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ADALINDA GASPARINI              PSICOANALISI E FAVOLE

IL RUBINO MERAVIGLIOSO

Viveva centinaia di anni fa, nella lontana città di Pietramala,  un uomo chiamato Mastro Gergerio, che era espertissimo in due arti. Di giorno esercitava l'arte della  sartoria, tanto bene che andavano a farsi cucire gli abiti da lui i nobili e i migliori mercanti della città, di notte praticava  in segreto la magia e la negromanzia. Mastro Gergerio aveva preso come apprendista il figlio di un povero contadino, un giovane di nome Lionetto, sveglio,  volonteroso, pronto a imparare tutto ciò che padrone gli insegnava.
Ma una volta Lionetto si svegliò nel cuore della notte, e avendo qualche sospetto si alzò e senza far rumore andò a guardare da  una fessura cosa faceva il suo padrone:  rimase tanto affascinato da quello che vide che anche la notte seguente fece finta di  dormire, per poi alzarsi e stare a guardare gli esperimenti magici. Così prese a scrutare ogni notte nella stanza segreta di Mastro Gergerio, perché gli piaceva di più l'arte della magia che l'arte della sartoria.
Di giorno però Lionetto non imparava più nulla, e da accorto e preciso era diventato pigro e trasandato, tanto che Mastro Gergerio finì col riportarlo da suo padre. Il pover'uomo si disperò e dopo poco riportò Lionetto da Mastro Gergerio, supplicando perché lo riprendesse come garzone,  gli insegnasse la sartoria, e lo punisse se non si comportava bene.
Allora il mago lo riprese, ma Lionetto dava ancora meno l'impressione di imparare, non teneva nemmeno gli occhi aperti,  così il mago lo prendeva a pugni e  calci tutti i giorni, picchiandolo tanto che spesso lo faceva sanguinare. Ma Lionetto sopportava, e ogni notte da quella fessura guardava nella stanza segreta gli esperimenti del suo padrone. A un certo punto Mastro Gergerio, convinto che il suo apprendista aveva il cervello bacato senza rimedio,  non si curò più di nascondergli gli strumenti della negromanzia, pensando che chi non riusciva a imparare  il mestiere di sarto, tanto meno avrebbe potuto imparare la magia nera, che era assai più difficile. Lionetto si mostrava tonto, ma era assai rapido nell'imparare l'arte segreta, tanto che dopo un po' di tempo aveva superato il suo maestro.
Un giorno che il padre di Lionetto venne a vedere a che punto era nel mestiere di sarto il suo figliolo, lo vide che anziché  cucire portava l'acqua e la legna per la cucina, spazzava, faceva i servizi più umili, e  ci rimase male, così  lo riportò a casa.
Il contadino aveva speso molti soldi per mandare Lionetto in città, e rammaricandosi perché non aveva imparato l'arte della sartoria gli disse: "Figlio mio, tu sai quanti sacrifici ho fatto perché tu diventassi sarto, e ora non mi ritrovo nemmeno un soldoda parte e non so come fare per andare avanti".
"Padre mio," rispose Lionetto, "prima di tutto voglio ringraziarti per tutto quello che hai fatto per me, poi voglio che non ti preoccupi per il futuro anche se non ho imparato l'arte del sarto come desideravi, perché ne ho imparata un'altra che potrà servirci molto più di quella. Stai tranquillo, caro babbo, e vedrai che non è stato inutile mantenermi in città, e che presto  questa casa non conoscerà più la miseria. Ora con l'arte negromantica mi trasformerò in un cavallo, e tu mi porterai alla fiera con sella e briglie, e mi venderai: ma sta ben attento a non dare a nessun costo le briglie al compratore, perché altrimenti non potrei tornare a casa e forse non mi vedresti mai più".
Così dicendo Lionetto si trasformò in un bellissimo cavallo e suo padre lo portò alla fiera, dove tutti lo guardavano ammirati per la sua bellezza e per le straordinarie prove di agilità. Ma passò di là anche Mastro Gergerio, che si accorse che il cavallo nero era magico; così tornò a casa, si trasformò  in mercante e dopo aver preso molti denari tornò alla fiera. Guardando  il cavallo da vicino riconobbe il suo vecchio apprendista e chiese al contadino se voleva venderglielo. Quello disse di sì, e si accordarono per una somma di duecento monete d'oro, senza le briglie, ma il mago insistette tanto, e offrì al contadino  altre monete d'oro, tante che lo convinse. Così il mago prese il cavallo per le briglie e lo portò nella sua stalla, somministrandogli subito una violenta scarica di bastonate. Lo bastonava a sangue tutte le mattine e tutte le sere, tanto che  il cavallo era ridotto in uno stato  da far pietà.
