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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/207

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head was covered with silver, she had not the hundred-and-twentieth part of a carlino to revive her spirit; so that she went from one thatched cottage to another begging alms, to keep life in her. But as folks now-a-days much sooner give a purse full of crowns to a crafty spy than a farthing to a poor needy man, she had to labour for a whole day to get a dish of kidney-beans, and at a time when there was such a plenty of them in the land that few houses could contain the heaps. But of a truth an old kettle never lacks holes and bumps, nor a starved horse flies, nor a fallen tree the axe. Now one day the poor old woman, after having washed the beans, and put them into a pot, and placed it outside the window, went her way to the wood to get some sticks, in order to boil them. And as she was going and returning, Nardo Aniello, the king's son, passed by the cottage on his way to the chase, and seeing the pot at the window he took a great fancy to have a fling at it; and he made a bet with his attendants, to see who should fling the straightest, and hit it in the middle with a stone. Then they began to throw at the innocent pot, and in three or four casts the prince hit it to a hair and won the wager.

The old woman returned just at the moment when they had gone away; and seeing the sad disaster, she began to act as if she were beside herself, crying, "Ay,