427. (Il cagnolino)

Antonio Gramsci

Caro Delio,

perché non mi parli del tuo pappagalletto? È ancora vivo? Forse non ne parli piú perché io, una volta, ho osservato che ne parlavi sempre? Allegro Delio! Tatanička vuole che io ti scriva che alla tua età avevo un cagnolino e che ero diventato mezzo matto per la contentezza di averlo. Vedi! È vero che un cane (anche se piccolo, piccolo) dà molte piú soddisfazioni di un pappagallo (ma tu forse credi il contrario), perché gioca con il padrone, si affeziona… Il mio si vede che era rimasto un cane-bambinello, perché, per mostrarmi il massimo del suo entusiasmo, si metteva sulla schiena e si faceva la pipi addosso. Quante insaponature! Era proprio piccolo tanto che non riuscí per molto tempo a salire i gradini delle scale, aveva il pelo nero e lungo e sembrava un barbone in miniatura. Io lo avevo tosato come un leoncino, ma non era obbiettivamente bello, anzi era piuttosto brutto, brutto assai, adesso che ci penso. Ma come mi faceva divertire e come gli volevo bene! Il mio gioco favorito era questo: quando andavamo a passeggio in campagna, lo mettevo su un sasso sporgente e mi allontanavo senza che lui, che mi guardava e mugolava, osasse saltare. Io mi allontanavo a zig-zag, poi mi nascondevo in un fosso o in una cunetta. Il cane prima strillava, poi riusciva a trovare il modo di scendere e correva in caccia: questa mi divertiva, perché il poveretto, che allora, d’altronde, era ancora molto giovane, guardava latrando dietro tutte le pietre, si affacciava alle piccole (ma grandi per lui) fosse e impazziva perché io mi spostavo lestamente dopo averlo chiamato. Che feste, quando finalmente mi facevo ritrovare! E che abbondanza di pipí! Caro, adesso mi scriverai del pappagalletto? Ti abbraccio.

папа

427. (The puppy)

Antonio Gramsci

Dear Delio,

Why don’t you tell me about your budgerigar? Is he still alive? Do you perhaps not talk about him because I once said you were always talking about him? Cheer up, Delio! Tatanička wants me to write to you about how, at your age, I had a puppy and about how crazy happy I was to have the little thing. You see? It’s true that a dog (even a very, very small one) can give much greater satisfaction than a parrot (but you may think otherwise), because he plays with his owner, gets attached to him…Mine probably never stopped being a puppy-baby, because to show me just how enthusiastic he was, he would roll onto his back and pee all over himself. Oh, how many soapy baths! He was really so small that for a long while he couldn’t climb the stairs. His fur was long and black and he looked a bit like a tiny poodle. I trimmed him to look like a lion, but, to be truthful, he was not much to look at: he was pretty ugly, really ugly, come to think of it. But how he made me laugh, and how I loved him! This was my favourite game: when we went for a walk in the countryside, I would place him on a rocky outcrop, turn, and leave. He would whine as he watched me go, but he didn’t dare to jump off. I would move away zigzagging, then I’d hide in a canal or a ditch. First the puppy would yelp, then he would find a way to get off the rock and come hunting for me. This always made me laugh, because the poor thing who was, after all, still just a puppy, would yap and yap, searching behind every rock. He would peek into the shallow (but deep for him) canals and go crazy, because I would run from them quickly after calling him. How happy he was when I finally let him find me! And how he peed! Dearest, will you tell me about your budgie now? A hug.

папа

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2019

Sketch: A Dandy Dinmont Puppy, Cecil Aldin (1870-1935)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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