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YASHPEH
International Folktales Collection

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Story No. 892


Mr. Attentive

Book Name:

Italian Popular Tales

Tradition: Italy

Translated from the dialect. (Venetian, Bernoni, Punt. II. p. 53, Sior Intento)

"Do you want me to tell you the story of Mr. Attentive?"

"Tell me it."

"But you must not say 'tell me it,' for it is

The story of Mr. Attentive,Which lasts a long time,Which is never explained:Do you wish me to tell it, or relate it?"

"Relate it."

"But you must not say 'relate it,' for it is

The story of Mr. Attentive,Which lasts a long time,Which is never explained:Do you wish me to tell it, or relate it?"

"But come! tell me it."

"But you must not say," etc., etc.[1]

Comments:

The tales we have thus far given, although they may count many young people among their auditors, are not distinctly children's stories. The few that follow are, and it is greatly to be regretted that their number is not larger. That many more exist, cannot be doubted; but collectors have probably overlooked this interesting class. Even Pitrè in his large collection gives but eleven (Nos. 130-141), and those in the other collections are mostly parallels to Pitrè's.

We will begin with those that are advantages taken of children's love for stories. The first is from Venice (Bernoni, Punt. II. p. 53) and is called:

74. Mr. Attentive.

[1] The verse in this story is given somewhat differently by Bolza, Canzoni pop. Comasche, Vienna, 1866, Note 9:—

"La storia de Sior Intento,

Che dura molto tempo,

Che mai no se destriga;

Volè che ve la diga?"

The story of Mr. Attentive, which lasts a long time, which is never explained, do you wish me to tell it?

There are in Bernoni, Punt. II. pp. 53, 54, two or three other rhymes of this class that may be given here.

ONCE UPON A TIME.

Once upon a time—that I remember—into a blind-man's eye—a fly went—and I thought—that it was a quail—wretched blind-man—go away from here!

ONE AND ANOTHER.

Fiaba, aba—Questa xe una—Muro e malta—Questa xe un' altra, Story, ory—This is one—Wall and mud—This is another.

"A long one and a short one,

Do you wish me to tell you a long one?

This is the finger and this is the nail.

Do you wish me to tell you a short one?

This is the finger and this the end of it."

The following are intended to soothe restless children, and are so short that they may be given entire.

75. The Story of the Barber.

Abstract:

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