Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/247

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The king, who had a fruitful brain which conceived quickly, called Corvetto again, and telling him the great longing that had seized him for the ogre's palace, begged him to add this service to all the others he had done him, promising to score it up with the chalk of gratitude at the tavern of memory. So Corvetto, who was a brimstone match and made a hundred miles an hour, instantly set out heels over head; and arriving at the ogre's palace, he found that the ogress had just given birth to a fine little ogreling; and whilst her husband was gone to invite the kinsfolk, she had got out of bed, and was busying herself with preparing the feast. Then Corvetto entering, with a look of compassion, said, "Good-day, my good woman! truly you are a brave housewife! but why do you torment the very life out of you in this way? only yesterday you were put to bed, and now you are slaving thus, and have no pity on your own flesh."

"What would you have me do?" replied the ogress, "I have no one to help me."

"I am here," answered Corvetto, "ready to help you tooth and nail."

"Welcome then!" said the ogress; "and as you proffer me so much kindness, just help me to split four logs of wood."

"With all my heart," answered Corvetto; "but if four