By Jeanne Outlaw-Cannavo
Mamma said that today we will be traveling from our appartamento in Frosinone to Graniti in Sicily where mamma’s family lives. Mamma has lots of cugini (cu jean-knee) cousins there. After the long trip mamma realizes that she forgot to pack my toys.
The next morning mamma goes to a negozio (nay go zee oh) store to buy some giocattoli (joe ca toe lee) toys. When I see my new toys, i annuso (ah new so) sniff all of them and wag my coda (co dah) tail. I like my tug toy and growl happily as I play tug of war. But my favorite toy of all is a palla verde (pah lah vair day) green ball. I play with the toy all day and when I am stanca (stan kah) tired I will lay on the divano (dee vah no) couch, or letto (let o) bed to rest. I will tuck the green ball between my legs to make sure it is sicura (see cur a) safe. I am so attached to my green ball that my mommy calls it my security blanket. I even try to take it fuori (foo or ee) outside with me when I have to go potty. But sometimes I get nei guai (nay gwhy) in trouble. I take my ball and roll it under the couch or the TV and then cry until someone pulls it out.
Finally mamma decides to block off the space underneath and I am triste (tree stay) because I can no longer play this game. The saddest part of the day is when it’s bedtime and I have to put my toys away. The last toy they take away from me is the green ball. They tell me buona notte giocattoli (bu o nah no tay joe ca toe lee) good night toys, and I finally calm down with a very sad look on my faccia (fa cha) face.
The first thing I do in the morning is run over to the bookshelf where my toy basket is kept, and look up at it until mamma or nonna who is with us puts it on the floor. Then it’s time to say buon giorno giocattoli and io sono pronta (a pron tah) I am ready for another day of play!
In Italian nursery rhymes are called filastrocche. Look at this one. Can you guess the English equivalent?
Brilla, brilla, mia stellina
Sai, da qui sembri piccina
Su nel cielo assai distante
Della notte sei Il diamante
(Clue: Brilla means twinkle.)
Look for the answer in the next issue.