Mastro Gergerio aveva due figlie che vedendo il loro padre così crudele ebbero compassione del povero animale, e ogni giorno andavano nella stalla e gli facevano tante carezze. Una volta  poi     lo presero per la cavezza e lo portarono al fiume per dargli da  bere, ma appena il cavallo fu vicino all'acqua si trasformò  in un pesce tonno e si tuffò nelle onde. Le figlie del mago si spaventarono e tornarono a casa piangendo a dirotto.
Quando il mago tornò andò subito nella stalla per bastonare  come ogni sera il cavallo, e non trovandolo si infuriò, ma entrato in casa vide le sue figlie tutte disperate, e disse: "Non abbiate paura, raccontatemi cosa è successo col cavallo e cercherò un rimedio". Appena le figlie gli ebbero detto che il cavallo si era trasformato in un pesce tonno, il mago corse in riva al fiume e tuffandosi si trasformò in un pesce squalo che cominciò a rincorrere il tonno per divorarlo. Il pesce tonno nuotava  veloce ma lo squalo gli era sempre dietro, cercava di nascondersi tra le canne e nelle grotte acquatiche, ma lo squalo riusciva sempre a trovarlo. A un certo punto il tonno, avendo paura di  essere divorato, si avvicinò alla sponda e trasformandosi in un preziosissimo rubino saltò fuori dall'acqua e si lasciò cadere nel cestino di una damigella, che raccoglieva le più belle pietruzze di fiume per donarle alla figlia del re.
La principessa, che si chiamava Lucilla, quando vide  il prezioso rubino rimase estasiata, lo fece incastonare in un anello d'oro e se lo mise al dito. Il rubino le piaceva tanto che lo tenne al dito anche quando andò a letto. Nel cuore della notte Lionetto riprese la sua forma umana e vedendo la bellissima fanciulla addormentata l'accarezzò. Lucilla si spaventò e voleva urlare,  ma lui le mise una mano sulla  bocca, poi si inginocchiò e la supplicò di aiutarlo. "Non credere, mia bella principessa," disse, "che io sia venuto qui per farti del male o per rapirti, sappi che la mia vita è in pericolo a causa di un maledetto mago negromante, e che ora tu puoi perdermi o salvarmi. Ti prego, ascolta la mia storia". Così le raccontò di quando anziché imparare l'arte del sarto aveva imparato l'arte magica, poi come il  padre lo aveva venduto dimenticando che doveva tenere le briglie, della crudeltà del mago che voleva farlo morire di stenti e di bastonate e delle due fanciulle che lo avevano portato al fiume.  Le raccontò che si era trasformato in tonno e che aveva rischiato di essere divorato dal mago in forma di squalo, poi le disse che la sua fortuna era stata quella di trovarsi nel cestino che era arrivato nelle sue mani. La principessa si commosse sentendo questa storia favolosa, ed  era ammirata dalla bellezza di Lionetto,  perciò dopo averlo ascoltato gli rispose: "Anche se la tua storia sembra incredibile io credo che sia vera, perché hai toccato il mio cuore, e anche se non avresti dovuto venire da solo nella mia stanza, dove il re mio padre ti ucciderebbe, voglio aiutarti, purché tu ti comporti da buon cavaliere".
Lionetto la ringraziò e rientrò nel rubino, che lei ripose dove  teneva le sue cose più care, e quando poteva andava a trovarlo: Lionetto riprendeva la forma umana e stava a conversare dolcemente con lei.
