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Main > Italy folktales > Fairy tale "Violet"


Envy is a wind which blows with such violence, that it throws down the props of the reputation of good men, and levels with the ground the crops of good fortune. But, very often, as a punishment from Heaven, when this envious blast seems as if it would cast a person flat on the ground, it aids him instead of attain the happiness he is expecting sooner even than he expected: as you will hear in the story which I shall now tell you.

There was once upon a time a good sort of man named Cola Aniello, who had three daughters, Rose, Pink, and Violet, the last of whom was so beautiful that her very look was a syrup of love, which cured the hearts of beholders of all unhappiness. The King's son was burning with love of her, and every time he passed by the little cottage where these three sisters sat at work, he took off his cap and said, "Good-day, good-day, Violet," and she replied, "Good-day, King's son! I know more than you." At these words her sisters grumbled and murmured, saying, "You are an ill-bred creature and will make the Prince in a fine rage." But as Violet paid no heed to what they said, they made a spiteful complaint of her to her father, telling him that she was too bold and forward; and that she answered the Prince without any respect, as if she were just as good as he; and that, some day or other, she would get into trouble and suffer the just punishment of her offence. So Cola Aniello, who was a prudent man, in order to prevent any mischief, sent Violet to stay with an aunt, to be set to work.

Now the Prince, when he passed by the house as usual, no longer seeing the object of his love, was for some days like a nightingale that has lost her young ones from her nest, and goes from branch to branch wailing and lamenting her loss; but he put his ear so often to the chink that at last he discovered where Violet lived. Then he went to the aunt, and said to her, "Madam, you know who I am, and what power I have; so, between ourselves, do me a favour and then ask for whatever you wish.

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