THE SEVEN LITTLE PORK RINDS
Day 4, Tale #4 of Giambattista Basile’s “Il Pentamerone”
retold in rhyme by Laura J. Bobrow
There once was a woman who went door to door begging scraps from her neighbors. “Some food,” she cried, “for my poor little daughter who lies sick in bed.” She begged and she wheedled, she spat and she pled. In that way she obtained, although not much to eat, seven pieces of pork skin with lard, but no meat. She gathered some wood bits and took them along to her daughter at home (who was perfectly strong.) “Boil these up while I pick us some greens for the pot.” The girl cooked the pork rinds. The water grew hot and soon the aroma of pork was afloat. The daughter was hungry. The scent seized her throat. “And what if I taste one? What harm will it do? My mother will miss it at once, that is true. She’ll beat me. Well, let her. She may do her worst,” she said as she finished consuming the first.