THE GARLIC PATCH
Day 3,  Tale # 6  of Giambattista Basile’s "Il Pentamerone"
retold in rhyme by Laura J. Bobrow





A garlic patch was all Ambruoso had,
plus seven daughters.  Not a single lad.
Biasillo, rich, had seven children, too,
but all were sons with not a girl in view.

The two were friends.  Ambruoso lied and said
three daughters and four sons were what he’d bred.
It did not matter much, he thought, until
Biasillo’s eldest son was taken ill.

When no amount of money bought a cure,
Biasillo said, “Ambruoso, maybe you’re
the man to help.  Send one son here to me.
My son, Narduccio, needs his company.”

Ambruoso asked his daughters, “Which of you
will cut your hair and put on trousers, too,
and try to mend my friend Biasillo’s son?”
They all refused him, that is, all but one.