Accadde in quel tempo che il re  si ammalò gravemente, e tutti i medici che lo avevano visitato dicevano che purtroppo non esistevano rimedi. Venne a saperlo Mastro Gergerio, che si vestì da medico e andò al palazzo reale, fu introdotto nella camera del re, lo guardò bene, gli sentì il polso, e infine gli disse: "Maestà, si tratta di una malattia grave e pericolosa,  ma presto sarai guarito, perché io ho un sostanza che in poco tempo cura tutte le malattie. Sta' contento signore, e non aver paura". Disse il re: "Maestro, se tu mi liberi da questa malattia, ti ricompenserò in modo tale che sarai felice per il resto della vita".  Il medico allora gli disse che non voleva né danari né terre, ma una sola cosa. "Non voglio altro come ricompensa", concluse, "che quel rubino legato in oro che ora si trova tra i gioielli di  tua figlia". Stupito perhé chiedeva una cosa così piccola, il re gli promise che gliela avrebbe data,   e Mastro Gergerio in pochi giorni lo guarì.
Il re allora fece chiamare Lucilla e le ordinò di andare a prendere tutti i suoi gioielli. Lucilla obbedì, ma non  portò  il rubino che amava tanto, e Mastro Gergerio si lamentò perché mancava proprio la gemma che gli era stata promessa, lei negava di averla  mai avuta, ma il medico insisteva.  Allora il re lo congedò, assicurandogli che il giorno dopo avrebbe avuto la pietra, poi richiamò sua figlia e le chiese dolcemente dove teneva il rubino,  ma ottenne come unico risultato che lei si mise a piangere continuando a negare di averlo.
Lucilla piangendo si chiuse in camera sua, e tenendo fra le  mani il rubino lo baciava e lo carezzava, maledicendo l'ora in  cui era apparso quel medico maledetto. Vedendo i suoi occhi pieni di lacrime e sentendo i suoi sospiri il rubino si commosse, e riconoscendo quanto bene gli voleva riprese la forma umana e disse: "Mia principessa adorata, alla quale devo la vita, non piangere, non sospirare per me che ti appartengo come questo anello.  Col tuo aiuto e con la mia arte confido di non cadere nelle grinfie di quel medico, che deve essere proprio il mio nemico mortale, visto per avermi in suo potere rinuncia a qualunque ricompensa. Non dovrai più disobbedire all'ordine di tuo padre, domani mi porterai al mago, ma anziché mettermi nelle sue mani fingerai di essere in collera e togliendomi dal dito mi lancerai violentemente contro il muro, e poi lascia fare a me".
Il giorno dopo Mastro Gergerio si ripresentò al re che gli disse che sua figlia negava di avere il rubino, ma il mago insisteva e il re la mandò a chiamare e le disse: Lucilla, tu sai che solo per merito di questo medico io sono guarito, e per ricompensa lui non vuole terre né tesori, ma solo il tuo rubino. Credevo che tu mi volessi tanto bene da essere disposta a dare per me il tuo sangue, non solo un rubino. Per il bene che ti voglio, non rifiutare di dargli quello che chiede". La principessa allora andò in  camera a prendere il rubino e lo mostrò al mago, che esclamò:  "Eccolo!", e fece per afferrarlo. Ma la principessa disse:  "State indietro Maestro, perché vi toccherà!", e tenendo in mano sua il  rubino disse: "Siccome è proprio questo il rubino caro e gentile che cercate, ve lo do per obbedire al padre mio, anche se perdendolo io sarò infelice per tutta la vita", e così dicendo scagliò il rubino contro il muro.
Appena cadde sul pavimento il rubino si trasformò in una bellissima melagrana, si aprì e fece rotolare i suoi chicchi dappertutto. Il mago vedendo questo si trasformò in un gallo, e si mise a  beccare tutti i chicchi della melagrana per divorare Lionetto,  ma un grano si nascose e il mago non riuscì a vederlo.  Appena fu il momento adatto il chicco si trasformò in una volpe agile e astuta, si accostò al gallo,  lo afferrò al collo e lo uccise, divorandolo   davanti al re e alla principessa.
Mentre il re vedendo queste cose era rimasto incantato, Lionetto riprese la forma umana, gli raccontò tutta la sua storia e ottenne la mano della principessa Lucilla con la quale visse a lungo in gioia e prosperità, dopo aver reso ricco suo padre.

In Sicily, an island which in antiquity surpasses all others we know of, there is situated a noble city called in the vulgar tongue Messina, renowned every where for the secure and deep anchor age of its port. In this city was born one Maestro Lattantio, a man who put his hand to two crafts, and was highly skilled in the exercise both of the one and of the other. One of these, how ever, he practised openly in the eyes of the world, namely, his trade of a tailor; while the other, the art of necromancy, he kept a secret from all. It came to pass that Lattantio took for his apprentice the son of a poor man in order to make a tailor of him. This youth was called by name Dionigi, an industrious and prudent lad, who learnt with ease whatever his master attempted to teach him.
