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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/386

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THE PENTAMERONE.

punishment: but begone! run, scamper off, take yourself out of my sight! you know not what good fortune you lose." So saying he vanished like quicksilver.

The poor girl left the palace, cold and stiff with affright, and with her head bowed to the ground; and when she had come out of the cavern she met a fairy, who said to her, "My child, how my heart grieves at your misfortune! Unhappy girl, you are going to the slaughter-house, where you will pass over the bridge no wider than a hair[1]; therefore, to provide against your peril, take these seven spindles, with these seven figs, and a little jar of honey, and these seven pair of iron shoes, and walk on and on without stopping until they are worn out; then you will see seven women standing upon a balcony of a house, and spinning from above down to the ground, with the thread wound upon the bone of a dead person. Remain quite still and hidden, and when the thread comes down, take out the bone and put in its place a spindle besmeared with honey, with a fig in the place of the little button. Then as soon as the women draw up the spindles, and taste the honey, they will say, 'He who has made my spindle sweet, shall in return with good fortune meet!' And after repeating these words, they will say one after another, 'O you who have brought us these sweet things, appear!' Then

  1. Perhaps alluding to the bridge in the Koran.—L.