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(Traduzione a cura della dott.ssa Mena Capolongo)

Once upon a time there was a city mouse called Gigione, who lived with his children and his sweet Ninetta in a railway man’s house, in an old barrel made of oak, which still had the smell of good wine.

“How nice it would be to travel!” the six young mice said to each other every night before slipping into their straw bed, thinking about their landlord.

“And to try all the different types of cheese…! Robiola, mascarpone, gorgonzola, caciocavallo, provolone, parmesan cheese, gruyère…”

“Stop, stop!... Just the thought of it makes my mouth water!”

It was a happy family, without a care. They always had enough food, because in the cellar  there were all sorts of good things to eat and the house was safe and the garden big.

Father mouse repeatedly told his children to beware of the neighbor’s cat, a terrifying hunter, always lying in wait behind the bushes.

“He’s a very bad cat! He would eat you all together in one mouthful.”

“And if he were full” their mother added, “he would save you over for dinner!

“Our landlord’s cat let’s you play on his territory because we grew up together in this house. We are true friends…The others are our enemies! The instinct to eat mice is in their nature…you must run away every time you feel their presence, if you care about your lives!”

One sad day the railway man went away and with him the food that the cellar was always full of. In his place a poor family and a terrible black cat arrived disturbing the peace and quiet of their home. It seemed he didn’t have any other care in this world than pulling the mice’s tails and teasing them without mercy.

Only when the cat was sleeping soundly the mice could come out of their barrel and search for something to munch.

“We have to leave this house” mother mouse ordered one evening, “before it’s too late!”

While they were jumping over the hedge, the six small mice turned around to give a last glance at that bit of heaven where they had been so happy.

“We’ll find a better place!” they whispered holding each other in a long hug.

“Homesickness can kill you!” said father mouse, to give courage to his family. But his eyes were sad. “It’s time to go!”

He took his wife by the hand and led his children towards a new life.

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© Carmine Montella, Baiano (Av) - Senza l'autorizzazione scritta del titolare del copyright è vietato l'uso di testi, immagini e video del sito.