The following is from Bernardo Zannoni's My Stupid Intentions . Zannoni is an Italian author from Sarzana. He began working on his debut novel, My Stupid Intentions , at age 21. My father died because he was a thief. He stole three times from the Fields of Zò, and on the fourth the man caught him. He shot him in the belly, tore the chicken from his mouth, and tied him to a fence post as a warning. He left his partner with six kits on her plate, in the middle of winter, with the snow already on the ground. Through the blizzarding nights, all lumped together in the same big bed, we watched as our mother despaired in the kitchen, in the half light of the lamp under the den's low ceiling. “Damn it, Davis, damn it!” she cried. “Now what am I supposed to do? You stupid marten!” We watched her and didn't make a sound, huddled close against the cold. On my right was my brother Leroy and on my left Joshua, whom I never got to know. He must have died not long after he was born, perhaps crushed by our mother when she lay down for a nap. “You scoundrel!” she cried. “And now who's going to raise these orphans?” In those early days life was a beautiful feeling. Beneath the covers, breathing nice and easy, you drifted off into the most vivid sleep. You were fragile and strong, hidden from the world and waiting to venture out into it. “Who's going to raise them? Who's going to raise them?” our mother said. Then she would come over to the bed and lie down, offering us her belly. The moment I sensed it, I clung to it with all my strength. Instantly my siblings started scrapping for space. Leroy, the biggest, went barreling in, while the girls, Cara and Louise, teamed up. Otis, the youngest, was often the odd one out. “Who's going to raise them? Who's going to raise them?” our mother said. Every now and then I would feel her wince in […]
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