One day it chanced that Maestro Lattantio, having locked himself up alone in his chamber, was making trial of certain experiments in necromancy, and Dionigi, who had got some inkling of what his master was about, crept noiselessly up to the chamber door, and through a crack therein saw plainly what thing it was that Lattantio his master was doing inside. As soon as Dionigi understood the purport of the thing he had seen he was ardently possessed with a desire to practise this art himself, and thought of nothing else but necromancy all day long, entirely casting aside all interest in his tailor's craft, not daring, however, to tell aught of what he had discovered to his master. Lattantio, when he perceived the change that had come over Dionigi; how, instead of the skilled and industrious fellow he formerly was, he had become ignorant and a know-nothing, and how he no longer gave any heed to his tailoring work as hitherto, dismissed him straightway and sent him home to his father.
The father of Dionigi, who was a very poor man, lamented sorely when his son came home again, and, after he had reproved the boy, and given him punishment, sent him back to Lattantio, begging the good tailor urgently that he would still retain him in his employ, that he would keep him under sharp discipline and give him his board. The father asked for nothing more in return than that Lattantio should teach Dionigi the tailor's craft. Lattantio, who was well aware how poor the father of his apprentice was, consented to take back the boy, and every day did his best to teach him how to use his needle; but Dionigi seemed to have become altogether a sleepy-head, and could or would learn nothing. On this account a day rarely passed when Lattantio did not kick him or beat him by way of chastisement, and often broke his poll so that the blood ran down over his face. In sooth, his back was better served with bastings than his belly with provender. But Dionigi took with patience all his punishments, and went every night secretly to the chink in the door and watched all that was being done inside the chamber. Now Maestro Lattantio, when he perceived what a chucklehead the youth was, and how he could learn nothing of the trade he was being taught, troubled himself no longer to keep secret the necromancy he practised, deeming that if Dionigi had a brain too dense to learn the trade of tailoring, he would assuredly never be able to fathom aught of the deep and intractable secrets of necromancy. On this account Lattantio did not try to keep aloof from his apprentice but worked his spells freely in his presence. Dionigi, in sooth, was mightily pleased at this turn of things; for, although it seemed to his master that he was dull and a simpleton, he found it no hard task to learn the whole art of necromancy; indeed, he soon became so skilled and expert therein that he was able to work wonders which were even far beyond the powers of Maestro Lattantio.
One day Dionigi's father went to the tailor's shop, and there remarked that his son, instead of working with needle and thread, was engaged in carrying the fuel and water for the service of the kitchen, and sweeping the floors and doing other household work of the meanest kind. When he saw this he was mightily grieved and disturbed in mind and, having taken the boy straightway out of Lattantio's service, he led him home. The good man had already spent much money in the purchase of clothes for his son, and in providing for his instruction in the tailor's craft; wherefore now, finding that he could not persuade the lad to learn his trade, he grieved amain, and spake thus to him: 'My son, you know well enough how much money I have laid out to make a man of you, while on your part you have never given me the least help by the trade I set you to learn. On this account I find myself now in the greatest want, and I know not whither I shall turn to find you food. I would, my son, that you could light upon some honest calling in which you might get yourself a living.' To this the son made answer: 'My father, be fore all else I wish to thank you for all the money and trouble you have spent in my behalf, and at the same time I beg you that you will cease to disquiet your self because I have not learnt the trade of a tailor as was your intention and desire, forasmuch as I have acquired the mastery of another art which will be of far greater service to us in the satisfying of our wants. Therefore, my dear father, do not disturb yourself or be sorrowful, because I will soon let you see what great profit I am able to make, and how, with the fruits of my art, you will be able to support your family and keep good cheer in your house. I, by the working of magic art, will transform myself into the most beautiful horse ever seen, whereupon you, having provided yourself with a saddle and bridle, will lead me to the fair and there sell me. On the following day I will resume the form I now bear, and will return home. I must, however, bid you be careful that you give not the bridle to the buyer of the horse, for should you part with it I would not be able to return to you, and peradventure you would never see me again.'
