"The Folktale Project" Podcast
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The Ass That Lays Money - An Italian Folktale

Season: 1 Episode: 460
Published on

There was once a poor widow with an only son, and whose brother-in-law was a steward. One day she said to her child: “Go to your uncle and ask him to give you something to keep you from starving.”

The boy went to the farm and asked his uncle to help him a little. “We are dying of hunger, uncle. My mother earns a little by weaving, and I am too small to find anything. Be charitable to us, for we are your relatives.” The steward answered: “Why not? You should have come sooner and I would have helped you the sooner. But now I will give you something to support you always, without need of anything more. I will give you this little ass that lays money. You have only to put a cloth under him, and he will fill it for you with handsome coins. But take care! Don’t tell it, and don’t leave this animal with any one.” The youth departed in joy, and after he had travelled a long way, he stopped at an inn to sleep, for his house was distant. He said to the landlord: “Give me a lodging, but look! my ass spends the night with me.” “What!” said the landlord, “what are you thinking about! It cannot be.” The youth replied: “Yes, it can be, because my ass does not leave my side.”


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