Day 2 Tale # 7 of Giambattista Basile’s “Il Pentamerone”
retold in rhyme by Laura J. Bobrow
A toothless, humpbacked lady had a hut within a wood. When folks would not give charity, she gathered what she could. In threshing season she obtained a single bowl of beans. She put them in a pot, but then she did not have the means to cook them. So she put the pot upon the window sill and ventured forth to find some fuel. And there they sat until a prince, Nardo Aniello, who was hunting, happened by. He said to his retainers, “Men, I’ll make a bet that I can hit that pot with just one throw." And picking up a rock, he smashed the pot then trotted off, a haughty turkey-cock. What did he care that all the beans were scattered now and lost? Nor did he care a penny for the misery he cost. The crone when she observed the mess was dreadfully dismayed. “Whoever did this cruel act must then be cruelly paid.” She called down curses on his head. “May he be evil-eyed and fall in love at first sight with an ogre’s child,” she cried.