THE COCK’S STONE
Day 4, Tale # 1 of Giambattista Basile’s "Il Pentamerone"
retold in rhyme by Laura J. Bobrow
All that Mineco Aniello possessed
was a cock which ate crumbs made from bread.
But one day Aniello’s own hunger was such,
“I must sell you for money,” he said.
Off to the market he went with the cock
where two thieves soon agreed to the trade.
“We’ll pay what you ask, but the coin is at home.
If you follow us there you'll be paid.”
Now these men were magicians. They chortled with glee
as they walked with Aniello behind.
“This is the cock with a stone in its head.
What a fabulous, wonderful find!
We’ll chop off its head and get hold of the stone
which we’ll set in a magical ring.
We’ll be rich!” But Aniello could translate the words
that they spoke, and he heard everything.
“Whatever we ask will be ours,” laughed the thieves.
But Aniello at once turned around
and ran home with the cock where he chopped off its head
such a stone could be found.