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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/33

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9
INTRODUCTION.

little dwarf, like a doll, the most graceful toy that ever was seen in the world. Then, seating himself upon the window, the dwarf began to sing with such a trill, and gurgling, and passavolants, that he seemed a second Juuno, surpassed Pizzillo, and did not yield a hair to the Blindman of Potenza, or the King of the Birds[1].

The Slave, when she saw and heard this, was so enraptured, that, calling Taddeo, she said, "Bring me the little fellow who is singing yonder, or the child shall not be born alive." So the Prince, who allowed the ugly woman to put the saddle on his own back, sent instantly to Zoza, to ask if she would sell the little dwarf. Zoza answered that she was not a merchant, but that he was welcome to it as a gift. So Taddeo accepted the offer; for he was anxious to keep his wife in good humour, in order that she might bring the child safely to light.

Four days after this Zoza opened the chestnut, when out came a hen with twelve little chickens, all of pure gold. And being placed on the same window, the Slave saw them, and took a vast fancy to them; then calling Taddeo, she showed him the beautiful sight, and said, "Get me the hen and chickens, or depend upon it the child shall not be born alive." So Taddeo, who let himself be caught in the net, and become the sport of the ugly creature, sent again to Zoza, offering her any

  1. These were all famous singers.