The Clever Girl is an Italian folk story. Folk stories usually means legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales, stories, tall tales, and customs included in the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. Sometimes “folklore” is religious in nature. Here’s how the story goes:
All About the Clever Girl Story
Once a peasant man and his wife went out into the field to work. They left their baby daughter sleeping in her cradle. As she slept, an old woman crept into their hut. The old woman kissed the baby on her eyes and her forehead. She said, “I have two gifts for you – wit and beauty.”
As the child grew, she indeed became most beautiful and wise. One day while her father was working in his field, he found a mortar made of pure gold. He said, “I don’t need this. I will give it to the king as a gift.” But his wise daughter Pina said, “Don’t take it to the king. He will ask for the pestle too, which you don’t have.”
The man did not listen. When he presented the mortar to the king, the king, as Pina had predicted, asked for the pestle. The man explained that he did not have it. The king became angry and threw him in prison. The man muttered to himself, “Oh, if only I had listened to my daughter.” The king heard the man and asked him about his daughter. When the man explained how clever she was, the king said, “Hmm, if she is so clever, take this flax and distaff and spindles made from fish bones. I want her to weave shirts enough for all the men in my army.”
The poor man took the materials home to his daughter. But Pina was not alarmed. She laughed and told the man to go back to the king. “Tell the king that I am busy spinning. I will make the shirts when he has made me a loom out of these fish bones.” The man worried that he would anger the king, but he did what his daughter asked.
The king was surprised when the man came with Pina’s message. He laughed and said, “I must meet this bold daughter of yours. Tell her to come to me neither naked nor with clothes on. Tell her she must not ride a horse or walk on the ground. I will find a husband for her.”
The man returned to Pina and relayed the king’s words. Pina laughed again. She let down her hair, which went almost to her feet and wrapped it around her body with a net. Then she rode her father’s ram to the king’s palace. When the king saw Pina, he was amazed. He said, “I must have you for my wife.” Pina and the king were married. They lived very happily for many years.
Another Story All About The Clever Girl
One day as they were riding through the kingdom, they spied a fine horse, finer than any horse the king owned. The king took it to his stables. The farmer who owned the horse was very angry. Pina begged the king to give the horse back or pay the owner for it, but the king refused. The king was not a bad man, but he was rather spoilt and stubborn.
Pina felt badly for the man. She went to him and whispered a plan in his ear. Then the man went into the village and around the palace with fish nets around him. He called loudly all day, “Who will come and fish with me.” The king grew tired of his crying and called out, “Be off from the palace. There is no one here who will fish with you and no fish to catch. A fine fisherman you are.” The farmer replied, “And you are a fine fisherman of horses.”
The king was angry and he immediately knew that it was Pina who had devised the plan for the man. He told her to leave the palace and go back to her village. She consented, but said, “Might I take what’s most precious from the palace with me?” The king replied, “Yes, only leave at once.”
Then Pina used some fairy powder to cause a deep sleep to come upon her husband. Once he was asleep, she loaded him into the coach and took him with her to the village. She placed him on a couch in her father’s house. Soon, he awoke and was startled. “Where am I?” he shouted. Pina smiled. “You told me I could take the most precious thing in the palace and I chose you.”
The king laughed at his own foolishness and kissed his wife. They went back to the palace and lived happily together for the rest of their lives.