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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/91

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love to her. And thereupon she gave him a date-tree, a hoe and a little bucket all of gold, and a silken napkin; adding, that the one was to hoe with and the other to water the plant.

The prince, marvelling at this present, took leave of the fairy and returned to his own country. And when he had given the stepdaughters all the things they had desired, he at last gave his own daughter the gift which the fairy had sent her. Then Zezolla, out of her wits with joy, took the date-tree and planted it in a pretty flowerpot, hoed the earth around it, watered it, and wiped its leaves morning and evening with the silken napkin; so that in a few days it had grown as tall as a woman, and out of it came a fairy, who said to Zezolla, "What do you wish for?" And Zezolla replied, that she wished sometimes to leave the house without her sisters' knowledge. The fairy answered, "Whenever you desire this, come to the flowerpot and say,

'My little Date-tree, my golden tree,
With a golden hoe I have hoed thee.
With a golden can I have water'd thee,
With a silken cloth I have wiped thee dry.
Now strip thee, and dress me speedily!'

And when you wish to undress, change the last verse, and say, 'Strip me, and dress thee.'"