Thereupon Dionigi straightway transformed himself into a beautiful horse, which his father led away to the fair and exhibited to many people who were present. All of these were greatly astonished at the wonderful beauty of the horse, and at the marvellous feats it .performed. It happened that at this very same time Lattantio was also at the fair, and when his eyes fell upon the horse he knew there was something supernatural about it; so, having re turned to his house, he transformed himself into the guise of a merchant. Then he went back to the fair, taking with him a great quantity of money. When he approached the horse and examined it closely he perceived at once that it was really Dionigi, whereupon he demanded of the owner whether the horse was for sale, and to this question the old man replied that it was. Then, after great chaffering, Lattantio offered to give in exchange for the horse two hundred forms of gold, with which price the owner was fully content, only stipulating that the horse's bridle should not be included in the sale. Lattantio, however, by persuasive words, and by offers of yet more money, induced the old man to let him have the bridle also, and, having led the horse home to his own house and stalled him there, he tied him up securely and began straightway to beat him severely. This, more over, he did every morning and every evening, until at last the horse became such a wasted wreck that it was a pitiable thing to look upon it.
Lattantio was the father of two daughters, and these damsels, when they saw the cruel treatment of the horse by their inhuman father, were greatly moved to compassion thereby, and every day they would go to the stable to fondle it and to bestow upon it many tender caresses. And one day it happened that they took the horse by the halter, and led it out of the stable down to the river, so that it might drink. As soon as the horse had come to the river's brink, it rushed at once into the water, and forthwith changed its form to that of a small fish, and straightway sought the deepest part of the stream. When the daughters saw this strange and unlooked-for thing they were altogether overcome with amazement, and after they had returned to their home they began to shed bitter tears, beating their breasts and tearing their fair locks.
Before very long time had passed Lattantio came back to his house and went at once to the stable, in order that he might beat the horse according to his wont, but he found it was no longer there. Whereupon he flew into a furious fit of anger, and, having gone into the house, he found there his two daughters weeping bitterly, and, without questioning them as to the cause of their tears (for he knew well enough already of their fault), he said to them: 'My daughters, tell me straightway without any fear for yourselves, what has become of the horse, in order that I may make an attempt to get it back.' The daughters, being somewhat reassured by their father's words, told him exactly all that had befallen them. As soon as Lattantio had heard and understood what had happened, he at once took off all his clothes, and, having gone to the bank of the river, he cast himself therein, transforming himself at the same time into a tunny, and pursued the little fish wherever it went in order to devour it. The little fish, when it knew that the voracious tunny was in pursuit, began to fear lest it might be eaten up; so it swam close to the brink of the stream, and, having changed itself into a very precious ruby ring, leapt out of the water and secretly conveyed itself into a basket carried by one of the hand- maidens of the king's daughter, who, for her diversion, was gathering certain pebbles along the river's bank, and concealed itself amongst them.
When the damsel had returned to the palace and had taken the pebbles out of the basket, Violante, the only daughter of the king, chanced to observe the ruby ring, and, having taken it up, she put it on her finger, and treasured it with the utmost care. And when night had come Violante retired to rest, wearing the ring still upon her finger, when suddenly the ring transformed itself into a handsome young man, who, embracing tenderly the snowy bosom of Violante, felt her two firm round little breasts, and the damsel, who was not yet asleep, was greatly alarmed thereat, and would have screamed aloud. But the young man, having put his hand upon her balmy mouth, would not suffer her to cry out, and, kneeling down before her, he craved her pardon, imploring her to aid him in his trouble, forasmuch as he had not come thither to put any shame upon her or to sully her pure mind, but driven by untoward des tiny. Then he told her who he was, and the cause which had brought him into her chamber, and how and by whom he was persecuted. Violante recovered somewhat of her composure on listening to these words of the young man, and, perceiving by the light of the lamp which was burning in the chamber of what a graceful and seemly presence he was, felt greatly moved to pity thereby, and said to him: 'Young man, of a truth you have been guilty of great arrogance in coming here unsummoned, and greater still has been your presumption in touching that to which you have no right. However, now that I have heard the tale of your misfortunes which you have told to me, and as I am not made of marble, with a heart as hard as a diamond, I am prepared to lend you any aid which I can give honestly, pro vided that you will promise faithfully to respect my honour.' The young man at once tendered to Violante many words of due gratitude for her kindly speech, and, as the dawn was now growing bright in the sky, he changed himself once more into a ring, which Violante put away amongst her most precious jewels. But she would often take it out so that it might assume human form and hold sweet discourse with her.
