I due gobbi

Fiaba Toscana

C’erano due gobbi, fratelli. Il gobbo piú giovane disse:

Voglio andare a far fortuna, – e si mise in viaggio.

Cammina cammina, dal tanto camminare si perdette in un bosco.

E ora cosa faccio? Se venissero gli assassini… Meglio che salga su quest’albero.

Quando fu sull’albero, sentí un rumore.

Eccoli, aiuto!

Invece, da una buca là per terra cominciò a uscire una vecchina, e poi un’altra vecchina, e un’altra ancora, tutta una fila di vecchine l’una dietro l’altra che si misero a girare intorno all’albero, cantando:

Sabato e Domenica!
Sabato e Domenica!

E cosí continuavano a girare in tondo e ripetevano sempre da capo:

Sabato e Domenica!

Il gobbo, di lassú in cima all’albero, fece:

E Lunedí!

Le vecchine restarono ammutolite, guardarono in su e una di loro disse:

– Oh, chi è stata quell’anima buona che ci ha detto questa bella cosa! A noialtre non ci sarebbe mai venuto in mente!

E si rimisero a girare intorno all’albero, tutte felici, cantando:

Sabato, Domenica
E Lunedí!
Sabato, Domenica,
E Lunedí!

Dopo un po’ che giravano, s’accorsero del gobbo che era in mezzo al rami. Lui tremava. – Per carità, vecchine, non m’ammazzate: m’è scappato detto quello, ma non volevo dir nulla di male.

-Anzi, scendi, ti vogliamo ricompensare. Chiedi qualunque grazia e te la faremo.

Il gobbo scese dall’albero.


Allora, chiedi!


-Io sono un pover’uomo; cosa volete che chieda? La cosa che vorrei sarebbe che mi fosse levata questa gobba, perché tutti’li ragazzí mi canzonano.

– E la gobba ti sarà levata.

Le vecchine presero una sega di burro, gli segarono la gobba, gli unsero la schiena con un unguento, la fecero tornare sana che non si vedeva niente, e la gobba l’appesero all’albero.
Il gobbo tornò a casa che non era piú gobbo e nessuno del paese lo riconosceva piú.

– Ohi Ma non sei tu – gli fece suo fratello.

– Sí che sono io! Lo vedi come sono diventato bello?

-E come hai fatto?

-Sta’ a sentire, – e gli raccontò dell’albero, delle vecchine e del loro canto.


– Ci voglio andare anch’io, –
disse il fratello.

Si mise in viaggio, entrò in quel bosco, salí su quell’albero. Alla stessa ora, dal buco uscirono le vecchine cantando:

Sabato, Domenica
E Lunedí!
Sabato, Domenica
E Lunedí!

E il gobbo, dall’albero:

– E Martedí!

Le vecchie presero a cantare:

Sabato, Domenica
Lunedí!
Martedí!

Ma non veniva bene, non tornava piú il verso.
Si voltarono in su tutte inveleníte:

E chi è quest’infame, chi è quest’assassino? Cantavamo cosí bene e ci ha sciupato tutto! Ora non ci torna piú il verso!

Finalmente lo videro tra i rami.

Scendi! Scendi!

-No che non scendo! – diceva il gobbo pieno di paura. – Voi m’ammazzate!

-Scendi! Non t’ammazziamo.

Il gobbo scese, le vecchine staccarono dall’albero la gobba di suo fratello e gliel’appiccicarono davanti.

– Ecco il castigo che ti
meriti!

Cosí il povero gobbo tornò a casa con due gobbe invece di una.
(Firenze).

The two hunchbacks

Tuscan Fable

There were once two hunchbacks, brothers. The youngest said:

– I’m off to seek my fortune, – and he went on his way.

He walked and walked, and he walked so much he got lost in a wood.

-Now what will I do? And what if assassins come round…I’d better climb up this tree.

The minute he got up the tree, he heard a noise.

Here they come. Help!

But instead of assassins, from a hole in the ground came an old woman, and then another old woman, and another, a row of old women who began to circle the tree in single file singing:

Saturday and Sunday!
Saturday and Sunday!


And they continued to circle the tree; round and round they went singing:

Saturday and Sunday!

From high in the tree, the hunchback added:

And Monday, too!

The old women were speechless. They looked up and down and all around, and one said:

– Oh, what good soul uttered these beautiful words? We should never have thought of them ourselves!

And they started circling the tree; round and round they went singing happily:

Saturday and Sunday
And Monday, too!
Saturday and Sunday
And Monday, too!


After a bit, they saw the hunchback hiding up in the tree among the branches. Trembling, he said: – Oh, please, please don’t kill me. The words just slipped out of my mouth. I didn’t mean to say anything bad!

-On the contrary, come down. We should like to reward you. Ask anything you like of us and we shall do it.

The hunchback came down off the tree.

-Well, go on!

– I’m a poor man: what do I know what to ask for? I’d really like this hump off my back though, because all the kids make fun of me!

-And we shall remove the hump!

The old women drew out a saw made of butter and cut the hump right off. They took an ointment and rubbed it on his back until it healed. Then they took the hump and hung it on the tree.

The hunchback went back home, but he wasn’t a hunchback anymore and no-one in the town recognized him.

– Oh! But this can’t be you! – said his brother.

Of course it’s me! See how handsome I got?

-How did you do it?

-Listen to this… – and he told his brother the story about the tree and the old women and about their song.

-I want to go too, – said his brother.

He set off on his way, entered the wood and climbed up the tree. At the very same hour of the night, the old women came out of the hole in the ground singing:

Saturday and Sunday
And Monday, too!
Saturday and Sunday
And Monday, too!


And the hunchback from up in the tree added:

And Tuesday.

The old women started singing:

Saturday and Sunday
And Monday!
And Tuesday!

But the song didn’t sound right. The verse was all wrong. They looked around angrily:

Who is the scoundrel? The villain? We were singing so nicely and he went and ruined everything! Now the verse is just not right!

They finally saw him hidden among the branches.

Come down! Come down here!

-No! I won’t come down, – said the hunchback terrified. – You’ll kill me!

-Come down here! We shan’t kill you!

The hunchback got down off the tree. The old women took his brother’s old hump off the tree and glued it to his chest.

There! Just the punishment you deserve!

So the poor hunchback went home with too humps instead of one.

(Florence)

Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi

From the collection of Tuscan Fables by Giuseppe Pitrè

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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