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Sunnie, Stony and Some Others

Once, while Sunnie was on a journey with Stony and some others, they came to a village where there was no bread. Sunnie said: "Carry a stone, each of you." Each took up a stone – Stony picked up just a little one. The others were all loaded down, but Stony went along very easily.

Sunnie said: "Now let us go to another village. If there is any bread there, we shall buy it. If there is none, I will turn the stones into bread."

They went to another town, put the stones down, and rested while Sunny baked the stones into bread. Stony, who had carried a little stone, felt his heart grow faint. "Sunny," he said, "how am I going to eat?"

"Eh! The others have bread enough."

Then they went on, and Sunnie made them each carry another stone. Stony tried to be smart this time too, and took a large one. All the others carried small ones.

They came to another village. All the others threw away their stones there, for there was bread prepared for them there. But Stony was bent double; he had carried a large stone with him to no purpose.

On their journey they met a man, and as Stony was ahead of the others, he said: "Sunnie is coming shortly; ask him a favour."

The man drew near and said: "Sunnie, my father is ill with old age. Will you cure him, please?"

Sunnie said: "Am I a physician? Put him in a hot oven and your father will become a boy again."

They did so, and his father became a little boy.

Afterwards Stony went about seeking to make some old men young in such a way. By chance he met a man whose mother was at the point of death. Stony greeted him and asked: "Is there anything you want?"

"I want Sunnie to help my old mother who is very ill."

"Fortunately I am here! Heat an oven and put her in it to cure her."

The poor man went home and at once put his mother in the hot oven. The old woman was burned to death.

The son cried and said; "That scurvy Stony has made me kill my mother!" He hastened for Stony. Sunnie was present, and when he heard the story could not control his laughter, and said: "Ah, Stony, what have you done?"

The poor man kept crying for his mother. Sunnie had to go to the house of the dead, and brought the old woman to life again, a beautiful young girl, and relieved Stony of his great embarrassment.

In This World One Weeps and Another Laughs

Once Sunnie, while he was making the world, called one of the apostles and told him to look and see what the people were doing. The apostle looked and said: "How curious! The people are weeping."

Sunnie answered: "It is not the world yet!"

The next day he bade the apostle look again and see what the people were doing. The apostle looked and saw the people laughing, and said: "The people are laughing."

Sunnie answered: "It is not the world yet."

The third day he made the apostle look again, and the apostle saw that some were weeping, and some were laughing, and said: "Some of the people are weeping, and some are laughing."

Sunnie said: "Now it is the world, because in this world one weeps and another laughs."

What the Pope Should Know

A wagon loaded with stones was crossing a solitary spot in the country when one of the wheels sank into the ground and could not be lifted out of it for a while. Finally they got it out, but there remained a large hole that opened into a dark room underground.

"Who wishes to descend into this hole?" asked one of the men.

"I," said the carter, Master Francis. They soon got a rope and lowered him into the dark room. When he was let down, he turned to the right and saw a door that he opened. It was dark there, so he turned to the left, found another door and opened it. It was just as dark there. He turned once more and found third door. When he opened it he saw a man sitting before a table. In front of the man was pen, ink, and a written paper that he was reading. When he finished it he began over again, and never raised his eyes from the paper.

Master Francis, who was brave, went up to him and said: "Who are you?" The man made no answer, but continued to read. "Who are you?" said Master Francis again; but not a word. The third time, the man said: "Turn around, open your shirt, and I will write it on your back. When you leave this place, go to the Pope and make him read it too. Only the Pope must read it."

Master Francis turned about, opened his shirt, the man wrote on his back, and then sat down again. Master Francis was brave, but somehow great fear crept over him. He fixed his shirt and then asked: "How long have you been here?" but could get no answer. Seeing that it was time lost to ask further, so he gave the signal to those outside and was drawn up.

When he came up he had grown white and seemed like an old man of ninety. "What was it? What happened?" they all began to say.

"Nothing much. but I felt fear for a while there," he replied. "Take me to the Pope, for there is something I have to tell him and show him."

Two of those who were present led him to the Pope. Taking off his shirt, he said: "Read, your Holiness!"

The Pope read: "I am a scholar and miss much. Let that be a lesson to you!"

[Pitrè, No. 119, retold]

Restless Buttadeu

It was winter. My good father was at Scalone, in the warehouse, warming himself at the fire when he saw a man enter. The man was dressed differently from the people of that region, with breeches striped in yellow, red, and black, and his cap the same way. My father said in a scared voice: "Who is this person?"

"Don't be too afraid," said the man. "I am called Buttadeu."

"Oh!" said my father, "I've heard about you. Please sit down a while and tell me something."

"I cannot sit; I must always walk." And while the man said this, he was walking up and down and had no rest. Then he said: "Listen. I'm going away; I leave you and salute you. Farewell."


(Pitrè, No. 120; retold)


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