PiplÚn

The "dumb" devil of Gropparello

Piplòn, a devil who was really not very bright, one day caught sight of Gesandra, a very pretty girl from Gropparello, and fell in love with her. He decided he must have her at any cost and so he began to woo her and to court her, but she would have nothing to do with him.
Piplòn therefore decided to go in disguise to a friar and ask his help. He dressed up as a knight and went to Frate Gesualdo to ask him to speak for him to Gesandra. The friar understood that this was no knight but a devil and so he began to think how he could save the girl. He asked the demon to wait seven days and then return to the same spot for an answer. While the beautiful Gesandra, unaware of what was going on, soon forgot the strange knight, the friar began to sculpt a statue of himself at the meeting place.
Seven days later the devil returned, almost certain that the friar would have convinced Gesandra to marry him, but the friar was alone. He had a message from Gesandra: she would agree to be the knight's wife if he would wait for her immobile on that spot for seven years, seven months and seven days. Frate Gesualdo would wait there too to ensure the agreement was kept. And so the devil settled down to wait ....
He was soon tired but he could not move as the friar was still there ....
The days passed, the months and years, and Piplòn never moved (just like the friar); rain and snow, wind and hail beat down on him and, little by little, he was covered in sand. When he tried to move, it was too late. The sand had hardened and had also transformed the devil into stone. Nothing, however, had happened to the friar, as he had just left his statue to "keep guard" while he had quietly slipped away. So the lovely Gesandra had been saved from a sad fate.

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