GREEN MEADOW
Day 2, Tale #2 of Giambattista Basile’s “Il Pentamerone”
retold in rhyme by Laura J. Bobrow


A mother had three daughters.  And it strangely happened that
girls one and two had little luck.  Their hopes and plans went flat,
while number three, named Nella, who was as fair as she could be,
had luck.  A better-natured girl you'd never ever see.

The more that she was praised the more her sisters’ envy grew.
They wished her buried underground.  No other fate would do.
Now Nella caught the fancy of a young enchanted prince.
They soon enough were lovers, trysting every night, but since

they did not want it known, the prince devised a special route
from his palace to her bedroom by which means he could commute.
He built a crsytal tunnel.  And to signal her desire
she simply had to throw a magic powder on the fire.

He’d come dashing through the tunnel without clothes on, I might add.
Her sisters spied and found them out.  It drove them nearly mad,
so they smashed the crystal tunnel.  Nella summoned him that night,
and the prince’s skin was torn to shreds.  He was a sorry sight.

He limped back to his palace where he put himself to bed.
“Since the crystal was enchanted we’ve no cure,” his doctors said.
The king cried out, “A Cure for a Reward!  which will entail
his marriage if a female, half my kingdom if a male.”