The shell

Once upon a time, there was a small seaside village. It was situated in an inlet and was so small that it seemed to be contained in one hand. In the morning, at sunrise, the village became blue; at sunset, when the moon rose in the sky, it became pink.
In that village there was a small group of women; they were in very good terms with one another. In winter, when they stopped doing their housework, they sat around the fireside; in summer they stood at the doors of their houses and while embroidering or knitting away, they spoke ill of everyone and everything.
Nothing came off well. There was always one of them who found fault with someone or said unkind and harsh words here and there.
One day a fairy passed by that group of women; she was invisible and the women couldn’t see her, but the fairy heard what they were saying. She got so deeply vexed that she decided to shut the words which had been said somewhere. She looked down and then thought of shutting them in the sea shells that would certainly have been good shelters; the words put there Have no more gone away.
le conchiglie

But something incredible happened. The shells began to repeat the unkind words which had been said before by the women. The fairy thought it over, then she decided to prevent the shells from speaking and left them dumb. Or something like this.
“And the words? Where shall I put them?” she said to herself. The fairy took her time, then she decided upon what to do and said: “The words must be entrusted to someone and have a master. Since the shells have been silly, I’ll confide some secrets only to the ones that are able to repeat them to the ears of the human beings they will choose.
I’ll give back the words to the women, because no doubt they are sometimes bad, but can also find words full of goodness and sweetness. She did so; the words came back to the women and the secrets remained in the shells because the women couldn’t keep them at all.
In fact, if you sometimes lean a shell against your ear, you will be able to listen very fine stories which are parts of wonderful secrets.
But pay attention not to say this to the women!