in the Grimms’ tale can defy time. Portraying Muslims as followers of the devil was common in early modern Italy. See, for example, Torquato Tasso’s depiction of the Arab soldiers in his epic poem Gerusalemme liberata (1581), which recounts the final days of the first Crusade.
(216.) The prince apologizes to the girl, who tells him that one shouldn’t beg pardon “for those mistakes not generated by will” (Basile, The Tale, 278). This is why she can forgive him. These strong and sensible words emphasize a different ending. In the Grimms’ version, the girl becomes the passive object of the prince’s manipulation (embrace, baptism, wedding).
(217.) “Die drei Feen,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 333–35.
(221.) When they remove an unbecoming expression or modify the text significantly, the Grimms at times introduce the original Neapolitan words in parentheses. The disrespectful girl gets a donkey’s testicle stuck on her forehead. Basile, Lo cunto, 622.
(222.) This metaphor is Basile’s; the Grimms translated it literally.
(223.) What has been left out is the long, amusing description of Cuosemo’s repulsion when his lips have to touch his ugly wife’s mouth, and also the embarrassing night in bed together. To avoid any contact, he moves so far away from her that he falls off the bed and ends up on the chamber pot, thus spilling its smelly content. Basile, Lo cunto, 626–28.
(225.) “Der Hahnenstein,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 335–36.
(227.) Becoming the king’s relative is part of Minecaniello’s wish.
(230.) The two donkeys are thrown off a mountain.
(232.) This summary is sloppy and too vague, and limits itself to listing a sequence of motifs usually present in this kind of edifying tale. The first sentence synthesizes the father’s three-page speech on how to conduct a moral and safe life. The father’s discourse is also a succinct manual of manners, a genre popular in baroque culture, which emphasizes the mistrust of others (“Do not be too much of a chitchat …; Think and then act….; Flee from disputes …” The Tale, 306–7).
(233.) By reading this sentence, one may think that a fairy appears to the despondent man. In Basile, she is Lady Virtue. She is dressed in green, a detail missing from the summary, and the high mountain is her home. Virtue tells the man that the heavens sent him there, reminds him that virtue is the best remedy for poverty, and persuades him not to kill himself. Lady Virtue also gives him some powder that he will have to sprinkle on an egg to save the princess’s life. Basile, Lo cunto, 684–86.
(234.) The rafter on which he fastens the rope is rotten, and it cracks. He falls on the stones he piled up and then kicked aside when trying to hang himself. A precious coin falls from the broken rafter. Basile, Lo cunto, 686.
(235.) Parmiero simply goes to a tavern to celebrate his lucky discovery. But a few days earlier some thieves had robbed the tavern and hidden the loot in the rafter that broke down when Parmiero tried to take his life. The innkeeper recognizes his money and reports Parmiero to the authorities. Basile, Lo cunto, 690.
(236.) “A chance” is the fact that the real thieves are arrested because when they returned to the place where they had hidden their treasure, they couldn’t find it and accused each other of betraying their pact.
(239.) In Basile, the three realms clearly correspond to the three areas of the world. The first castle is on top of a mountain that is higher than the clouds; the second is in the darkest recesses of a forest; the third is on the sea. Basile, Lo cunto, 702.
(241.) Basile only says that the dolphin makes the sea rise very high.
(243.) The four couples’ trip to the royal family is much more complicated in Basile. They travel in a carriage pulled by six lions.
(244.) “Die sieben Speckschwarten,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 339–40.
(245.) Basile says that the mother is a “miserable old woman,” not a witch. Like her daughter, the old woman is deceitful and manipulative. She tells some women that she wants to cook some rich dish for her sickly daughter. Basile, The Tale, 321.
(246.) In Basile, the old mother tells the merchant she is punishing her daughter because the girl works too hard and this may endanger her health. The merchant chooses to marry her because he believes that this hard-working girl will be a perfect wife. Basile, Lo cunto, 720.
(247.) This summary distorts Basile’s story. The merchant wakes up, goes to the market, buys the flax, goes back home and tells his wife she is now free to work as hard as she likes. When he comes back, he will have a pair of sleeves made for her out of the spun flax. The German summary describes a test imposed on the hapless heroine, whereas Basile emphasizes the humorous consequences of the old woman’s lie about her daughter’s alleged wish to work very hard.
