ENGLISH

The wedding of Mrs. Fox

ITALIANO

La signora volpe


FIRST STORY

There was once on a time an old fox with nine tails, who believed that his wife was not faithful to him, and wished to try her. He stretched himself out under the bench, did not move a limb, and behaved as if he were stone dead. Mrs. Fox went up to her room, shut herself in, and her maid, Miss Cat, sat by the fire, and did the cooking. When it became known that the old fox was dead, wooers presented themselves. The maid heard some one standing at the house-door, knocking. She went and opened it, and it was a young fox, who said,

"What may you be about, Miss Cat.?
Do you sleep or do you wake?"
She answered,
"I am not sleeping, I am waking,
Wouldst thou know what I am making?
I am boiling warm beer with butter so nice,
Will the gentleman enter and drink some likewise?"
"No, thank you, miss," said the fox, "what is Mrs. Fox doing?" The maid replied,
"She sits all alone,
And makes her moan,
Weeping her little eyes quite red,
Because old Mr. Fox is dead."
"Do just tell her, miss, that a young fox is here, who would like to woo her." - "Certainly, young sir."
The cat goes up the stairs trip, trap,
The door she knocks at tap, tap, tap,
"Mistress Fox, are you inside?"
"Oh yes, my little cat," she cried.
"A wooer he stands at the door out there."
"Tell me what he is like, my dear?"
"But has he nine as beautiful tails as the late Mr. Fox?" - "Oh, no," answered the cat, "he has only one."
"Then I will not have him." Miss Cat went downstairs and sent the wooer away. Soon afterwards there was another knock, and another fox was at the door who wished to woo Mrs. Fox. He had two tails, but he did not fare better than the first. After this still more came, each with one tail more than the other, but they were all turned away, until at last one came who had nine tails, like old Mr. Fox. When the widow heard that, she said joyfully to the cat,

"Now open the gates and doors all wide,
And carry old Mr. Fox outside."
But just as the wedding was going to be solemnized, old Mr. Fox stirred under the bench, and cudgelled all the rabble, and drove them and Mrs. Fox out of the house.

SECOND STORY

When old Mr. Fox was dead, the wolf came as a wooer, and knocked at the door, and the cat who was servant to Mrs. Fox, opened it for him. The wolf greeted her, and said,

"Good day, Mrs. Cat of Kehrewit,
"How comes it that alone you sit?
What are you making good?"
The cat replied,
"In milk I'm breaking bread so sweet,
Will the gentleman please come in and eat?"
"No, thank you, Mrs. Cat," answered the wolf. "Is Mrs. Fox not at home?"
The cat said,

"She sits upstairs in her room,
Bewailing her sorrowful doom,
Bewailing her trouble so sore,
For old Mr. Fox is no more."
The wolf answered,
"If she's in want of a husband now,
Then will it please her to step below?"
The cat runs quickly up the stair,
And lets her tail fly here and there,
Until she comes to the parlour door.
With her five gold rings at the door she knocks,
"Are you within, good Mistress Fox?
If you're in want of a husband now,
Then will it please you to step below?
Mrs. Fox asked, "Has the gentleman red stockings on' and has he a pointed mouth?" - "No," answered the cat. "Then he won't do for me."
When the wolf was gone, came a dog, a stag, a hare, a bear, a lion, and all the beasts of the forest, one after the other. But one of the good points which old Mr. Fox had possessed, was always lacking, and the cat had continually to send the wooers away. At length came a young fox. Then Mrs. Fox said, "Has the gentleman red stockings on, and has he a little pointed mouth?" - "Yes," said the cat, "he has." - "Then let him come upstairs," said Mrs. Fox, and ordered the servant to prepare the wedding-feast.