It happened one day that the king, Violante's father, was stricken with a grievous distemper which could be healed by none of the physicians, who all affirmed that his malady was one beyond the aid of medicine, and from day to day the condition of the king grew worse and worse. By chance this news came to the ears of Lattantio, who, having arrayed himself as a physician, went to the royal palace and gained admission to the bed- chamber of the king. Then, having inquired of the king the nature of his malady and carefully observed his countenance and felt his pulse, Lattantio said: 'Gracious king, your malady is indeed grave and dangerous, but be of good heart. You will soon be restored to health, for there is known to me a certain remedy which will cure the deadliest disease in a very short time. Be, there fore, of good cheer, and do not be dismayed.' Whereupon the king said: 'Good master physician, if you will rid me of this infirmity I will reward you in such a fashion that you may live at ease for the rest of your days.' But Lattantio replied that he wanted neither lands nor gold, but only one single favour. Then the king promised to grant him anything which might be within his power, and Lattantio thus made answer: 'Sacred king, I ask for no other reward than a single ruby stone, set in gold, which is at present in the keeping of the princess your daughter.' The king, when he heard this modest demand, said: 'Master physician, if this be all the re ward you claim, be assured that it will be readily granted to you.' After this Lattantio applied himself diligently to work a cure upon the king, who in the course of ten days found himself entirely rid of his dangerous malady.
When the king was quite recovered from his ailment and brought back to his former state of health, he one day bade them summon his daughter into the presence of the physician, and when she appeared he ordered her to fetch thither all the jewels she had. The daughter, obedient to her father's word, did what he commanded her, omitting, however, to bring back with her that one jewel which she held dear above all others. Lattantio, when he had examined the gems, declared that the ruby which he so much desired to have was not amongst them, and that the princess, if she should make diligent search for it, would assuredly find it. The damsel, who was by this time deeply enamoured of the ruby, denied that she had it; whereupon the king, hearing these words of hers, said to Lattantio, ' Go away now and come back to-morrow, for in the interim I will bring such effective persuasion to bear upon my daughter that to morrow the ruby will assuredly be yours.'
When the physician had taken his departure, the king called Violante to him, and the two having gone together into a room and closed the door, he asked her in a kindly manner to tell him about the ruby which the physician so ardently desired to have, but Violante firmly denied that she knew aught of it. When she had gone out of her father's presence, Violante went forthwith to her own chamber, and having fastened the door thereof, in her solitude she began to weep, and took the ruby and embraced and kissed it and pressed it to her heart, cursing the hour in which the physician had come across her path. As soon as the ruby saw the hot tears which fell from the lovely eyes of the princess, and heard the deep and woeful sighs which came from her loving heart, it was moved to pity, and straightway took upon itself the form of Dionigi, who with tender words thus addressed her: 'Dear lady, to whom I owe my life, do not weep or sigh on my account, seeing that I am your very slave, but rather let us seek for some remedy in this our calamity. Know, then, that this physician, who desires so keenly to get possession of me under the form of a ruby, is my bitter foe, who wishes to make an end of me, but you, as a wise and prudent damsel, will not, I am well assured, deliver me into his hands, but when he shall again demand me of you, you must then hurl me violently against the wall, feigning the while to be full of wrathful indignation, and I will provide for what may come after.'
