ITALIANO

Gentaglia

ENGLISH

The pack of ragamuffins


Galletto disse a Gallinella: "Le noci sono mature; andiamo insieme sul monte e mangiamone a sazietà una buona volta, prima che le porti via tutte lo scoiattolo." - "Sì" rispose Gallinella "vieni, ce la spasseremo insieme." Se ne andarono tutti e due sul monte e poiché‚ la giornata era bella, vi rimasero fino a sera. Ora, io non so se si fossero ingozzati tanto o se fossero diventati troppo spavaldi, fatto sta che non volevano tornare a casa a piedi, e Galletto dovette costruire una piccola carrozza di gusci di noce. Quando fu pronta, Gallinella ci salì e disse a Galletto: "Tu puoi tirare." - "No," disse Galletto, "che idea! Piuttosto che tirare vado a casa a piedi: non erano questi i patti. Fare il cocchiere e sedere a cassetta, va bene; ma tirare io, questo no."
The cock once said to the hen, "It is now the time when our nuts are ripe, so let us go to the hill together and for once eat our fill before the squirrel takes them all away." - "Yes," replied the hen, "come, we will have some pleasure together." Then they went away to the hill, and on it was a bright day they stayed till evening. Now I do not know whether it was that they had eaten till they were too fat, or whether they had become proud, but they would not go home on foot, and the cock had to build a little carriage of nut-shells. When it was ready, the little hen seated herself in it and said to the cock, "Thou canst just harness thyself to it." - "I like that!" said the cock, "I would rather go home on foot than let myself be harnessed to it; no, that is not our bargain. I do not mind being coachman and sitting on the box, but drag it myself I will not."


Mentre litigavano un'anatra starnazzò: "Ehi voi, ladri, chi vi ha detto di venire sul monte delle mie noci? Ve la farò pagare!" e si precipitò su Galletto. Ma Galletto non era codardo e coraggiosamente si gettò addosso all'anatra, e alla fine l'aggredì con gli speroni con tanta violenza, che ella chiese grazia e per punizione si lasciò volentieri attaccare alla carrozza. Galletto sedette a cassetta come cocchiere e si partì di gran carriera. "Anatra, corri più che puoi!" Quando ebbero fatto un pezzo di strada incontrarono due pedoni, uno spillo e un ago. Questi gridarono: "Alt, alt," e dissero che stava per diventare buio pesto, e non potevano più fare un passo, e poi la strada era così sporca! Non potevano salire per un po'? Erano stati alla locanda dei sarti, fuori porta, e si erano attardati a bere birra. Siccome erano gente magra, che non teneva molto posto, Galletto li lasciò salire entrambi, ma dovettero promettere di non pestare i piedi a lui e alla sua Gallinella. A tarda sera giunsero a un'osteria, e siccome di notte non volevano proseguire, e l'anatra era male in arnese e cadeva di qua e di là, vi si fermarono. Da principio l'oste fece molte difficoltà dicendo che la casa era già piena; pensava inoltre che non potessero essere gente molto distinta. Ma essi gli fecero tanti bei discorsi: avrebbe avuto l'uovo deposto da Gallinella strada facendo e avrebbe tenuto l'anatra che ogni giorno ne deponeva uno, sicché‚ alla fine egli cedette. Così si fecero servire a tavola e banchettarono allegramente. La mattina presto, quando albeggiava appena e tutti dormivano ancora, Galletto svegliò Gallinella, prese l'uovo, lo aprì con il becco e lo consumarono insieme; il guscio lo gettarono nel focolare. Poi andarono dall'ago che dormiva ancora, lo presero per la testa e lo piantarono nel cuscino della poltrona dell'oste, mentre lo spillo lo infilarono nell'asciugamano. Infine scapparono via per la pianura, come se niente fosse. L'anatra che aveva voluto dormire all'aperto ed era rimasta nel cortile, li sentì frullar via, si svegliò, trovò un ruscello e ne seguì a nuoto la corrente: era più veloce che a tirare la carrozza! Un paio d'ore più tardi l'oste si alzò, si lavò e volle asciugarsi con l'asciugamano ma si graffiò il viso con lo spillo; poi andò in cucina e volle accendersi la pipa, ma quando si avvicinò al camino i gusci d'uovo gli saltarono negli occhi. "Questa mattina ce l'hanno tutti con la mia testa!" disse, e si sedette adirato sulla poltrona. "Ahi!" L'ago da cucire l'aveva punto ancor peggio, e non nella testa, cosicché‚ egli balzò su per lo spavento. Ora era furioso e cominciò a sospettare degli ospiti che erano arrivati la sera prima così tardi; e quando andò a cercarli se n'erano andati. Allora giurò di non ospitare mai più gentaglia che mangia molto, non paga nulla e per giunta ti ringrazia giocandoti qualche tiro.
As they were thus disputing, a duck quacked to them, "You thieving folks, who bade you go to my nut-hill? Well, you shall suffer for it!" and ran with open beak at the cock. But the cock also was not idle, and fell boldly on the duck, and at last wounded her so with his spurs that she also begged for mercy, and willingly let herself be harnessed to the carriage as a punishment. The little cock now seated himself on the box and was coachman, and thereupon they went off in a gallop, with "Duck, go as fast as thou canst." When they had driven a part of the way they met two foot-passengers, a pin and a needle. They cried, "Stop! stop!" and said that it would soon be as dark as pitch, and then they could not go a step further, and that it was so dirty on the road, and asked if they could not get into the carriage for a while. They had been at the tailor's public- house by the gate, and had stayed too long over the beer. As they were thin people, who did not take up much room, the cock let them both get in, but they had to promise him and his little hen not to step on their feet. Late in the evening they came to an inn, and as they did not like to go further by night, and as the duck also was not strong on her feet, and fell from one side to the other, they went in. The host at first made many objections, his house was already full, besides he thought they could not be very distinguished persons; but at last, as they made pleasant speeches, and told him that he should have the egg which the little hen has laid on the way, and should likewise keep the duck, which laid one every day, he at length said that they might stay the night. And now they had themselves well served, and feasted and rioted. Early in the morning, when day was breaking, and every one was asleep, the cock awoke the hen, brought the egg, pecked it open, and they ate it together, but they threw the shell on the hearth. Then they went to the needle which was still asleep, took it by the head and stuck it into the cushion of the landlord's chair, and put the pin in his towel, and at the last without more ado they flew away over the heath. The duck who liked to sleep in the open air and had stayed in the yard, heard them going away, made herself merry and found a stream, down which she swam, which was a much quicker way of travelling than being harnessed to a carriage. The host did not get out of bed for two hours after this; he washed himself and wanted to dry himself, then the pin went over his face and made a red streak from one ear to the other. After this he went into the kitchen and wanted to light a pipe, but when he came to the hearth the egg-shell darted into his eyes. "This morning everything attacks my head, " said he, and angrily sat down on his grandfather's chair, but he quickly started up again and cried, "Woe is me, " for the needle had pricked him still worse than the pin, and not in the head. Now he was thoroughly angry, and suspected the guests who had come so late the night before, and when he went and looked about for them, they were gone. Then he made a vow to take no more ragamuffins into his house, for they consume much, pay for nothing, and play mischievous tricks into the bargain by way of gratitude.





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