It was market day. As always I was sitting on a stone; nearby, the basket of apples and the basket with eggs. I sold them and took home the few coins that were enough for us to survive. It was just my husband and I.
I got married very young and soon after I was blessed with a pregnancy. Unfortunately, something had gone wrong, because at a certain point I no longer felt the baby move inside me, I was sick, I could not do anything ... My husband had brought Ghita, a woman who knows how to do it and heals you with herbs, but not even she had managed to save my baby: he was dead inside. Ghita had managed to take it off me and bring me back to life. After a year, I was pregnant again, but after a few moons my blood was flowing again. Ghita said I couldn't carry the pregnancy, gave me herbs and decoctions and told me not to think about it, that only God knew what awaited me. So year after year I have tried to be patient, obedient, serene. But I have lost at least 5 or 6 children ...
I always went to the market to sell our things. And while I waited, I wove baskets of straw and leaves to put the eggs in, so those who bought them would take them away better.
I saw them arrive from afar: it was already late, soon I would be gone. Even when I work with my hands, I am always careful with my eyes, because in the market there are fast guys and rogues who take a moment to steal your things and money. Seeing those two silhouettes, which looked like monks, walking slowly, but like hares swaying here and there, a little scattered, made me even more attentive ... You never know ... One was younger, the other older, and looked around with deep eyes, which entered to search everywhere, things, houses, people.
They were almost in front of me when a dirty, rude bum boy ran and crossed his path, causing the oldest to trip over a stone and fall to the ground. Naturally the little animal ran away, while the monk on the ground did not make a single gesture or a moan ... I could not stay still and I ran to help him. I knelt next to him, who looked at me: I felt that look reach my heart. The young friar had a half-empty saddlebag and was trying to help him, thanking me for his concern… The old man leaned on my shoulder with one arm, on the stick with the other and we got up. Now on my feet, before leaving me he stroked my cheek. I asked them to wait: I took the jug of water, which I always have with me, and gave them a drink, and then in one of my baskets I put 4 small and wrinkled meline and 2 eggs and I gave them to them.
He said to me: “You are a good and generous woman. You have suffered a lot. But the Most High will compensate you because you follow the heart ”. I felt like kneeling and kissing his hand, because he was saying such beautiful things… But he lifted me up and said to me: “What are you doing, sister? I, I should kneel in front of you ... But I risk not getting up again, for today ... You have given us help and the fruits of your work. May God make you a tree full of gifts… ”And he placed his bony hand on my belly. It never happens that a stranger does such a thing, but it didn't bother me, on the contrary, I felt inside a great serenity, as if that hand had swept away all the years of tears and pain for my unborn children, as if , without knowing, he knew… Before setting off, he told me his name was Martino and asked if I knew anyone who could take them to the island, to Gallinaria. Of course! And I sent them to Bartolo, the fisherman.
I haven't seen them since, even if every now and then I asked Bartolo for news. And sometimes I thought of the monk Martin.
The next month I didn't see the blood of the moon's turn. Not even the following month. Ghita told me that I was pregnant once again. I shivered. I prayed. Much. And one night I dreamed of that monk who told me “May God make you a tree full of gifts”. I woke up sweating and crying, because for the first time in my heart I felt it was going to happen ...
After the time passed, I gave birth to my son, a little strong and big screamer, who sucks the milk from my breast like a calf and who is my and his father's pride.
We called him Martino.