On the following morning the physician went back to the king, and when he listened to the unfavourable answer given by the princess, he became some what angered, affirming over and over again that the ruby was indeed some where in the damsel's keeping. The king having once more called his daughter into the physician's presence, said to her, 'Violante, you know well enough that by the skill of this physician I have regained my health, and moreover that, as a guerdon for his services, he did not demand of me great gifts of land or of treasure, but simply a certain ruby stone which he declares you have in your pos session. I should have thought that you, on account of the love you bear me, would have given me, not merely a ruby, but even your own blood. Where fore, because of the love in which I hold you, and because of the suffering and trouble your mother has undergone for your sake, I implore you that you will not deny this favour which the physician demands.' The damsel, as soon as she had heard and comprehended the wishes of her father, withdrew to her chamber, and having taken the ruby, together with many other jewels, she went back into her father's presence and showed the stones one by one to the physician, who immediately his eye fell upon that one which he so greatly desired to have, cried out, 'Behold, here it is!' and made as if he would lay hands on it. But Violante, as soon as she perceived what he would do, said, 'Master physician, stand back somewhat, for you shall have the stone.' Then taking the ruby in her hand and feigning to be possessed with fierce anger, she said, ' Seeing that this is the precious and lovely jewel which you are searching for, the loss of which I shall regret for the rest of my life, you must know that I do not give it to you of my own free will, but because I am compelled to surrender it in obedience to my father's wishes.' And while she spake these words she threw the beautiful gem with all her strength against the wall, and the ruby, as it fell to the ground, opened forthwith and became a fine large pomegranate, which in bursting open scattered its seeds on all sides. When the physician saw that the pomegranate seeds were spread all over the floor of the room, he immediately transformed him self into a cock, and believing that he might thus make an end of Dionigi, began to pick up the seeds with his beak, but he was frustrated in this cruel design of his, because a certain one of the seeds hid itself in such a fashion that it escaped the notice of the cock. The pomegranate ate seed thus hidden waited for an opportune moment, and then changed itself into a crafty cunning fox, which swiftly and silently crept up to the crested cock, and, having seized it by the throat, slew it and devoured it in the presence of the king and of the princess. When the king saw what was done he stood as one confounded, and Dionigi, having taken upon himself his original form, told everything to the king from the beginning, and then with full consent was united in lawful marriage to Violante, with whom he lived many years of tranquil and honourable peace. The father of Dionigi was rendered from his poor estate and became rich, and Lattantio, full of envy and hatred, came thus to a miserable end.




Così prese a scrutare ogni notte nella stanza segreta di Mastro Gergerio, perché gli piaceva di più l'arte della
magia che l'arte della sartoria.

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VERSIONE ORIGINALE
http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ITA2969/_INDEX.HTM; consultato il 17 ottobre 2018.
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TRADUZIONE ITALIANA
© Adalinda Gasparini 1996, da Giovan Francesco Straparola (1554–1557) Le piacevoli notti. A cura di Donato Pirovano. Roma: Salerno Editrice, 2000. 2 Tomi. Notte ottava, favola IV. Tomo II; pp. 552-562.

Diversamente dall'edizione sopra citata, l'edizione online, a cura di Giuseppe Rua, indicizza la favola del Rubino come V della Notte ottava; nella stessa notte sono incluse sei favole, mentre le cinquanta favole di Straparola sono narrate in dieci notti, cinque ogni notte. La stessa collocazione è seguita dalla versione inglese citata di seguito.
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TRADUZIONE INGLESE
The Facetious Nights by Straparola. W. G. Waters, translator. Jules Garnier and E. R. Hughes, illustrators; 4 volumes. London: Privately Printed for Members of the Society of Bibliophiles, 1901.
http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/facetiousnights/night8_fable5.html; consultato il 17 ottobre 2018.
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IMMAGINE Stories from the Arabian Nights. Retold by Laurence Housman. With drawings by Edmund Dulac; Nottingham: Hodder and Stoughton 1907; http://www.archive.org/stream/storiesarabian00housmiss#page/n0/mode/2up; consultato il 17 ottobre 2018.
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E così dicendo scagliò il rubino...
Da approfondire il rapporto fra questa favola e una delle storie delle Dame di Baghdad, presenti in tutte le edizioni integrali e nei primi manoscritti arabi (trecenteschi). Un'ipotesi sull'identità che si nasconderebbe dietro lo pseudonimo di Straparola è che fosse un nobile veneziano che avrebbe trascorso qualche decennio  a curare gli interessi della Serenissima in Medio Oriente, riportandone in patria un patrimonio di storie che sarebbe stato determinante per la sua introduzione di fiabe, le prime pubblicate al mondo, nella raccolta delle Piacevoli notti. L'ipotesi suggestiva potrebbe avere un seguito: lo stesso dignitario veneziano avrebbe dato alle stampe la sua rinarrazione di storie orientali col titolo Peregrinaggio di tre giovani figliuoli del re di Serendippo. (vedi in bibliografia)., firmandole questa volta con lo pseudonimo Cristoforo Armeno.
Per un'analisi della storia delle Mille e una notte dove compare il combattimento magico, vedi, di chi scrive, Un istante prima di svegliarsi (1993).



© Adalinda Gasparini
Online dal 10 gennaio 2003
Ultima modifica 17 ottobre 2018