THE STORY OF CICCU1
Once upon a time there lived a man who had three sons. The eldest was called Peppe, the second Alfin, and the youngest Ciccu. They were all very poor, and at last things got so bad that they really had not enough to eat. So the father called his sons, and said to them, ' My dear boys, I am too old to work any more, and there is nothing left for me but to beg in the streets.'
' No, no!' exclaimed his sons ; ' that you shall never do. Rather, if it must be, would we do it ourselves. But we have thought of a better plan than that.'
' What is it? ' asked the father.
' Well, we will take you in the forest, where you shall cut wood, and then we will bind it up in bundles and sell it in the town.' So their father let them do as they said, and they all made their way into the forest; and as the old man was weak from lack of food his sons took it in turns to carry him on their backs. Then they built a little hut where they might take shelter, and set to work. Every morning early the father cut his sticks, and the sons bound them in bundles, and carried them to the town, bringing back the food the old man so much needed.
Some months passed in this way, and then the father suddenly fell ill, and knew that the time had come when he must die. He bade his sons fetch a lawyer, so that he might make his will, and when the man arrived In* explained his wishes.
1 From Sicilianische Miihrchen.