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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/269

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THE STONE IN THE COCK'S HEAD.

him out the money. Then the magicians went their way, and Minecco Aniello following them, overheard them talking gibberish together and saying, "Who would have told us that we should meet with such a piece of good luck, Jennarone? this cock will make our fortune to a certainty by the stone which, you know, he has in his pate: we will quickly have it set in a ring, and then we shall have everything we can ask for."

"Be quiet, Jacovuccio," answered Jennarone; "I see myself rich and can hardly believe it; and I am longing to twist the cock's neck, and give a kick in the face of beggary; for in this world virtue without money goes for nothing, and a man is judged of by his coat."

When Minecco Aniello, who had travelled about in the world and eaten bread from more than one oven, heard this gibberish, he turned on his heel and scampered off. And running home he twisted the cock's neck, and opening its head found the stone, which he had instantly set in a brass ring. Then, to make a trial of its virtue, he said, "I wish to become a youth eighteen years old."

Hardly had he uttered the words, when his blood began to flow more quickly, his nerve became stronger, his limbs firmer, his flesh fresher, his eye more fiery, his silver hairs were turned into gold, his mouth, which