chapter  265
For a Single Calabrian Onion, Four Calabrians Lost their Lives—Pi ’na cipudda di Calàvria si persiru quattru calavrisi
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Once, my good sirs, there were four Calabrians-and you know thatone of them is already too much for any town.287 They were bringinga load of Calabrian onions to sell in Messina, taking them by boat, and they were rowing quickly in their eagerness to arrive when suddenly one of the onions fell overboard. Well, since each of these Calabrians was more miserly than the next, one of them stripped off his clothes at once and dived in after it. When his companions saw no sign of him after a couple of minutes, a second stripped off his clothes and dived in. When the two remaining men saw no further sign of him either, one of them took off his shirt and trousers (no need to remove his shoes, since he had only the ones he was born with)288 and also threw himself into the sea, since the loss of a single onion was more than he could endure.