As our translator, Loretta, and I progress through Tillie’s notebook, we are finding it to be a unusual mixture of writing. Although the title on the cover says that it is the “Tragedy of Ottilia Genetti” written during the second session of Class II (2nd grade), the contents don’t appear to match the cover!
As all of the entries are dated 1902, Tillie would have been about twelve years old in this year – much older than a 2nd grader! And Loretta has found several entries signed by Addolorata (Dora), Tillie’s older sister who was age thirteen in 1902. It also appears the journal is certainly written by someone more mature and older than a 2nd grader.
Our little notebook is turning into quite the mystery! We will continue to translate and publish its contents and at the end, hopefully be able to make a judgement as to who was the author and what was the purpose of the school journal.
Continuing on to the next entry, we begin on Page 7 (right side) and turn to Page 8 (left side). It is a short story obviously written as moral lesson. Loretta found it difficult to read and translate the end of the story on Page 8 due to the eraser marks, so she has attempted to interpret the ending. We hope you enjoy it!
The Poor Orphan Child
Angela, daughter of rich parents, was 9 years old. One day she was eating some bread with a piece of cheese on her house door. Giulio, a poor orphan child passed by, he was still without food. When he saw the bread he went near the girl and said: Be charitable, give me a piece of bread because I am hungry.
She answered: No, go and get bread elsewhere, because I am going to eat it.
The child went away with tears in his eyes looking at the bread.
In that moment a dog came near the girl wagging its tail. She caressed it and gave it a piece of bread.
Giuseppe started to cry and said to the girl: Am I less important than an animal? I am a creature created in the image of God.
When the teacher knew what had happened she told her off and said: If you have a piece of bread left you must not give it to a dog but spare it for the poor who suffer for hunger.
Castelfondo 7 March 1902
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