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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/311

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her daughter, she sent her for water to the fountain, where Puccia found the same old woman. And when the old woman asked her for a little piece of cake, she answered gruffly, "Have I nothing to do forsooth but to give you cake? do you take me for such an ass as to give you what belongs to me? Look-ye, charity begins at home[1]." And so saying she swallowed the cake in four pieces, making the old woman's mouth water, who when she saw the last morsel disappear, and her hopes buried with the cake, exclaimed in a rage, "Begone! and whenever you breathe may you foam at the mouth like a doctor's mule, may toads drop from your lips, and every time you set foot to the ground may there spring up ferns and thistles!"

Puccia took the pitcher of water and returned home, where her mother was all impatience to hear what had befallen her at the fountain. But no sooner did Puccia open her lips, than a shower of toads fell from them; at the sight of which her mother added the fire of rage to the snow of envy, sending forth flame and smoke through nose and mouth.

Now it happened some time afterwards that Ciommo, the brother of Marziella, was at the court of the king of Chiunzo; and the conversation turning on the beauty

  1. So cchiù becino li diente che li pariente,—'the teeth are nearer than the kinsfolk.'