(248.) Basile speaks of vinte decine, which was the equivalent of four rolls. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 728. But for the meaning of the German word Kaute, see Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Deutsches Wörterbuch, vol. 5, 363.
(p.389) (249.) This vague sentence fails to synthesize a detailed, and amusing, scene: “And so she took a very long pole and wound twenty rolls of the flax onto it … and after sticking an Indian gourd with a large hairpin and tying the pole to the parapet of the terrace, she began to lower this abbot of all the spindles from the terrace” (Basile, The Tale, 323).
(250.) The kind ladies are fairies in Basile (Lo cunto, 724). The girl comes up with a complicated and unsuccessful system to spin flax, which the fairies find extremely amusing, but the summary doesn’t try to explain what is so comical.
(252.) The story ends with the husband telling his deceptive wife that she must stop working. The husband would like to call another doctor but she tells him that the doctor has cured her just by looking at her. The summary is unclear and hasty. Cf. Basile, Lo cunto, 726.
(253.) “Der Drache,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 340–42. The considerable length of this detailed adaptation is due to its closeness to the Grimms’ view of fairy tale.
(256.) The fairy was asleep, and a satyr was about to rape her, but Porziella woke her up.
(257.) The bird steals a knife from the king, takes it to the girl, and tells her to dig a hole in the wall so that the bird can deliver food.
(259.) The bird also offers a reward: the bird that blinds the evil woman will receive protection against hawks.
(260.) At this point of the story, the woman is a “fairy.” Basile (Lo cunto, 738) writes that the swallow “shits” into her eyes; it doesn’t let its “filth” pour down the woman’s face, as this summary says.
(262.) In Basile, the queen’s wrists, and not her dimples, need to be smeared with the dragon’s blood.
(263.) The king’s threat only comes at the end of a long argument in which the young man vents his anger at the king. Initially the king has very kind and flattering words for Miuccio and promises him a great reward if he helps him out again. By simplifying the Italian text, the German adaptation ‘purifies’ the narrative and lingers on the bare motifs (three tasks, etc.), which Basile’s characters are often very reluctant to act out (Lo cunto, 742).
(264.) Note the Grimms’ use of the direct speech to highlight the final magical event in the story.
(266.) This telegraphic sequence of events replicates the Grimms’ narrative style. In Basile, before marrying her, the king begs the young woman to forgive him. The bird becomes a young lady because of the great love it has for Miuccio. Finally, the two couples celebrate their love while the queen’s corpse is thrown into a grave. Basile, Lo cunto, 746–48.
(267.) “Die drei Kronen,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 342–44.
(268.) The voice’s statement is incomplete. In Basile, the voice presents a riddle: does the king want a daughter who will run away from him, or a son who will kill him? (Lo cunto, 754). The Grimms turn this defiant statement into a meek request that aims to satisfy the king’s desire. By editing the voice’s mysterious statement, the Grimms give the tale an entire different meaning. In the Italian version, the ominous voice reveals that the tale will be somehow coherent but in an obscure (p.390) and sinister way. In the Grimms’ retelling, no unclear mystery lurks behind the beginning of the tale. The Grimms’ view of a fairy tale is based on the assumption that things cannot help but follow a natural, just, and good order.
(269.) In the Neapolitan version a long paragraph is dedicated to this debate. What is more important, life or honor, considering also that honor usually does not reside among women? The debate is based on the premise that women are unreliable and inferior to men.
(271.) Having removed the ominous clause from the mysterious voice’s statement (a daughter “who will flee you”), the Grimms give a new meaning to the king’s act of locking his daughter up. The king wants to preserve her for marriage. Marriage becomes the focal point of the new tale.
(272.) The German adaptations are not consistent as far as the characters’ first names are concerned. Frequently all names are removed; in other cases, even when the names have a metaphorical meaning, they are edited out. Mentioning Marchetta’s name in parentheses is unusual. This is how Basile at times introduces his characters, including Marchetta.
