The fox and the geese


La volpe e le oche

The fox once came to a meadow in which was a flock of fine fat geese, on which he smiled and said, "I come in the nick of time, you are sitting together quite beautifully, so that I can eat you up one after the other." The geese cackled with terror, sprang up, and began to wail and beg piteously for their lives. But the fox would listen to nothing, and said, "There is no mercy to be had! You must die." At length one of them took heart and said, "If we poor geese are to yield up our vigorous young lives, show us the only possible favour and allow us one more prayer, that we may not die in our sins, and then we will place ourselves in a row, so that you can always pick yourself out the fattest." - "Yes," said the fox, "that is reasonable, and a pious request. Pray away, I will wait till you are done." Then the first began a good long prayer, for ever saying, "Ga! Ga!" and as she would make no end, the second did not wait until her turn came, but began also, "Ga! Ga!" The third and fourth followed her, and soon they were all cackling together.
Un giorno una volpe capitò in un prato dove si trovava un branco di oche belle grasse, e ridendo disse: "Arrivo proprio a proposito: ve ne state qui tutte insieme, così posso divorarvi una dopo l'altra." Le oche si misero a starnazzare, saltarono su e incominciarono a lamentarsi e a chiedere grazia. Ma la volpe disse: "Nessuna pietà, dovete morire." Finalmente una delle oche si fece coraggio e disse: "Se dobbiamo proprio perdere la nostra giovane vita, concedici almeno una grazia: permettici di dire una preghiera, perché‚ non moriamo nel peccato; poi ci metteremo in fila perché‚ tu possa sceglierti via via la più grassa." – "Sì," rispose la volpe, "è ben poca cosa ed è un desiderio pio: pregate, io aspetterò." Allora la prima incominciò una preghiera ben lunga: "Qua, qua!" E siccome non la voleva smettere, la seconda non aspettò il suo turno, e anche lei incominciò: "Qua, qua!"

When they have done praying, the story shall be continued further, but at present they are still praying without stopping."
(Quando tutte avranno finito di pregare, continueremo la storia, ma, per adesso, pregano ancora.)

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