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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/143

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PETROSINELLA.

fear she had lest the child should be born with a crop of parsley on its face; and she added that the ogress ought rather to thank her, for not having given her sore eyes.[1]

"Words are but wind," answered the ogress; "I am not to be caught with such prattle; you have closed the balance-sheet of life, unless you promise to give me the child you bring forth, girl or boy, whichever it may be."

Poor Pascadozzia, in order to escape the peril in which she found herself, swore with one hand upon another[2] to keep the promise: so the ogress let her go free. But when her time was come, Pascadozzia gave birth to a little girl, so beautiful that she was a joy to look upon, who, from having a fine sprig of parsley on her bosom, was named Petrosinella. And the little girl grew from day to day, until when she was seven years old her mother sent her to school; and every time she went along the street and met the ogress, the old woman said to her, "Tell your mother to remember her promise." And she went on repeating this message so often, that the poor mother, having no longer patience to listen to the music, said one day to Petrosinella, "If you meet the

  1. It is the common belief in Naples, that if a person leaves any wish which a pregnant woman expresses ungratified, this disease of the eyes (agliarulo) is the punishment.
  2. Making the sign of the cross. The Irish cross their fingers in the same way.