8.3: In which stupid is most definitely not fixed.
Calandrino the painter is an idiot. A sweet guy, but dumber than a sack of hammers. Maso del Saggio, well known in Florence for his pranks, comes upon Calandrino admiring the art in the church of San Giovani. Saggio starts telling his companion, loudly enough for Calandrino to overhear, about all the miraculous stones to be found in the area. This, of course, piques Calandrio’s interest.
“So many marvels,” says Saggio. “There is a mountain in the land of Cornucopia made completely of Parmesan cheese!”
“NO!” says Calandrino. “My mouth waters.”
“Oh yes!” says Saggio. “ And there are the millstones that miraculously make flour.”
“Amazing!” says Calandrino.
“But most fabulous of all are the heliotropes found in the Mugnone River. If you hide them on your person, they render you invisible.”
Upon leaving the church Calandrino met two friends, the painters Buffalmacco and Bruno, who took great pleasure in Calandrino’s gullible nature. He excitedly tells them of the magical properties of the heliotrope and they agree at once to go look for some.
They get to the river, and sure enough, Calandrino finds heliotropes, which he puts in his pocket. When he brings them back to his friends, Buffalmacco and Bruno make a great show of looking for him, and not finding him. They leave, complaining out loud about how rude Calandrino is to have left them alone. As they complain they throw stones at Calandrino, rendering him black and blue. At the city gate (as pre-arranged) the guards do not question Calandrino, only convincing him further that the stones are making him invisible. He gets all the way home without being spoken to. Alas, his wife Tessa, not in on the joke, berates him for missing breakfast.
Calandrino flies into a rage, thinking that his wife, using some feminine wile, has caused the stones to lose their power, and begins to beat her. Buffalmacco and Bruno come to the house, supposedly seeking Calandrino, in time to intercede, saying that the stones most likely lost their power because of the way Calandrino selfishly abandoned them. This makes sense to Calandrino, and a good thing, too. For it explains why he is left with a pile of river rocks that do nothing for anybody.