This week, after the rain had finally stopped, I had two unexpected guests. Although I didn’t see the first one I’m sure he was very small and furry with stripes down his back. He likes to dig small holes all over the property and this time he even had a stroll through my precious orto (veggie garden). We have fence all over the property, but the baby boar are small enough to squeeze through the wire holes.
I’m wondering if I am going to have to play the role of Elmer Fudd here and sit on the terrace every night with an unloaded shotgun pretending that I actually have the guts to shoot him if he gets near my tomato plants again. Clearly I’ve watched too many cartoons when I was a kid because now everything in my life seems to remind me of them.
My next guest was one of the locals, an old family friend Paulino along with a local Catholic Priest. I had heard of this sort of thing before where they go from house to house chatting with the townsfolk and then they offer to say a prayer and bless your house. Usually a small donation is offered in exchange.
I welcomed them both up to the house while trying to control my sister-in-law’s dog. He is the nervous type and will bite even me if I’m not careful. The Priest seemed fascinated with the tower and coat of arms on the wall and then he asked me if I was Catholic. After saying yes he offered to say a prayer right there on the patio with the dog barking wildly. Not able to release him I crouched down and tried to quiet him while the Priest did his thing. It was all in Italian so I couldn’t make out what the prayer was because I was too busy making sure that the dog was not going to make himself a Catholic Priest sandwich!
I don’t frequent church much and have to admit that lately I have wandered into most churches as a simple tourist. But I do have faith and quite often that is what has gotten me through the rough patches of my life.
The Priest gave me a very pretty paper with a prayer written on the back. On the front there’s a lovely drawing of Madonna and child with the words Nostra Signora dell’Orto. I had to laugh at the irony. Is it just a coincidence that this is my third attempt at planting an orto or was the Priest given a message from God to send help?