The cardinal finished speaking. Six, wide-eyed boys peered up at him. Fresh in their minds were images of the grey, grinning gargoyle, the two brothers carrying home treasure, the donkey trotting amidst palm branches and of course, the white-fanged wolf who seemed less scary now. When the cardinal brushed dirt off his red robes, ready to depart, little Paolo begged: “Please tell us one more…please?”
The priest-attendant stopped to examine the sky, minding it was late and shook his head. Cardinal Fratelli strode towards him, inciting many groans of disappointment. Paolo’s small finger dug into the train of his garment and he couldn’t bear to turn away.
“Alright then, I shall tell only one more story,” the cardinal said.
The boys cheered and resumed their places at his feet, Antonio standing, behind Stefano who squatted down, Paolo fidgeting beside them. Wasting not a moment, Cardinal Fratelli began his next tale:
“Two large stones once sat on a tall hilltop. They longed to see what lie on the hill’s other side but could not move themselves. Seeing a mouse, they asked him, “Please go to the hill’s other side and tell us what is there.”
Returning, the mouse said, “Tall grass is on the other side; towering mushrooms and lofty mountains. The creatures there are gigantic.”
No doubt, the rocks were surprised. So, when an eagle perched nearby, they asked her “Please go to the hill’s other side and tell us what is there.”
Returning, the eagle said, “There’s short grass, tiny flowers and small pebbles. The creatures there are itsy-bitsy.”
Then, a man came along, dragging a huge log and the rocks asked him, “The hill’s other side is a wondrous world that we’ve never seen, please carry us there!”
The man obliged. He tied both stones together and lugged them to the other side of the hill. Once there, the stones peered about eagerly. However, they found that this side of the hill looked exactly like the other… So do not be ungrateful for what you have my children."