Days of the Blackbird


Here is another tale on how THE DAYS OF THE BLACKBIRD in Northern Italy came to be:


Gemma lived with her father in a house with a courtyard full of birds of all colours. Unfortunately, at the end of one summer, the  man fell seriously ill. He had to  stay in  bed and the only thing that soothed him was the singing of the birds outside his window.

One bird’s song in particular was his favourite – that of a white bird that his daughter  had named Colomba (Dove). But it was getting colder and colder and, little by little, the birds started to  leave the tree outside the window. Gemma tried to get them to stay to enjoy her sick father with their songs, hanging  warm baskets on the trees and putting  seeds out  for them. She hoped to keep the birds from leaving, but soon almost all of them flew south to stay warm.

 Only one loyal bird remained, the white Colomba.

It was the end of January, and the winter was at its coldest but Colomba was still there, singing  for Gemma’s father. During a terrible storm  the bird sought  refuge in a chimney where it could keep warm. The following  morning, the girl  found out that it  had been turned black by the soot.  It was no  longer the white Colomba, but the black Merla (Blackbird).

The coldest day passed, the weather became warmer and thanks to  the bird’s singing Gemma’s father got better. But the Blackbird remained black.



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