A king shouted in the squares that he would give a fortune to those who had brought him his missing daughter. But the scream had no effect because no one knew where this girl might have ended up: they had kidnapped her one night and there was no place on earth that they had not searched for.
A long-term captain came up with the idea that if she was not on the ground she could be found at sea, and he armed a ship on purpose to set off in search. But when he wanted to hire the crew, he did not find any sailors: because no one wanted to leave on a dangerous journey, which was not known when it would end.
The captain was on the dock and waited, and no one approached his ship, no one dared to climb for first. On the pier there was also Baciccin Tribordo, who was known as a tramp and a drunkard, and no one took him on the ships. “ Say, do you want to come, on my ship?” the captain said him.
“ Yes, I want to.”
“Then come on up,” and Baciccin Tribordo went up first. So others also took courage and got on board.
On the ship, Baciccin Tribordo always stood with his hands in his pockets to regret the taverns, and everyone grumbled against him because the trip was not known when it would end, the food was scarce and they had to keep a thing like him on board. The captain decided to get rid of it.
“ See that little island? ” he said, pointing to an isolated rock in the middle of the sea. “ Get down into the raft and go explore it. We cross around here.”
Baciccin Tribordo went down into the boat and the ship left as fast as possible and left him alone in the middle of the sea. Baciccin approached the rock. There was a cave in the rock and he entered. At the bottom of the cave there was a beautiful girl tied up, and she was the king’s daughter. “ How did you find me?” she said to Baciccin Tribordo.
“I went fishing for octopus,” said Baciccin.
“It’s a huge octopus that has abducted me and keeps me prisoner,” said the king’s daughter. “Run away before it arrives!” But you must know, that this octopus is transformed into mullet for three hours a day, and then it is easy to fish it, but you have to kill it right away because otherwise it turns into a seagull and flies away.
Baciccin Tribordo hid on the rock, him and the boat. The octopus came out of the sea, and it was enormous and with every branch it could go around the island, and it stirred with all its suckers, because it had felt that there was a man on the rock. But the time came when he had to turn into fish and suddenly became mullet and disappeared into the sea.
Then Baciccin Tribordo threw down the nets and every time he pulled them there were mullets, sturgeons, and snappers, and at last the red mullet appeared all overwhelming. Baciccin immediately took off the oar to kill her, but instead of the mullet he hit the seagull that had risen from the net, and the mullet was gone. The seagull could not fly because the oar had broken a wing, then he turned back into an octopus, but his branches were all full of wounds and he was throwing out black blood. Baccicin was on top of him and he finished off with an oar.
The king’s daughter gave him a diamond ring in perpetual gratitude.
“Come, I’ll take you to your father,” he said, and brought her into the boat.
But the boat was small, and they were in the middle of the sea. They rowed, rowed, and saw a ship far away. Baciccin raised the robe of the King’s daughter at the top of an oar. From the ship they saw them and took them on board. It was the same ship from which Baciccin had been abandoned. Seeing him coming back with the king’s daughter, the captain began to say: “Poor Baciccin Tribordo! And we who believed you were lost, we have long sought you! And you found the king’s daughter! Let’s drink, let’s celebrate your victory!” It was like a dream for Baciccin Tribordo, he had remained a long long time without tasting a drop of wine.
They were already almost in sight of the port from which they had left. The captain made Baciccin drink, and he drank, drank until he fell down dead drunk. Then the captain said to the king’s daughter: “You will not tell your father that that drunkard was the one who has freed you! You must tell him that I have freed you, because I am the captain of the ship, and he is just one of my men who I have commanded to do what he has done.”
The king’s daughter did not say yes or no. “I know what I’m going to say,” he answered. And the captain then decided to do it over with Baciccin Tribordo once and for all. That same night they took him, drunk as he was and threw him into the sea. At dawn the ship arrived in sight of the port; they made signs with the flags that they brought the king’s daughter safe and sound, and on the quay there was the band that played and the King with the whole court.
The wedding of the king’s daughter with the captain was fixed. On the wedding day in the port the sailors saw a man covered with green algae from head to toe coming out of the water, with fish and crabs coming out of his pockets and tears. It was Baciccin Tribordo. Got up to the shore, and all covered with algae dragged on the ground, walked through the city. Just then the wedding procession advanced, and the green algae man stands in front of him. The procession stops. “ Who is he? “ asks the King. “ Arrest him! “ The guards were on their way, when Baciccin Tribordo raised his hand and the diamond of the ring glinted in the sun.
“ My daughter’s ring!” said the King “Yes, this is my savior, “ said the daughter, “this is my husband.”
Baciccin Tribordo told his story; the captain was arrested. Covered with algae as he was, he placed himself near the bride dressed in white and was joined to her in marriage.
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