Open main menu

Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/158

This page has been validated.

the sheep of salt, or the ass of bran, said to his wife, "Let the poor creature come in; for if she sleeps in the fields, who knows but she may be eaten up by some wolf." In short he talked and talked so much that his wife at length opened the door for Nella; whilst, with all his pretended charity, he was all the time reckoning on making four mouthfuls of her. But the glutton counts one way and the host another; for the ogre and his wife having drunk till they were fairly tipsy and lain down to sleep, Nella took a knife from a cupboard and made a hash of them in a trice; then she put all the fat into a phial, and went straight to the court, where presenting herself before the king she offered to cure the prince. At this the king was overjoyed, and led her to the chamber of his son; and no sooner had she anointed him well with the fat, than the wound closed in a moment, just as if she had thrown water on a fire, and he became as sound as a fish.

When the king saw this, he said to his son, "This good woman deserves the reward promised by the proclamation, and that you should take her to wife." But the prince replied, "It is hopeless, for I have no storeroom full of hearts in my body to share among so many; my heart is already disposed of, and another woman is the mistress of it." Nella, hearing this, replied, "You should no longer think of her who has been the cause of