(275.) The three girls were “the fairy’s daughters.” Basile doesn’t explain who the fairy in question is, but given that his fantastic characters (ogres, ogresses, fairies) have an unstable identity (in a tale the same character may be called both fairy and ogress), we assume that the girls’ mother is the ogress herself, whom Basile now defines as a “fairy.” Lo cunto, 762.
(276.) The Italian name “Orca” (ogress) is added because of the word play at the end of the tale.
(277.) In Basile the girl asks the ogress for male clothes.
(278.) The summary keeps the gender confusion (her/him).
(279.) The king asks Marchetta to tell the truth. The girl recounts her entire life in detail, and her speech has a powerful dramatic effect. The king remembers a conversation he had with Marchetta’s father and realizes that the girl is telling the truth. Lo cunto, 768.
(280.) “Die zwei Kuchen,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 344–46.
(283.) The old woman doesn’t bless the girl’s heart; she wishes the heavens to “reward” the girl for her goodness.
(284.) Basile speaks of a “fairy.” For the “white woman” (weisse Frau) in German folklore, see Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, vol. 3, trans. James Steven Stallybrass (London: George Bell & Sons: 1883), chapter 32, 962. She is a “divine or semi-divine” creature who appears “in warm sunlight to poor shepherds.” In Basile’s tale, Ciommo soon becomes a shepherd.
(285.) On sirens and mermaids in German folklore, see Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, vol. 1, chap. 7, 433–34.
(286.) According to Michele Rak, this paste is a kind of Neapolitan bread made especially at Christmas time. Lo cunto, 786. Basile writes that the geese became so fat thanks to Marziella’s food that they looked like castrati. Lo cunto, 778.
(287.) The summary passes from present to past tense in this sentence.
(289.) The king saws off the chain. The ending of the Italian tale includes the punishment of the two evil women. The mother is stuck in a barrel and set on fire; her daughter is exiled from the kingdom. Lo cunto, 784.
(290.) “Die sieben Tauben,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 347–51. This very extensive adaptation often reproduces complete sentences of the Italian text, generally stripped of their poetic metaphors, which are however a fundamental aspect of Basile’s storytelling.
(p.391) (291.) “Cocchiara” is a serving spoon, as we find in Canepa’s correct translation (The Tale, 351). Basile creates a consonance (“cocchiara e conocchia,” Lo cunto 790), which in the Grimms’ version becomes an allusion to the ‘female’ act of storytelling (spindle and distaff ).
(292.) The wild man is an ogre in Basile. The brothers walk for three years.
(293.) This, for example, is a good translation of the original Italian sentence.
(294.) In Basile, the ogre says that the brothers’ only task is to lead him like a puppy.
(296.) Basile says that the girl dresses up as a wayfarer.
(298.) The Grimms introduce the girl’s name in the same point as the Neapolitan tale. As usual, the poetic metaphors, which Basile uses to enrich his storytelling and his style, are missing.
(299.) Basile writes that the cat “pees” on the fire.
(300.) The ogre says: “You have found what you need.”
(303.) In Basile, a bogeyman (gatto maimone) sits on the tree. The bogeyman throws a “fruit” that is growing on the tree and makes a large lump (vruognolo) on the man’s face, not a slash.
(304.) The doves stress that now they will be the easy prey of innumerable stronger birds, and draw up a long list (half a page) of dangerous birds. This is why their sister asks them to stay home. Lo cunto, 796.
(305.) In Italian, the whale says: “Beautiful girl, what are you doing?”
(306.) In Basile, the girl has to walk upstream (tira capo ad auto) and not look up (aufschauen).
(307.) The tree is an oak tree.
(308.) Basile specifies that the oak has lost its “honor” because it is now used to feed pigs. Basile says that the poor condition of the old tree is a symbol of the corruption that dominates his contemporary society. Lo cunto, 800.
(309.) In Basile, it is the old man who recognizes the girl.
(310.) In the German adaptation, the traveler’s monologue begins earlier than in Basile. In Lo cunto the first two sentences are an indirect speech.
(311.) Basile gives a powerful description of the ruins of ancient civilizations scattered inside the old house of Time. An important detail missing in the Grimms’ version is that the old woman has a hunchback that reaches the sky. In other words, the mother of Time has power over the heavens and the earth since her beard touches the ground. Lo cunto, 802.
