- The Flea (fairy tale)
The Flea is an Italian literary
fairy talewritten by Giambattista Basilein his 1634 work, the Pentamerone. [Giambattista Basile, "The Pentamerone", [http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/pentamerone/5flea1911.html "The Flea"] ]
A king raised a flea until it was the size of a sheep. Then he had it skinned and promised his daughter in marriage to whoever could guess what the skin came from. An
ogreguessed, and the king had to marry his daughter to him. The ogre took her to his house, decorated by the bones of men he had eaten, and brought her back men's bodies to eat. She wept by the window and told an old woman her plight. The old woman told her that she had seven marvelous sons who could help her. The next day, the old woman and her sons came and carried her off.
The oldest son heard the ogre whenever he approached, and each of his brothers put up an obstacle: one washed his hands and produced a sea of soapsuds, one transformed a piece of iron into a field of razors, one turned a little stick into a forest, and one turned a little water into a river. The last but one turned a pebble into a tower where they could take refuge, but they were trapped there, and the ogre came with a ladder. The youngest son shot his eye out and cut his head off.
The sons brought her to her father and were richly rewarded. The princess was married to a suitable prince and lived happily.
The Four Skillful Brothers
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