Uncle Zio paused.

Aunt Emilia and he had decided not to share with Marco his parents’ story until absolutely necessary. 

Well, Uncle Zio decided, the boy is on a boat.  It was absolutely necessary to share the story now. 

“Your father was about to head out on another adventure.  He had returned to Venice to get some more gold and jewelry to bring as gifts and to trade.  As you know, Venice is famous for its beautiful jewelry and bobbles.” 

Marco had no idea what bobbles were but he let his uncle continue to talk, eager for more information.

“Niccolo had discovered that he could trade Venetian gold and jewels for all those presents of silks and spices he brought back with him.  As he was packing, he decided he needed just a bit more for his trip.  As he headed  into the marketplace, he entered a new shop that had just opened.  The young chick at the counter had her back to him polishing earrings and bracelets.”



excuse me, but i was wondering…

Niccolo Pollo

as she turned around, niccolo’s heart skipped a beat.



“That day, he stopped packing and did not leave for adventure again.  They were married immediately and set up home right in the corner of our chicken yard.  Life was very sweet for them.  They were so happy just to be together.  A few months later, you came to be.  

But your mother became very sick.  She developed a fever.  The fever made her very weak.  She couldn’t even lift her head.  Niccolo never left her side.  She died while he was holding her.”

Uncle Zio looked quickly at Marco to make sure he was okay.  The chick sat sadly and quietly, staring at the ship’s deck.  Uncle Zio wrapped his wing around him and pulled him tightly to his side.  

“Your father left later that night.  He couldn’t bear being there without your mother.  Aunt Emilia and I promised to keep you warm so that you would hatch into a strong, lively chick.”

A long silence passed between them.

The quiet was shattered by the loud bellowing of the ship’s horn. They were docking!



Go back to page 26 to finish the story!


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