Saved by the Ficara
It was September of 1943. Thirty-two year old Maria Caterina was a solitary female aiding to take care of her younger sis and also her papa. Her 4 bothers were somewhere out in the battle theater of World War 2. No news has actually been received from them for quite a long time currently. Rumours distributed the town that a minimum of two had been taken prisoner, yet no-one understood for sure.
She took the usual walk down into the gully where her family vegetable yard lay on the actions dug out from the side of the mountain.
She climbed the ancient ‘ficara’, which indicated fig tree in their neighborhood dialect. The base of the tree was so big that two people embracing it on contrary sides would certainly not have the ability to join hands. She thoroughly made her method up a thick branch, slowly inching her way towards components heavily stuffed with ripe figs.
She was wearing a ‘fardale’, dialect for an apron, and maintained stuffing the pockets with fresh selected figs. She consumed one, then one more. They were so sweet. She extended to grab one specific fat juicy fruit when she believed she listened to men’s voices. They were yelling. She stopped to listen. Unexpectedly, something exploded near the base of the tree. Dust went up anywhere and also she listened to little objects whistling passed her ear, chopping down leaves and also fruit as they flew by. She closed her eyes, and after that all hell broke loose.
A team of soldiers entered her view, and they were running back towards the village. They were using German uniforms. She understood that due to the fact that they had been occupying the village for months currently. Stone’s throw behind them were various other soldiers. They looked different as well as both groups were shooting at each other. One German obtained shot in the leg and 2 of his compatriots grabbed him leaving the man’s rifle behind. She cursed as she realised she was in the center of some fight … stuck, high up on the ficara.
She shut her eyes and also hung on to the thick branch for her dear life. There was so much shouting, shouting and also guns standing out off all over the place. No-one had detected her perched there, high up on the tree, however surges proceeded. She really felt the figs present of her pockets and go down to the ground beneath her. She was also hectic holding on. It lasted only a few mins but to Maria Caterina it felt an eternity.
This tale was relayed to me directly by Maria Caterina, my auntie. It was remarkable to hear her recount this occasion, greater than once. She passed away in 2006 only two months reluctant of her ninety-sixth birthday. This was her account of the Allied pressures liberating her town of Santa Caterina dello Ionio located in the highlands of Calabria, province of Catanzaro. That fig tree was completely destroyed in the fires that experienced that location, I think around 1987.