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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/275

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THE STONE IN THE COCK'S HEAD.

victory by stratagem. So waiting till Night had dyed with purple grape-juice the sunburnt face of Heaven, and the magicians had gone to bed and were fast asleep, Rudolo began to nibble the finger on which the ring was, whereupon Jennarone, feeling the smart, took the ring off and laid it on a table at the head of the bed. But as soon as Saltariello saw this, he popped the ring into his mouth, and in four skips he was off to find Minecco Aniello, who with even greater joy than a man at the gallows feels when a pardon arrives, instantly turned the magicians into two jackasses; and throwing his mantle over one of them, he bestrode him like a noble count; then he loaded the other with cheese and bacon, and set off toward Deep-Hole, where having given presents to the king and his councillors, he thanked them for all the good fortune he had received by their assistance, praying Heaven that no mousetrap might ever lay hold of them, that no cat might ever harm them, and that no arsenic might ever poison them.

Then leaving that country, Minecco Aniello returned to Dark-Grotto even more handsome than before, and was received by the king and his daughter with the greatest affection in the world. And having ordered the two asses to be cast down from a rock, he lived happy with his wife, never more taking the ring from