(312.) The clock is attached to the wall.
(313.) Basile doesn’t mention “the time” (lo tiempo) at this point.
(314.) Basile uses a powerful metaphor: the man decomposes like a corpse taken from a tomb and exposed to air.
(315.) In Basile, the girl kisses the old woman’s hand and is rewarded because of her kindness. The mother of Time tells her that she must hide when her son shows up because he doesn’t respect anyone. He even eats his own children. Lo cunto, 804.
(317.) Their homeland is Naples. However, since the whale is afraid of “getting beached,” one of the brothers suggests that she travel to the “Salt Rock,” which was an actual location marked on some contemporary maps. The Tale, 360.
(318.) “Der Rabe,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 352–54.
(320.) Basile offers a long description of the king’s melancholy obsession. He writes that the king saw that image in front of him wherever he went. The image of the stone was like a stone in his heart. As we find in other summaries, the Grimms don’t mention the word “melancholy.”
(321.) The brother travels to Venice and then to Cairo.
(322.) The beggar worries about him because he looks anxious.
(326.) In the original, the storm is described in dramatic detail.
(327.) The king also sees that his brother has the girl he desires.
(331.) The queen utters a long and moving monologue before attempting suicide. Her father, the magician, reveals to her that he is behind the ordeals of the king and his brother. He wanted to take revenge against the king’s brother, who had taken his daughter away from him. He had led the king to execute his brother and then kill his own children. But now the magician feels like restoring the order he had disrupted. In Basile, the magician appears on a cloud as a powerful divine figure. Lo cunto, 832.
(332.) “Der bestrafte Hochmuth,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 354–56.
(333.) Note the shift from past to present tense.
(336.) She warns him that if he disobeys he will have to give up his ass (“lo culo ’nce lasse!”).
(338.) The king doesn’t tell the girl that the palace belongs to him. He pretends to be a worker there. The king reveals his scheme to his mother the queen.
(339.) This sentence is unclear. The king asks his maids to call the girl and have her work with them. Then, disguised as a gardener, he suggests that the girl should steal some food to help the poor maids.
(340.) Disguised as gardener, the king tells the girl that she shouldn’t feel bad because she had no choice but to act as she did.
(343.) Basile writes that Cintiella goes into labor because of her shame and anger.
(344.) Before hugging and kissing her, the king verbally abuses her again. His mother steps in and asks him to stop his cruel game.
(345.) “Die Gans,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 356. This short tale is a clear example of the stark contrast between Basile’s and the Grimms’ literary style. The straightforward moral message of the tale is certainly close to the Grimms’ view of a fairy tale. However, they feel obliged to obscure the explicitly vulgar, and extremely funny, details.
(347.) Basile uses the more expressive verb cacare (to shit) in multiple grammatical forms (cacata, cacatoria, etc.).
(351.) In Lo cunto, the prince simply “passes by” and doesn’t “ride by,” so he doesn’t dismount. This opaque sentence is much clearer in Basile. The prince defecates in an alley and uses the goose to wipe his behind. Lo cunto, 892.
(353.) The prince exiles the evil neighbors and marries the older sister to a wealthy man.
(354.) “Die Monate,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 357.
(356.) In a typically baroque style, Basile has Lise deliver a long monologue on man’s ignorance vis-à-vis God’s unfathomable plans. Man complains about the cold months of the year because he would like to dominate nature and even compel God to satisfy his base desires.
(358.) The Grimms misunderstand what Lise does with the youth’s gift. He uses the small box as pillow. He puts it at the head of his bed, not on his own head. This is why the Grimms had to replace “box” with “hat.”
(359.) The two brothers’ speeches represent two opposite, but coexisting, themes of baroque culture. Cianne laments the painful instability of the human condition. Man is exposed to nature’s inscrutable decisions without being able to defend himself. Basile’s tale has thus a philosophical subtlety that is missing from the German summary, which reduces the two characters to the clichéd opposition between good and evil. Lo cunto, 904.
