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into the jar of pickled walnuts, which his mother had said contained poison, he never stopped eating until he came to the bottom; and when he had right well filled his stomach, he went and hid himself in the oven.

In the meanwhile his mother returned, and stood knocking for a long time at the door; but at last, seeing that no one came, she gave it a kick; and going in, she called her son at the top of her voice. But as nobody answered, she imagined that some mischief must have happened, and with increased lamentation she went on crying louder and louder, "Vardiello! Vardiello! are you deaf, that you don't hear? have you the cramp, that you don't run? have you the pip, that you don't answer? Where are you, you gallows-faced rogue? where are you hidden, you naughty fellow? Oh that I had strangled you when I brought you forth!"

Vardiello, on hearing all this hubbub and abuse, cried out at last with a piteous voice, "Here I am! here I am in the oven; but you will never see me again, mother!"

"Why so?" said the poor mother.

"Because I am poisoned," replied the son.

"Alas! alas!" cried Grannonia, "how came you to do that? what cause have you had to commit this homicide? and who has given you the poison?" Then Vardiello told her, one after another, all the pretty