Burgnacca and his wife

July 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm Leave a comment

Tierra di Siena: Bambini in vacanza: Fables: Burgnacca e la moglie

Burgnacca was an old charcol worker who lived in the woods of Montemaggio with his wife, who, according to him, was very mean indeed. They lived with their daughter as well.

His wife never wanted him to sleep in the house, in fact he only came indoors long enough to get a change of clothes, some bread and a bottle of wine and then would leave because she didn’t want him there. It was said because he would dirty the sheets, being totally black from making charcoal all day long. One night he decided to insist:
‘Zaira, open up, it’s me’.

‘No, you have to leave, as dirty as you are, I don’t want you indoors’.

‘Open up Zaira or I’ll throw myself in the well’.

At that point, he grabbed a stone and splash, threw it down the well near the house. His wife, hearing the noise said, ‘he wouldn’t have really jumped down the well!’ and ran outdoors in her nightshirt to see. Burgnacca was quick and slipped indoor, closing his wife outside.

“He came frequently to our house in Casalino, he was a charcoal maker in the woods of the Stomennano estate and every year he would cook at least four or five carbonai (big huts of stacked wood from which charcoal was painstakingly made).

He would stay almost the entire winter, passing much of the day in the woods near our house. At night he would sleep on a wooen bench inside our fireplace, usually until 11:00 PM and then would go out to check on the carbonai to make sure they were burning slowly as they were supposed to, without any flame, which would destroy them. He would come back indoors with an armful of wood to throw on the fire for warmth and one night, a little too drunk, he slept too close to the fire and burnt his knee.

The next morning his knee was all red, cooked by the fire which he hadn’t felt. When he’d come back in the evening he would pull up his pant leg and have his tiny dog lick the wound, in just a few days it healed!”

A fable recounted by Duila in Fabio Mugnaini, ‘Mazzasprunigliola’. Tradition of the tale in the Sienese Chianti. L:A:E: n. 8, L’Harmattan Italia Editrice, Torino 1999.

Entry filed under: .en, .fable, .it, .Siena, .translation, Burgnacca and his wife. Tags: , .

Pinocchio Giovanni my Giovanni

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