(360.) The tale doesn’t end here. Lise tells his brother that he should be content with what God has given him, and that he is willing to share his wealth with him. Cianne asks to be forgiven, and from that day on he only says positive things about everything. Lo cunto, 906.
(362.) The summary doesn’t explain how the youth came alive. Basile writes that Betta suddenly remembers that “another statue had come alive due to the prayers of a certain king of Cyprus” (The Tale, 400). After alluding to the myth of Pygmalion, Basile has Betta pray to a pagan goddess, Venus, who gives life to the statue. Lo cunto, 912.
(363.) Betta’s speech is much longer in Basile. She tells her father that since he wants her to have a husband, she has decided to make one to her liking.
(364.) The young man, who was born so recently, was unfamiliar with the world’s malice, Basile writes.
(366.) Betta first finds shelter in the royal stable, and then, thanks to some ladies-in-waiting, moves to a small room at a higher level, which allows her to see Pintosmauto.
(367.) Lo cunto says that the king walks to a garden outside the city walls to get a few figs. He doesn’t go to “the” garden, as we read in this summary, as if it were in his palace. The Grimms also try to solve a problem. Basile writes that the old man had a room next to Betta’s and had heard everything she said the night before. But since the girl had slept in the king’s bedroom, he couldn’t have heard her words. This is why the Grimms give the poor man a house next to the king’s room. Lo cunto, 918.
(368.) The king spits out the drink when he pretends that he needs to pee. The summary says nothing about the content of Betta’s complaint. She reminds the king that she had made him with her own hands. Lo cunto, 920.
(370.) “Der goldene Baumstamm,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 359–62.
(372.) Parmetella is extremely curious, Basile remarks.
(373.) The young man is a slave.
(375.) The slave turns into a handsome young man when he lies with the girl, but in the morning he becomes dark-skinned again.
(376.) The young man demands that she leave immediately.
(380.) The young man says “In my aunt’s house,” thus stressing that he too is an ogre.
(381.) Basile describes the woman as a horrible, ridiculous monster.
(382.) Basile describes an ominous setting similar to a gathering of witches: “She had the table set near a well, where she placed her seven daughters, each with a torch in her hand. She gave Parmetella, however, two torches, and had her sit on the edge of the well” (The Tale, 411).
(383.) He says: “If you care about me, give me a kiss.”
(385.) The old woman knocks her head on the wall repeatedly until her brains spurt out. The young man asks his sisters to make peace with Parmetella, and they all live happily ever after. Lo cunto, 940.
(386.) “Sonne, Mond und Talia,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 362–64.
(388.) He forbids spinning “in his house,” not in his kingdom. Talia calls the woman up; she doesn’t go down.
(389.) She falls down dead, not “as if dead.” The old woman rushes down as soon as she sees the girl collapse.
(391.) Not “another” king, but only “a” king, since he is the first king in this tale.
(392.) “In all her beauty” is not in this passage. Basile mentions Talia’s beauty later, when he narrates how the king violates her because of her beauty. The Grimms move up the allusion to the girl’s beauty to create a magic atmosphere and dilute the crude tone of Basile’s tale.
(393.) Dazzled by her beauty, the king rapes the girl and then returns to his kingdom where he forgets about her.
(394.) This is not what Basile says. Talia simply wonders who is feeding her family.
(395.) The king leaves with the excuse that he wishes to go hunting.
(396.) The king doesn’t “console” Talia. He tells her what happened.
(398.) She has the servant (the king’s secretary) tell Talia that the king wishes to see the children.
(399.) The king is annoyed and reminds his wife that she hasn’t given him any children.
(400.) The summary edits out a powerful exchange between the queen and Talia, who defends (p.395) herself by explaining that the king had taken advantage of her while she was asleep. Talia will be burned at the stake. Lo cunto, 950.
(401.) “Sapia,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 364.
(402.) Basile doesn’t say that the prince becomes the smartest child in the realm, only that his intellectual abilities increase significantly. Also, the first thing Sapia tries to teach him is how to cross himself, but she fails, which is why she slaps him. This is one of Basile’s very rare allusions to the Christian faith. Lo cunto, 958.
