The Lucky Days
: Fairy Tales From All Nations
At Casena, in Romagna, lived a poor widow, a very worthy, industrious
woman, by name Lucietta. She unfortunately had an only son, who, for
stupidity and laziness, had yet to find his equal. He would lie in bed
till noon, and when he did resolve to rise, he took a full hour to rub
his eyes, and then he would be nearly as long stretching his arms and
legs; in short, he behaved like the veriest sluggard upon earth.
This grieved his mother very much, for she had once hoped that he
would some day become the support of her old age; and she never ceased
to urge and advise him, in order to make him a little more active and
"My son," she often said to him, "he who would see good days in this
world must exert himself, be industrious, and rise at break of day;
for good fortune favours the industrious and the vigilant, but never
comes to the lazy and sluggardly. Therefore, my son, if you will
believe my counsel, and follow it, then you shall see good days, and
all will fall out to your heart's content."
Lucilio--that was the young man's name--the silliest of the silly,
unquestionably heard what his mother said, but he did not understand
the meaning of her words. He got up as if he were waking out of a deep
and heavy sleep, and sauntered along the road before the city gate,
where he stretched himself, in order to finish his nap, right across
the pathway, so that all entering or leaving the city could not avoid
stumbling over him.
It so happened that the very night before, three inhabitants of the
city had gone out to bury a treasure which they had accidentally
discovered. They had succeeded in finding it again, and were in the
act of carrying it home, when they came upon Lucilio, who still lay
across the road, but no longer sleeping. He had just waked up, and was
looking round him for one of the good days his mother had prophesied
"Heaven send you a good day, friend," said the first of the three men,
as he walked over him.
"Heaven be praised!" said Lucilio, when he heard the words. "Now I
shall have a good day!"
The man who had buried the treasure, conscious of his fault, fancied
directly that these words bore reference to him, and that the secret
had been betrayed. This was quite natural; for whoever has a bad
conscience, always interprets the most indifferent words as an
allusion to himself.
The second man then stumbled over Lucilio, likewise wishing him, as
his predecessor had done, a good day. Whereupon Lucilio, still
dwelling on the good days, said to himself, but half loud, "Now I have
two of them!"
The third followed and saluted him as the two others had done, also
wishing that Heaven might send him a good day. Up started Lucilio,
overjoyed, and exclaiming, "Oh! delightful! Now I have got all three
of them! I am fortunate!"
He alluded only to three lucky days; but the buriers of the treasure
thought he meant them; and as they feared he might go and give
information of them to the magistrate, they took him aside, told him
the whole affair, and, to bribe him into silence, gave him the fourth
part of the treasure.
Well pleased, Lucilio took his portion, carried it home to his mother,
and said, "Dear mother, Heaven's blessing has been with me; for, as I
did as you desired, so I have found the good days. Take this money,
and buy with it all we require."
The mother was not a little pleased at the fortunate occurrence, and
urged her son to go on exerting himself that he might find more such