Giufà and the Judge (Italian Folk Tale)

One day Giufà went out to gather herbs, and it was night before he returned. On his way back the moon rose through the clouds, and Giufà sat down on a stone and watched the moon appear and disappear behind the clouds, and he exclaimed constantly: “It appears, it appears! it sets, it sets!”

Now there were near the way some thieves, who were skinning a calf which they had stolen, and when they heard: “It appears, it sets!” they feared that the officers of justice were coming, so they ran away and left the meat. When Giufà saw the thieves running away, he went to see what it was and found the calf skinned. He took his knife and cut off flesh enough to fill his sack and went home. When he arrived there his mother asked him why he came so late. He said it was because he was bringing some meat which she was to sell the next day, and the money was to be kept for him. The next day his mother sent him into the country and sold the meat.

In the evening Giufà returned and asked his mother: “Did you sell the meat?” “Yes, I sold it to the flies on credit.” “When will they give you the money?” “When they get it.” A week passed and the flies brought no money, so Giufà went to the judge and said to him: “Sir, I want justice. I sold the flies meat on credit and they have not come to pay me.” The judge said: “I pronounce this sentence on them: wherever you see them you may kill them.” Just then a fly lighted on the judge”s nose, and Giufà dealt it such a blow that he broke the judge”s head.

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