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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/187

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THE SERPENT.

their road; and after they awoke, they still stayed for some time listening to the singing of the various birds, for Grannonia showed great pleasure in hearing the warbling and twittering they made; and the fox seeing this, said to her, "You would feel twice as much pleasure if you understood, like me, what they are saying." At these words Grannonia—for women are by nature as curious as they are talkative—begged the fox to tell her what he had heard the birds saying in their own language. So after having let her entreat him for a long time, in order to raise her curiosity about what he was going to relate, he told her that the birds were talking to one another of what had lately befallen the king's son, who was as beautiful as a fay, and because he would not comply with the wishes of a wicked ogress, had been laid under a spell by her magic power to pass seven years in the form of a serpent; that he had nearly ended the seven years, when he fell in love with the daughter of a king; and being one day in a room with the maiden, and having cast his skin on the ground, her father and mother, out of curiosity, rushed in and burned his skin; whereupon as the prince was flying away in the shape of a dove, he broke a pane in the window to escape, and had hurt his head in such a manner that he was given over by the doctors.

Grannonia, who thus heard her own onions spoken