"Sweep me the room as clean as you can,
Up with the window, fling out my old man!
For many a fine fat mouse he brought,
Yet of his wife he never thought,
But ate up every one he caught."
Then the wedding was solemnized with young Mr. Fox, and there was much rejoicing and dancing; and if they have not left off, they are dancing still.
PRIMA STORIA

C'era una volta un vecchio volpone con nove code che volle vedere se la moglie gli era fedele. Si coricò sotto la panca e non si mosse più come se fosse bell'e morto. La signora volpe salì nella sua camera, e vi si chiuse dentro, mentre la gatta, sua cameriera, cucinava accanto al focolare. Quando si seppe che il volpone era morto, qualcuno bussò alla porta:-Signorina mi sta a sentire? Veglia o è già a dormire?-La gatta andò ad aprire: era un volpacchiotto. Ella gli rispose- Son sveglia, e se quel che faccio vuol sapere, col burro scaldo la birra nel bicchiere. Desidera mangiare? E' pronto il desinare.--No grazie, signorina. Che fa la signora volpe?- La cameriera rispose:-Chiusa nella stanzina, piange la poverina; il suo signore morì all'improvviso e ora il pianto le guasta il viso.--Le dica che c'è qui un volpacchiotto che sarebbe disposto a sposarla!-Salì la gatta per la scaletta, bussò alla porta della stanzetta. -Signora volpe, è qui?- -Oh sì, gattina, sì!- -Signora volpe un pretendente c'è.- -Dimmi gattina, l'aspetto suo qual è?Ha nove belle code, come il signor volpone, buon'anima?- -Ah, no- rispose la gatta -ne ha solo una.- -Allora non lo voglio.- La gatta scese e mandò via il pretendente. Ma poco dopo bussarono di nuovo, e un'altra volpe si presentò alla porta; aveva due code, ma non ebbe miglior fortuna della prima. Poi ne arrivarono altre, sempre con una coda di più, e furono tutte respinte; finché‚ ne arrivò una che aveva nove code come il vecchio signor volpone. Quando lo venne a sapere, la vedova disse tutta allegra alla gatta:-Le porte subito spalancate, la vecchia volpe fuori spazzate.-Ma mentre stavano per celebrarsi le nozze, il vecchio volpone si mosse sotto la panca. Saltò su, picchiò tutta quella gentaglia e la cacciò fuor di casa con la signora volpe.

SECONDA STORIA

Il vecchio signor volpone era morto; così il lupo si presentò alla porta come pretendente, e bussò:-Cosa cucina, Gentile Signora, sul suo fornello così di buon'ora? Che fa di bello, suvvia mi dica!-Gatta: -Nel latte sbriciolo della mollica. Desidera mangiare? E' pronto il desinare-. Lupo: -No, grazie. Non è in casa la signora volpe?-. Gatta: -Rinchiusa nella stanzetta, si dispera la poveretta. E' triste e sconsolata da che il volpone l'ha lasciata-. Lupo: -Se ora vuole rimaritarsi, scender le scale è tutto il da farsi-. Sale di sopra la gattina e lesta picchia la porticina, tutto il salone ha attraversato, con cinque anelli la porta ha bussato: se ora vuole rimaritarsi, scender le scale è tutto il da farsi. La signora volpe domandò: -Ha calzoncini rossi e musetto a punta?-. -No- rispose la gatta. -Allora non mi serve.- Mandato via il lupo, vennero un cane, un cervo, una lepre, un orso, un leone e, uno dopo l'altro, tutti gli animali del bosco. Ma mancava sempre qualcosa che aveva avuto il vecchio signor volpone, e la gatta, ogni volta, dovette licenziare il pretendente. Finalmente arrivò un volpacchiotto. Allora la signora volpe disse: -Ha calzoncini rossi e musetto a punta?-. -Sì- rispose la gatta. -Salga pure!- esclamò la signora volpe, e ordinò alla cameriera di preparare le nozze:-Voglio vedere la casa pulita, ogni traccia del volpone sparita. Quando un grosso topone mangiava, nemmeno un pezzo a me ne dava!-Così celebrarono le nozze e si misero a ballare e, se non hanno smesso, ballano ancora.




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