Avò (By S.Rosano)

This story is about a Sicilian girl named Mariasole.

As a child she was always too lively and never stood still. The mother, to calm her down, gently cradled her and took her to the orange tree near her house… There he sang a lullaby and finally Mariasole fell asleep.

Growing up, Mariasole turned out to be a cheerful and energetic girl. In the orange harvest season, since the parents were busy, she enjoyed running around the estate and always inventing new games.

But the thing she liked the most was climbing trees! There was one in particular that was her favorite, a big chestnut tree near the toolshed. She was able to climb up that tree to the point where the sea could be seen in the distance.

She loved the sea, she liked to splash around in the water and every time her parents managed to take her there, Mariasole was very happy.

Lately, however, it didn’t happen very often.

 

Her mother was pregnant with her little brother and her belly became bigger every day.

On sundays, his mother preferred to rest and stay calm at home because during the week she got tired all day long to collect oranges.

Mariasole was a bit worried about the arrival of her little brother, but she was also curious. She really couldn’t wait for her little brother to be born! First of all she wanted to have a friend to play with as soon as possible and then  because her mom could pick her up more often as she did before, not having the excuse of the big belly that prevented that!

 

That day Mariasole wanted to do something different than usual. There was a bright sun and it was terribly hot. As always, mom and dad advised her to play nearby and not get into trouble.

She wanted to take a trip to the beach but her mother couldn’t go because the end of her pregnancy was very close. They told her that as soon as the little brother was born, they would all go together to the sea.

 

And then they had to work, now the harvest season was almost over… In short, she had to be patient.

“Ugh! What a bore!” thought Mariasole. If there was something she really didn’t like, it was exactly to be patient!

 

She headed, pouting, toward the big chestnut tree and began to climb.

 

This time, she thought, I want to get higher so I can see the sea even better.

And so she did. She was very nimble and so she didn’t struggle to get on top of a big branch.

“Wow, that’s great!” From there there was an amazing view and the sea could be seen very well!

 

Time passed and after a while Mariasole realized that she had to get off… But she didn’t know how! Yes, because it had been quite simple to climb, but get down wasn’t easy at all!

 

Meanwhile, her mother, not hearing her for a while, was beginning to wonder where she was. She decided to take a break to drink and freshen up a little. She began to call her, but Mariasole did not answer.

Then she called her husband, Rosario, and told him she was going to look for Mariasole.

He told her not to worry: “Relax yourself Magdalene, you know how she is, she can’t stay still but she will be somewhere around here…”

 

In the meantime Mariasole began to fear to stay there forever… In addition, her legs hurt after a long time in the same position!

Mariasole’s mother began to call her daughter aloud, but the little girl didn’t answer and she even seemed to have disappeared!

Then she came back to call her husband, to help her look for their little girl.

At one point they were talking just under the Great chestnut tree.

 

Mariasole closed her mouth to avoid being heard. “If they discover me, she thought in panic, there will be troubles for me… they will punish me and I’ll never see again my beloved sea, they will not allow me to go there anymore!

Meanwhile, his parents seemed increasingly apprehensive.

“But where she will be?” Mum said. “Maybe it’s because we told her that we can’t go to the beach today… I realized that she reacted bad… And then, we have neglected her in the last period, don’t you think? Lately we were too busy between our work and the arrival of her little brother… Our little girl is still so young!”

 

“Yes, maybe you’re right” answered the father… I’m sure she’s hidden somewhere… If she hears us” he said “I want she knows that we love her very much and that she will forever be our first-born loved one!”

“Of course!” mom quickly stated “When she wes born, it was the best day of my life and she will be my joy forever!”

 

On hearing those words, the child feels reassured. Her parents really cared for her! However, she wouldn’t have lasted much longer up there!

 

And so in a whisper she called: “Mom, Daddy, I’m up here, I can’t go down…” and burst into tears.

 

Immediately his father ran to take the ladder in the toolbox and climbed up to help Mariasole to get off.

 

It wasn’t easy to get her off the tree, but in the end everything went well and Mariasole swooped into the arms of her mother who comforted her and scolded her just a little… she was too happy to see her daughter safe and sound!

After a couple of weeks the long-awaited little brother was born; they called him Matteo and, as their mother and father had promised her, they all finally went to the sea together!

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