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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/426

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THE PENTAMERONE.

the bird, in order to pluck it, he threw the water with the feathers out from a balcony on to a garden-bed, on which before three days had passed there sprung up a beautiful citron-tree, which quickly grew to its full size.

Now it happened that the king, going by chance to a window that looked upon the garden, saw the tree, which he had never observed before; and calling the cook, he asked him when and by whom it had been planted. No sooner had he heard all the particulars from Master Pot-ladle, than he began to suspect how matters stood; so he gave orders, under pain of death, that the tree should not be touched, but that it should be tended with the greatest care.

At the end of a few days three most beautiful citrons appeared, similar to those which the ogress had given Ciommetiello; and when they were grown larger, he plucked them; and shutting himself up in a chamber, with a large basin of water and the knife which he always carried at his side, he began to cut the citrons. Then it all fell out with the first and second fairy just as it had done before; but when at last he cut the third citron, and gave the fairy who came forth from it to drink, behold there stood before him the self-same maiden whom he had left up in the tree, and who told him all the mischief that the slave had done.

Who now can tell the least part of the delight the