ITALIANO

Il compare

ENGLISH

The godfather


Un pover'uomo aveva tanti figli, e aveva già pregato tutti di fare da padrino; così, quando gli nacque l'ultimo, non sapeva proprio più a chi rivolgersi. Allora tutto triste si mise a letto e si addormentò. Sognò che doveva andare alla porta e invitare a fare da padrino la prima persona che incontrava. Quando si svegliò l'uomo fece quello che aveva visto in sogno e colui che incontrò e che fece da padrino gli regalò una bottiglietta d'acqua dicendo: -Con quest'acqua puoi guarire chi è ammalato, a condizione però che la Morte sia al capezzale dell'infermo; se invece si trova ai piedi del letto, l'ammalato deve morire-. Una volta si ammalò il figlio del re, e l'uomo pot‚ risanarlo poiché‚ la Morte si trovava al suo capezzale; così fu anche una seconda volta; ma la terza, la Morte era ai piedi del letto e il principino dovette morire. Allora l'uomo volle recarsi dal compare per raccontargli l'accaduto, ma quando giunse a casa sua vi trovò una stranissima brigata. Al primo piano la scopa e la paletta se le davano di santa ragione. Egli chiese dove abitasse il compare e la scopa rispose: -Al piano di sopra-. Quando arrivò al secondo piano vide per terra un bel mucchio di dita di morto. Allora egli domandò di nuovo dove abitasse il compare, e un dito rispose: -Al piano di sopra-. Al terzo piano c'era una gran quantità di teste di morto che dissero ancora: -Al piano di sopra-. Al quarto vide dei pesci sul fuoco che friggevano e si cuocevano da s‚. Anch'essi dissero: -Al piano di sopra-. E quando giunse al quinto piano si trovò davanti a una stanza; sbirciò dal buco della serratura e vide il compare che aveva un paio di corna lunghe lunghe. Quand'egli entrò, il compare si buttò in fretta sul letto e le coprì. Disse l'uomo: -Compare, quando sono arrivato al primo piano, ho visto una scopa e una paletta darsele di santa ragione-. -Che sciocco!- rispose il compare -erano il servo e la serva che parlavano insieme.- -Al secondo piano ho visto delle dita di morto per terra.- -Che grullo siete! erano radici di scorzonera.- -Al terzo piano c'era un mucchio di teste di morto.- -Stupido! erano cavoli cappucci.- -Al quarto, ho visto dei pesci in padella, che sfrigolavano e si cuocevano da soli.- Aveva appena pronunciato queste parole che i pesci comparvero e si misero in tavola da s‚. -E al quinto piano, ho guardato dal buco della serratura e ho visto che voi, compare, avevate un paio di corna lunghe lunghe!- -Ma no che non è vero!-
A poor man had so many children that he had already asked every one in the world to be godfather, and when still another child was born, no one else was left whom he could invite. He knew not what to do, and, in his perplexity, he lay down and fell asleep. Then he dreamt that he was to go outside the gate, and ask the first person who met him to be godfather. When he awoke, he determined to obey his dream, and went outside the gate, and asked the first person who came up to him to be godfather. The stranger presented him with a little glass of water, and said, "This is a wonderful water, with it thou canst heal the sick, only thou must see where Death is standing. If he is standing by the patient's head, give the patient some of the water and he will be healed, but if Death is standing by his feet, all trouble will be in vain, for the sick man must die." From this time forth, the man could always say whether a patient could be saved or not, and became famous for his skill, and earned a great deal of money. Once he was called in to the child of the King, and when he entered, he saw death standing by the child's head and cured it with the water, and he did the same a second time, but the third time Death was standing by its feet, and then he knew the child was forced to die.
Once the man thought he would visit the godfather, and tell him how he had succeeded with the water. But when he entered the house, it was such a strange establishment! On the first flight of stairs, the broom and shovel were disputing, and knocking each other about violently. He asked them, "Where does the godfather live?" The broom replied, "One flight of stairs higher up." When he came to the second flight, he saw a heap of dead fingers lying. He asked, "Where does the godfather live?" One of the fingers replied, "One flight of stairs higher." On the third flight lay a heap of dead heads, which again directed him to the flight beyond. On the fourth flight, he saw fishes on the fire, which frizzled in the pans and baked themselves. They, too, said, "One flight of stairs higher." And when he had ascended the fifth, he came to the door of a room and peeped through the keyhole, and there he saw the godfather who had a pair of long horns. When he opened the door and went in, the godfather got into bed in a great hurry and covered himself up. Then said the man, "Sir godfather, what a strange household you have! When I came to your first flight of stairs, the shovel and broom were quarreling, and beating each other violently."

"How stupid you are!" said the godfather. "That was the boy and the maid talking to each other." - "But on the second flight I saw dead fingers lying." - "Oh, how silly you are! Those were some roots of scorzonera." - "On the third flight lay a heap of dead men's heads." - "Foolish man, those were cabbages." - "On the fourth flight, I saw fishes in a pan, which were hissing and baking themselves." When he had said that, the fishes came and served themselves up. "And when I got to the fifth flight, I peeped through the keyhole of a door, and there, godfather, I saw you, and you had long, long horns." - "Oh, that is a lie!" The man became alarmed, and ran out, and if he had not, who knows what the godfather would have done to him.




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