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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/334

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THE PENTAMERONE.

the mice, that they will never be safe from the cat, unless they tie a bell to her leg, to tell them when she is coming:—to the ants, that they will live a hundred years, if they can dispense with flying; for when the ant is going to die she puts on wings:—to the whale, that it should be of good cheer, and make friends with the seamouse[1], who will serve him as a guide, so that he will never go wrong:—and to the doves, that when they alight on the column of wealth, they will return to their former state."

So saying, Time set out to run his accustomed post; and Cianna, taking leave of the old woman, descended to the foot of the mountain, just at the very time that the seven doves, who had followed their sister's footsteps, arrived there. Wearied with flying so far, they stopped to rest upon the horn of a dead ox; and no sooner had they alighted, than they were changed into handsome youths, as they were at first. But while they were marvelling at this, they heard the reply which Time had given, and saw at once that the horn, as the symbol of plenty, was the column of wealth of which Time had spoken. Then embracing their sister with great joy, they all set out on the same road by which Cianna had come. And when they came to the oak-

  1. Lo sorece marino—the Latin Musculus marinus, which Pliny says swam before the whale, and guided it from the shoals. See Nat. Hist. ix. 63.