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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/179

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153

 

THE SERPENT.

 

It always happens that he who is over-curious in prying into the affairs of other people strikes his own foot with the axe; and the King of Long Furrow is a proof of this, who, by poking his nose into secrets, brought his daughter into trouble, and ruined his unhappy son-in-law, who, in attempting to make a thrust with his head, was left with his head broken.

 

 

There was once on a time a gardener's wife, who longed to have a son more than the suitor longs for a sentence in his favour, a sick man for cold water, or the innkeeper for the arrival of the mail-coach.[1]

It chanced one day that the poor man went to the mountain to get a faggot; and when he came home and opened it, he found a pretty little serpent among the twigs. At the sight of this, Sapatella (for that was the name of the gardener's wife) heaved a deep sigh and said, "Alas! even the serpents have their little ser-

  1. See above, note, page 138.