Tales of the heart #6: the last son / l’ultimo figlio
once upon a time……
... there was a woman who came to a place, a small place in the hills where the surrounding land was rich and fertile and the people were fierce and resilient. This woman was small, simpatico, funny and very popular as she was the first to open a taverna selling wine to the farmers. When they had no money to pay she took payments by other forms and being a strong independent single woman with great humour she would often accept sex in lieu of coin. And so it was that she gave birth to three boys, whose fathers were unknown or unacknowledged and this woman gave them her name and brought them up on her own. So respected and liked was she that these bastard boys carried their family name with great pride and as the lineage of the three boys continued, each fathering sons of their own, each generation equally wore the family name with dignity and honour.
Over the years the branches of the family established their homes in different places, one in the city, one in a neighbouring town and one in that small place where this small woman first appeared.
As more time passed and the cities grew bigger and more exciting and promising, the young people moved away from the pastoral and agricultural areas. And so the cities continued to grow and absorb the towns, and the small places in the hills were almost forgotten. The old people spoke only the old language, the dialect of the place, not the modern language of the cities. Eventually there remained just one son belonging to the small place where this small woman first appeared, the last son of that line, l’ultimo figlio. All the old people remember him…ahh they exclaim, I was the first to take you on the knee… And yet he too eventually left to find his freedom in the cities and the other countries of the world, though at each place he stopped he found himself telling the story of his family, the long ago stories that began with this small woman because in the vastness of the world where a small place has no importance, belonging to a name gives you something, a little something that can make you feel good.