Day 4, Tale #7 of Giambattista Basile’s "Il Pentamerone" retold in narrative verse by Laura J. Bobrow
Luceta, Troccola, two sisters by birth, had each one a daughter, unlike as could be. Luceta’s Marziella was fairest on earth. Troccola’s Puccia was ugly to see. In that she was much like her mother, who bore the heart of a harpy, the face of a crow. Luceta was cooking one day. “I need more of the fountain’s fresh water.” “Yes, mother, I’ll go but please, if you love me, may I have a cake to eat near the fountain?” her good daughter said. “You may,” laughed Luceta, and reached up to take a cake from a basket. With a pad on her head to carry the pitcher, Marziella set out. She had just filled the pitcher when there by her side stood a hump-backed old woman. “I see you’re about to bite into the cake which your mother supplied. Might I have the littlest taste of it, miss?” “You may have it all,” said this generous maid. “And if it were richer and bigger than this, it were yours.” “Dear, your kindness will soon be repaid.