Conserved by the Ficara

It was September of 1943. Thirty-two years of age Maria Caterina was a single woman helping to look after her more youthful sibling and her dad. Her 4 bothers were somewhere out in the war theater of Globe War 2. No information has been gotten from them for rather some time currently. Rumours distributed the village that at least two had been taken prisoner, however no-one knew for sure.

She took the normal stroll down right into the gully where her family members vegetable garden lay on the steps removed from the side of the mountain.

She climbed up the ancient ‘ficara’, which implied fig tree in their local dialect. The base of the tree was so huge that 2 people hugging it on opposite sides would not be able to join hands. She very carefully made her method up a thick branch, gradually inching her means in the direction of parts greatly laden with ripe figs.

She was putting on a ‘fardale’, dialect for an apron, and also kept stuffing the pockets with freshly picked figs. She ate one, then another. They were so sweet. She stretched out to order one certain fat juicy fruit when she thought she listened to men’s voices. They were screaming. She quit to pay attention. Instantly, something took off near the base of the tree. Dust went up all over and also she listened to tiny items whistling passed her ear, cutting down fallen leaves and fruit as they flew by. She shut her eyes, and afterwards all heck broke loose.

A group of soldiers came into her sight, and they were running back in the direction of the town. They were wearing German attires. She recognized that since they had been occupying the village for months now. Stone’s throw behind them were various other soldiers. They looked different as well as both teams were contending each various other. One German got fired in the leg and two of his countrymen ordered him leaving the male’s rifle behind. She cursed as she knew she was in the center of some battle … stuck, high up on the ficara.

She shut her eyes as well as held on to the thick branch for her dear life. There was so much shouting, yelling as well as weapons popping off all over the place. No-one had identified her perched there, high up on the tree, however surges continued. She felt the figs turn out of her pockets and go down to the ground underneath her. She was too hectic hanging on. It lasted only a few mins however to Maria Caterina it felt an infinity.

This story was passed on to me personally by Maria Caterina, my aunt. It was interesting to hear her recount this occasion, greater than once. She died in 2006 only 2 months timid of her ninety-sixth birthday. This was her account of the Allied forces liberating her town of Santa Caterina dello Ionio situated in the highlands of Calabria, province of Catanzaro. That fig tree was entirely destroyed in the fires that went through that location, I assume around 1987.