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A Young Mountain Man is Ambitious to Find a Wife in the City

Michele, the inexperienced friend of the story, goes to the city looking for a girl to marry.  At the first inn where he stops, he is immediately attracted to the charming lady who sits by him and persuades her to marry him.  But once they arrive home, at the end of the party, the moment of truth comes.  The wedding night reveals that the pretty hair of the bride is a wig, the legs are covered by six layers of stockings ,and once the various layers of clothing came off, she is skinny like an “anchovy”. ,The moral of the story: look for a wife near your home.      Informant: Maria Ferretto.


A mountain boy
whose name was: Michele,
left his village,
to go find a wife.

He came down well dressed,
riding his donkey,
with the ring on his finger
and a watch in his pocket

Arriving here in the Genova,
he went to have breakfast,
and he entered the inn
to have a good bite.

Right there, at the same table
Where Michele was eating,
a lady arrived,
big, fat and well dressed.

Michele ,who was eating,
dat next to her,
and with much courtesy,
persuaded her to her destiny.

He started explaining to her
that he was a young man wanting to marry,
and that if she wanted to,
he would surely marry her.

He told her that he was rich,
with a lot of property, and money;
and that up in his village,
he had a lot of capital.

Hearing about such riches,
the lady fell in love with them,
and promised him
that soon she would marry him

They killed: four calves,  (for the wedding)
forty-six turkeys,
fifty-seven lambs,
and sixty-six chickens.

When the dinner was ready,
they all went to eat;
and when their stomachs were full 
they started dancing.

When the night came,
the lady wanted to go to sleep.
People here, if you want to laugh,
stay and listen to this.

This lady goes into the room
and starts taking her clothes off.
Michele watches here
from the corner of his eye.

She takes her hat off,
then the knitted bonnet.
Michele starts looking at it
and sees her bald head.

She had fake curls
made out of paper,
and the hair she used to have,
she sold it to the hairdresser.

To make her legs big,
she wore six pairs of stockings,
and the poor husband
was there astonished.

When he saw all this
he started crying.
“People come help!
My woman is falling apart.”

“I thought I took a fat one,
and instead she is all skinny.
After undressing
she became an anchovy.”

I worn you young men,
if you want to find a wife,
look for a young girl
right there in your village.     (stanza repeated twice)

Property of brothers Luigi & Samuele Cereghino

Translated by Lorenzo Cena, a native Italian

attending Brigham Young University