(The Sleeping Cat)
Nursery tales by Elisabetta Mancini Camporeale
|Published online: 3 June 2007||2|
||Geremia e il terrore dei sette mari|
notte fonda e un
impetuoso vento gelido solleva nugoli di polvere e
tormenta le chiome degli alberi lungo il viale di periferia.
ormai le sue zampe stanno per cedere e la speranza di trovare un rifugio
per la notte sembra svanire, ecco giungere al suo orecchio lo stentato
miagolio di altri suoi simili.
l’enorme cancello vede affacciarsi tre musetti che lo scrutano
attentamente e gli fanno cenno di avvicinarsi.
Quando al mattino riapre gli occhi il sole è già alto all’orizzonte e l’aria tiepida ha sciolto il gelo della notte.
a sé Geremia ritrova i tre mici che lo hanno accolto la notte precedente.
luce del mattino, però, Paco e Charlotte si accorgono che Geremia porta
una vistosa benda sull’occhio sinistro e un notevole numero di cicatrici
Geremia é tentato di dire la verità e cioè che si è azzuffato con gli altri gatti del suo quartiere per il possesso del territorio, ma pensa che rimarrebbero delusi da una simile spiegazione e allora inventa lì per lì una fantastica storia di quelle che mandano in visibilio i cuccioli di tutte le specie.
sapere, inizia Geremia, che un tempo ero imbarcato su di una goletta che
faceva rotta verso terre lontane.
dopo ci giunse notizia che quella nave era naufragata a causa di una
violenta tempesta, inghiottita con tutto il suo maledetto equipaggio dalle
nere acque dell’abisso.
I due cuccioli ascoltavano Geremia in silenzio e con gli occhi spalancati e intanto pensavano: che gatto coraggioso questo Geremia speriamo che si fermi qui con noi e ponga fine alle sue peregrinazioni!
Così fu ed ancora oggi sono lì tutti assieme ad ascoltare le mirabolanti avventure che Geremia inventa per i nuovi amici.
|Published online: 3 June 2007|
||Jeremiah and the terror of the seven seas|
It is the dead of night and a chilly and violent wind lifts clouds of dust and torments the trees which stand along the avenue on the outskirts of town .
Everyone is asleep safely at home, only a cat walks with difficulty along the court-yard gate of an almost deserted villa.
He is clearly limping and at times seems not to have the strength to keep going. However he can’t stop now, because Jeremiah, our cat’s name, knows that it would be the end of him.
Just as his legs are about to give out, and Jeremiah has lost all hope of finding a shelter for the night, he hears the faint mewing of fellow-cats.
He is mad with joy, like the sailor who suddenly sees the lighthouse on the horizon that will guide him towards safety, after his ship has been blown off course from a storm and the darkness has blinded his voyage.
Jeremiah raises his head and tries to see where his fellow-cats are hidden.
From behind the huge gate three little faces carefully scrutinize him and beckon him to come nearer. Jeremiah gathers his strength, approaches the gate and jumps over the bars. The three cats lovingly take him to a box.
Here Jeremiah exhausted, falls to the ground and falls asleep.
When he opens his eyes in the morning the sun is already high in the horizon and the mild air has melted the night frost.
Next to him he finds the three cats who welcomed him the night before. The time for introductions has come.
I am Berenice says the female cat with beige fur, and these are my little Paco and Charlotte. We used to live in a farmstead in the park not far from here, but the heavy rains of last month made the river that runs there overflow. The water dragged away our shelters and many of the friends with whom we shared that oasis of peace.
My kittens and I dragged ourselves here and found shelter in this box. It is not exactly a palace, but it protects us from the wind. If you like, you can stay with us until you find something better.
At daylight, Paco and Charlotte see that Jeremiah wears a showy bandage on his left eye. He also has many scars on his head.
What, or who, did this to you, asked the two kittens.
Jeremiah is tempted to tell the truth, that he simply fought with the neighbourhood cats for territory, but he thinks the kittens would be disappointed with such an ordinary explanation. He decides to make up an extraordinary tale that would marvel pups of all kinds.
You should know I once embarked on a schooner bound for far off countries. We transported products there and took on board spices and precious silk. One day we were assaulted by a pirate-ship. Those rascals killed many of my shipmates and left the survivors in a bad state.
A few months later we heard the pirate-ship had been wrecked by a heavy storm, swallowed up with all its crew, by the black waters of the abyss. The news did not give us back our lost shipmates, but it helped to heal our wounds...
The two kittens silently listened to Jeremiah with their eyes wide open and thought, how brave this Jeremiah is, let’s hope he is going to stop wandering and stay here with us!
That’s exactly what happened, and today they are still together, listening to the amazing adventures Jeremiah makes up for his new friends.
(English translation by Mariangela Canzi)
|When not otherwise specified, the English translation was made by the author.|