Peruonto - Synopsis


A widow named Ceccarella had a stupid son named Peruonto, as ugly as an ogre. One day, she sent him to gather wood. He saw three men sleeping in the sunlight and made them a shelter of branches. They woke, and being the sons of a fairy, gave him a charm that whatever he asked for would be done. As he was carrying the wood back, he wished that it would carry him, and he rode it back like a horse. The king's daughter Vastolla, who never laughed, saw it and burst out laughing. Peruonto wished she would marry him and he would cure her of her laughing.

A marriage was arranged for Vastolla with a prince, but Vastolla refused, because she would marry only the man who rode the wood. The king proposed putting her to death. His councilors advised him to go after the man instead. The king had a banquet with all the nobles and lords, thinking Vastolla would betray which man it was, but she did not recognize any of them. The king would have put her to death at once, but the councillors advised a banquet for those still lower in birth. Peruonto's mother urged him to go, he went, and Vastolla recognized him at once and exclaimed. The king had her and Peruonto shut up in a cask and thrown into the sea. Vastolla wormed the story out of Peruonto, and told him to turn the cask to a ship. Then she had him turn it to a castle, and then she had him turn himself into a handsome and well-mannered man. They married and lived happily for years.

Her father grew old and sad. His councillors encouraged him to hunt to cheer him up. One day, he came to a castle and found only two little boys who welcomed him and brought him to a magical banquet. In the morning, he wished to thank them, but not only the boys but their mother and father—Vastolla and Peruonto—appeared. They were reconciled, and the king brought them back to his castle where the feast of celebration lasted nine days.

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