Our next entry in the 1902 Notebook is a story with a moral.
Page 11, right side
The good advice
Ester, a girl with good parents, was good and obedient but she had the bad habit of talking too much.
One day her mother bought a plant of carnation that she could give her godmother as a present for her name-day.
Ester watered it every day and took great care of it to make it become beautiful.
One day when the girl was watering it she noticed a small insect on the carnation.
The girl went to her mother and said: There is a nice little animal on my carnation.
The mother answered: Kill it otherwise your flower will die.
No, I won’t kill it, it is so nice!
After some days the girl found it dead. Almost crying she went to her mother and said: The carnation is completely dry.
If you had killed the insect it would have been nice and green now. It serves you right! Now you will not have anything to give your aunt. You should obey me.
Girls, we must learn to listen to our parents’ advice!
Castelfondo 14 March 1902
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An interesting note to this story, Tillie had a younger sister named Ester (Esther) who was almost seven years old at the time this story was composed. Since the story mentions Ester’s godmother is also her aunt, I thought a little investigative work was in order. Knowing Ester’s date of birth was May 11, 1895, it only took a few moments of searching through Castelfondo church registries to find her baptismal record. Ester’s godparents are listed as Angelo Zuech and Barbara Zambotti. Checking my ancestry tree for the Zambotti family I found – yes, Barbara was Ester’s mother’s oldest sister, therefore both her aunt and godmother.
So it seems that this moral story may have been written about an actual event that occurred between Tillie’s little sister, Ester, and her mother, Oliva.
As always, our thanks to Loretta Cologna for her dedication to this translation project. Mille grazie!
Find all previous translations from this series by scrolling through our earlier blog posts.