Il Gatto addormentato
(The Sleeping Cat)
Nursery tales by Elisabetta Mancini Camporeale

Published online: 17 April 2008 13
English version
Linda e la bambola Rattoppina
PDF version


La piccola Linda era una vivace bimbetta nata in una famiglia di umili ma onesti contadini.
I genitori vivevano dei prodotti forniti loro dal lavoro nei campi.
Non si pativa la fame, ma nemmeno si nuotava nell’oro e la vita della famiglia era piuttosto frugale.
Nulla si sprecava, nemmeno la più piccola briciola di pane e gli abiti sdruciti, anche se ridotti a brandelli, venivano accuratamente messi da parte, perché quei pezzettini di stoffa un giorno potevano tornare utili.

All’avvicinarsi del suo compleanno, compiva sette anni quel tredici dicembre, Linda espresse il desiderio di ricevere in dono una bambola.
La mamma, nonostante la mole di lavoro che doveva sbrigare quotidianamente, non ebbe il coraggio di scontentarla.
A sera tarda, quando tutti i mestieri erano terminati e i bambini erano andati a letto, tornò in cucina.

Alla luce del lume scelse i pezzettini di stoffa più belli e meno rovinati, poi raccolse un po’ di paglia dal fienile e cominciò.
Pian piano, dalle sue mani prese vita una figuretta con due braccia, due gambette e una buffa testolina.
Per occhi vi applicò due bottoni neri e per capelli dei trucioli di legno, che erano rimasti nella cassetta degli attrezzi del babbo.

La mamma lavorò alacremente e per il giorno del compleanno la bambolina era pronta.
Al mattino la piccola Linda si svegliò di buon’ora.
Dalla finestra appena socchiusa un tenue raggio di sole baciava le rosee guance della bambina e quelle rattoppate di una bambola di stoffa che, nonostante tutto, appariva buffa e ispirava tenerezza.

Quando Linda ne avvertì la presenza la strinse forte a sé e sentì il cuore scoppiare di gioia.
Finalmente anche lei come le sue amiche aveva una bambola di cui prendersi cura. 
Già, ma come l’avrebbe chiamata?
La scelta non le portò via molto tempo, le bastò un’occhiata d’insieme e da quel giorno la sua compagna di giochi si chiamò Rattoppina.

Con il passare del tempo Rattoppina si arricchì di ulteriori rammendi, ma Linda non l’avrebbe mai ceduta, nemmeno in cambio di una di quelle bambole delle bambine dell’alta società, tutte fronzoli e merletti, ma senza una storia da raccontare.






Published online: 17 April 2008
Italian version
Linda and the Patchie doll
PDF version


Linda was a lively little girl, she was born by a couple of humble but honest farmers.
Her parents lived on the product of their work in the fields.
They didn’t starve, but they neither were rolling in money and the family life was frugal.
They didn’t waste anything, neither the smallest crumb of bread and torn clothes, even if badly ripped and tattered, were carefully kept away, because all those little pieces of fabric might be useful in future.

When her birthday was to come, she was to be seven the thirteenth of December, Linda wished to receive a doll as present.
Notwithstanding her daily hard job, her mother didn’t feel up to deceive her daughter.
At night, when she finished her duties and the children were sleeping, she returned in the kitchen.

By candlelight she chose the most beautiful and less ripped pieces of fabric, then she gathered some straw from the barn and started sewing.
Little by little, a little figure, with two arms, two legs and a funny head, was born from her hands.
The doll had two dark buttons as eyes and its hair were made of wood-shavings, left over in the father’s tool box.

The mother worked briskly and the little doll was ready for her daughter’s birthday.
That morning Linda woke up soon.
From the ajar window, a pale ray of sunlight kissed the girl’s pink cheeks and the patched ones of a fabric doll that, anyway, seemed funny and tender.

When Linda felt the presence of the doll, she hugged it and felt her heart filled with joy.
At last, she had a doll to take care of just as her friends …but…what was the right name for her doll?
She soon made her choice, a short look and since that day on her playmate was named Patchie.

As time passed, Patchie was further patched up, but Linda wouldn’t ever exchanged Patchie with any other doll, neither those of uptown child, rich in frills and laces, but without a story to tell.

(English translation by Silvia Mancini)








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When not otherwise specified, the English translation was made by the author.