Last month there were 2 mufloni in the garden of Blevio’s mayor, eating the mayor’s lettuce. Blevio is the village where our house is in Italy. Mufloni seem to be some kind of Italian mountain goat. There are many reasons we have a fence around our yard, but I didn’t know this was one of them…
One of my favorite stories from 2009 involves the wild animals around Blevio. After Christmas, Fabio and I decided to have the nephews, Luca (age 8 ) and Stefano (age 6), over for a sleepover.
The grand finale of the sleepover adventure was to hike them up the old Roman cobblestone road that runs behind the house and up the mountain. We had never explored the walk and always wanted to.
The nephews required more incentive. Fabio explained that we would be “hunting cinghiale“… wild boar.
This sounded far-fetched to my mother, but there are definitely wild boar in the woods behind our house. Last summer, one determined boar broke through our fence and rooted up some new plantings. Just for fun, I imagine. The gardener and chingiale had a stare down, then it trotted off into the woods.
So back to this cold day after Christmas… The sun was taking its time coming over the mountain and we were getting bundled up to go outdoors. As I was squashing Stefano’s hat over his blonde head, with wide blue eyes, he whispered “Potremmo morire?”
I only understand about 50% of what this nephews say. Thank goodness I understood this. “No.” I laughed. We were not going to die hunting wild boar on our walk this morning.
Stefano clearly didn’t believe me. Walking up the steep cobblestone path, he was amassing a collection of sticks and rocks to defend us. I volunteered to carry some of the stick-spears, since he was barely moving forward under the weight of some of the stones.
We saw deer and bunny tracks, summer cabins, and snow, but never a whiff of a boar. Stefano was foot stompingly upset about this on the walk back. Fabio took it as the opportunity to teach a lesson. “Hunting chingiale isn’t like going to the supermarket, Stefano. You can’t just order one or pick it up of the shelf.” Pazienza.
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