(403.) This vague sentence unsuccessfully summarizes the entire second part of the tale, which the Grimms may have deleted because of moral concerns. The prince visits Sapia periodically in the hope of finding her dejected and humiliated, but she maintains her proud stance. When the king dies, the prince inherits the kingdom and decides to visit the vast regions of his realm. Sapia’s mother had a tunnel built under Sapia’s room so that the young woman could sneak out before her mean husband’s departure. Sapia finds a house in front of the palace where the prince will rest at the end of his trip. Wearing elegant clothes, Sapia shows herself at the window and the prince falls for her. They sleep together and she becomes pregnant. The prince gives her a jewel as a token of his affection. She returns to her modest room and gives birth to a baby boy. When the prince leaves for a second trip, Sapia’s mother suggests that she repeat the same scheme, and this time the prince gives her a tiara. She gives birth to a second boy. The third time he meets her and makes love to her he gives her a golden chain. This time she has a baby girl. Sapia’s mother gives her a sleeping potion and makes people believe that Sapia is dead. The prince decides to marry a noblewoman but Sapia appears wearing his precious gifts and holding their three babies and asks him not to take the kingdom away from their children. Dumbfounded, the prince acknowledges Sapia’s wisdom and accepts her as his rightful wife.
(404.) “Die fünf Söhne,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 364–65.
(408.) The Grimms add the following footnote: “The oldest one, the thief, has to do this because otherwise he doesn’t have a chance to use his craft. But this is not specified.”
(410.) The father doesn’t explicitly ask for the girl. After hearing from all the brothers, the king turns to the father and asks him what he did in his daughter’s rescue. The father says he did a lot because he was the one who suggested that his sons learn a craft. Lo cunto, 990.
(411.) “Nennillo und Nennella,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 366–67.
(412.) The stepmother is very ugly and complains about everything. Unlike the tale of “Hansel and Gretel,” “Nennillo and Nennella” doesn’t focus on the family’s poverty. The new wife is spoiled and doesn’t want to waste time with her stepchildren. This is why she is mean to them. The father takes them to the forest to appease his wife’s ego. Lo cunto, 970.
(415.) The fisherman is the leader of some pirates. He takes the girl to his wife because she had recently lost her own baby girl.
(416.) The real story is that the pirate and his wife have to flee because he is a wanted criminal.
(418.) In a footnote the Grimms transcribe the original Neapolitan: “Frate, mio frate! / li cortielle so ammolate, / le tavole apparecchiate, / ed a mme la vita ncresce, / senza te drinto a sto pesce.” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 366.
(420.) The king scolds the father severely and calls him a “wimp” and a “good-for-nothing.”
(422.) “Die drei Zitronen,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822), 367–69.
(425.) An entire page is dedicated to the father’s moving plea to his son and his son’s stern reply.
(426.) Again, Basile doesn’t set his tale entirely in an imaginary landscape. The young man travels to France, then on a Genovese ship reaches the Strait of Gibraltar, and from there gets to the “island of the ogresses” (Lo cunto, 998).
(427.) The skinny old woman warns him about her three sons, who will devour him if they catch him.
(429.) The woman tells him that he can go back to Italy.
(430.) He travels through the Columns of Hercules and lands at a port that is only a day away from his kingdom. He enters a forest and there sees the fountain.
(432.) The description of this girl’s beauty takes almost a page in Basile. She is as red as the prosciutto from the Abruzzi region, and Jupiter dropped gold onto her hair. Juno had squeezed the “tits” (zizze) on her breasts to nourish men’s desire. Lo cunto, 1002–4.
(433.) She is a dark-skinned slave, like the one who claims that she has filled the jar with her tears at the beginning of Lo cunto de li cunti.
(434.) Basile mocks the ugly slave by mimicking her ungrammatical Italian in which the verbs are all in the infinitive, as he has done with the other slave at the beginning of his book.
(436.) She says that, because of a spell, she looks white one year and black the next.
(438.) The tree is in a pot on a terrace.
(439.) “Schluss der Einleitung,” Kinder-und Hausmärchen, vol. 3 (1822). 369.
(440.) The dark-skinned woman is buried alive with her head sticking out of the earth to make her death more painful. Recall that she is pregnant, so the fetus will die with her.