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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/92

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When the time for the feast was come, and the stepmother's daughters appeared, drest out so fine, all ribbands and flowers, and slippers and shoes, sweet smells and bells, and roses and posies, Zezolla ran quickly to the flowerpot; and no sooner had she repeated the words which the fairy had told her, than she saw herself arrayed like a queen, seated upon a palfrey, and attended by twelve smart pages all drest in their best. Then she went to the ball where the sisters had gone, whose mouths watered with envy of the beauty of this graceful dove.

Now as luck would have it the king himself came to that same place, who, as soon as he saw the marvellous beauty of Zezolla, stood magic-bound with amazement, and ordered a trusty servant to find out who that beautiful creature was, and where she lived. So the servant followed in her footsteps; but Zezolla, observing the trick, threw on the ground a handful of crown-pieces, which she had made the date-tree give her for this purpose. Then the servant lighted the lantern, and in his eagerness to fill his pockets with the crown-pieces he forgot to follow the palfrey. In the meantime Zezolla hastened home, and undressed herself as the fairy had told her. Soon afterwards the wicked sisters returned, and, in order to vex her and excite her envy, they told her of all kinds of beautiful things that they had seen.