As soon as he came in he took off his wet jacket and hung it on the back of a chair near the fire. Then he sat by the fireplace to warm up.
Appena 'ntrate, zi luvette la giacchette tutta mbosse e l'appinnete a assucuà sobbre a na segge vicine a lu fuoche. Doppe z'assittette vicine a lu fuculuare pi scallareze.

He saw the children who were running around in the kitchen and praised them a lot.

He asked for the names of all of them, and then he repeated each one as he pointed to a child:

- C., G., V., M. -

Then at one point he looked at M., the oldest of my daughters, opened his eyes wide and said:


Vidette li vagliune conne ive girenne pi la cucine e cuminzette a fariie tante di chilli cumplimiente.

Addummannette lu nome di tutte chiente e doppe l'aripiteve facenne signe une pi une:-

- C., G., V., M. -

A nu cierte punte guardette M., la figlie chiù grosse, allariette tante d'uocchie e dicette:

- Beautiful M., to take to Germany with me -

- But the war is going on! -

- After the war, I will take M. with me to Germany. Oh! C. blond. Is C.'s father blond? Where is C.'s father?

-To the front.- I answered.

That evening, when it was time to eat, we all sat at the table. L. had an oven, and I put on the table the bread I had managed to bake with the little flour that I had.


- Bella M., bella, portare a Germania con me -

- Ma c'è la guerra! -

- Dopo guerra, io porto M. con me a Germania. Oh! C. bionda. Biondo papà di C.? Dove papà di C.? -

- Al fronte. - Arispunnive.

La sere, quanna fu ore di magniè, zassittemme tutti chiente a la tavile. L. tineve lu furne e i mittive sobbre a la tavile lu pane ch'ere arrisciute a fa nchi chella poca farine ch'era rimaste.

I told him to sit at the table and eat with us. He sat down and took out of his pocket a piece of dark bread. I cut a slice of the bread we were eating and gave it to him.
I dicive d'assittareze a magniè nchi nu. Zassittette e caccette da la saccocce nu tuozze di pane nire. I taglive na felle di lu pane chi zi stavame magnenne nu e i lu dive.
His facial expression brightened and he asked:
I za rischcarette la facce e m'addummannette:

- To pay? -

I answered - Nix - - Nix to pay, nix to eat! ---

I placed the slice of bread near him and pointed to him to eat. From that day on he would stop by the house every day and would bring something for the children.


- Pagare? -

Arispunnive - - Nix - - Nix pagare, nix mangiare! -

I mittive vicine la felle di lu pane e i facive signe di magniè. Da culle mumente tutti li iuorre portave sempre co cose a li vagliune.

One day he came with a letter in his hand and with tearful eyes he said that his mother had written to him.
Nu iuorre arrivette nchi na lettere mmiene e nchi l'uocchie lucente: dicette ca iaveve scritte la mamme.

- Mother when I left, hee, hee, hee.- He tried to say his mother had cried.-

- Germany far away, mother afraid and cries.-

I asked him: - But where is the front?-

He opened his eyes wide and said: - Mother L. (he was calling me mother lately) - not say, I would be shot.-

The following day he called me apart and whispered to me:

- Mother L., the front is 80 kilometers- then he put his finger to his lips telling me to keep quiet.

On another rainy day, he fell asleep near the fireplace. When he woke up, he stretched, he looked up the chimney and saw that there were sausages hung to dry. He pointed to the chimney and said:


- Mamma, quando partito, hi, hi, hi.- E facette a vvidè ca plagneve.

- Germania lontana, mamma paura e piange. -

I'addummannive - Ma il fronte dov'è?

- Allariette tante d'uocchie e dicette: - Mamma L. - (da na nzè mi chiamave mamme) - non dire, io kaputt. -

Ma lu iuorre appriesse mi chiamette a na vie e mi dicette zitte zitte:

- Mamma L., fronte 80 chilomètr. -, doppe zi mittette lu dite sobbre a la vocche e mi facette signe di stareme zitte.

Nualtre iuorre chi chiuvlichiieve, z'addurmette vicine a lu fuoche. Quanne z'arivigliette, mentre zi stinnicchieve, l'uocchie i iette ammonte pi la ciumminere e vidette ca ci stave appise cierte salcicce. Facenne signe ammonte pi la ciumminere dicette:

- Mother L., talì, tutt camin - he meant that in Italy they put everything in the chimney.--

I answered him: - German comrades take everything away.- I took one of the chairs and made believe to take it out of the door.

He looked at me: - Not us, not us. Those who will take everything away will come after.-

And indeed they came.

One day he came to say good-by. They had to move towards Civitaluparella. He took leave with tearful eyes.


- Mamma L., talì, tutt camin. - Vuleva dice ca all'Italie onne mitteve tutte cose ammonte pi la ciumminere.

I'arispunnive: - Camerati tedeschi, tutto porta via. - Acchiappive na segge e facive a vvidè ca la purtave da fore a la porte.

Mi guardette: - No, noi, no. Dopo, viene dopo chi porta via. ---------------------------------

E onne arrivette addavere .

Nu iuorre tutt'nziembre minette a salutuà. Z'onna aveve spustà verse la Civite. Mi salutette quase nchi li lacrime all'uocchie:

- Mother L., ....thank you, I will write from Germany.-
- Mamma L., grazie, io scrivo da Germania. -
He got in the truck, and waved for the last time before driving toward Civitaluparella, and I never heard from him again. Who knows if he went back alive to his mother?
Sagliette sobbre a lu camion, mi salutette l'ultima volte prime di pigliè la vie pi la Civite e nin ni so sapute chiù niente. Chi sa s'è rrisciute a riì vive da la mamme?