Grapevine Window

July 9, 2008
By Jeanne Capanelli, Commack, NY

Up in an old village in Naples, Italy there lived an old married couple Maria and Pasquale who where in their late seventies. The old women was a very sick women and the old man, who was not much better himself took care of his aging wife. The couple had three children Roberto, Angelo, and Rosetta. They also had seven grandchildren Marco, Rocco, Christina, Gino, Gianna, Adrianna, and little Antonio.

One day the seven grandchildren came to visit their aging nonni (grandparents). Maria cooked up a large pot of pasta as she always did when her grandchildren came to visit. She set down the large pot and started to serve the little children despite the pains that she had.

When the meal was done the children sat at the foot of their Nonna’s bed to which she tried every night after dinner. “Tell us a story Nonna!” Christina begged.

“Yes, yes a story Nonna,” the other children echoed.

“ I suppose I could find a story in my old mind for you children,” the old women said.

And so the story began.... “Once upon a time there was a beautiful mistress that lived in a tower high above the sea. She did not get out much but she did admire a young farmer that worked in a nearby field parallel to her bedroom window. He was quit aware of her admiring stare and returned the jester every time he got the chance. Although they both knew nothing about each other they were in love,” Maria shifted in her bed.

“Not another sappy love story Nonna!” Rocco cried.

“Oh hush child and let your old Nonna continue,” and so she did. “She sat in her room and admired his golden tan body, jet black hair, and manly structure of which he was built. He too would sit on breaks and admire her long brown hair, soft expressions, and dainty ways. She wanted to go out to meet with him so badly, however her father would not let her out of the house. “Papa please just once let me out of the house, I am no longer a small ill child,” she pleaded one day with her father.

“No, you are ill. Very ill and will not leave this house,” her father said. She knew she was not ill however. Her father just could not get over the fact that she was once a sick child. She had three brothers also who agreed with her fathers doing.

The young farmer, not aware of this was determined to meet with her. So one night he decided he would do just that. Sneaking out of his bedroom window he slyly made his way to the young mistresses house in the cover of nightfall. It was a cool summer night and he would not be easily heard over the loud night bugs and animals,” the grandmother shifted again.

“He climbed a nearby grape vine,” the grandfather broke in. “The window was not too far up and he would have climbed a thousand feet to meet his love who he has had yet to speak with. As he was half was up he called, “Mistress, mistress, it is me the farmer. Are you awake?”

He was answered by a small voice, “Oh yes, yes. I am awake, will you come up?”
He climbed farther up the vine until he got to the cut out window of which he climbed into. “Oh! Oh! You have finally come. Tell me, what is your name?” the young girl cut in quickly.

“So you have been waiting? I am Franco and you miss?,” Franco answered.

“I am Belinda, and yes I guess I have”

“I have seen you watching me in the fields for years. You fancy me I see?”

Belinda looked into Franco’s navy blue eyes of which she had seen for the first time. “Well I could say the same. I have seen you looking back for years.”

“So that would be a yes?”

“Yes it would be,” they both gave a shy smile. He looked at her dark brown eyes which he was also seeing for the first time. “What would be your cognome?” Belinda asked.

“Does it matter?” asked Franco.

“No, but im just wondering. If it helps mine is Conici.”

“Belinda Conici, I like it.”

“So yours would be?”


“Belinda DeMarco, I like it more.”

“Waaaaaaaait a second,” Gianna cut in. “Isn’t our last name DeMarco?”

Pasquale gave no mind to the child and went on, “Franco looked at Belinda. “I must go,” he sadly reported.

“Will you come back?” Belinda asked.

“Ever night until you are mine,” Franco climbed down the vine. And he did just that he came back forty-nine times. Until, one night he turned to her and said. “Will you come with me?”

“Come where?” Asked Belinda.

“Anywhere, come with me,” his eyes were pleading even though they didn’t have to. Belinda Agreed without giving a second thought. She gave no mind to her soposed “sickness” and just ran with him. And she never looked back,” the old man looked at his grandchildren’s faces.

“Where are they now?” Gino asked.

“Sitting, telling a story to their seven grandchildren in a small cottage in Naples,” they answered.

“But the characters had different names than you,” Adrianna said.

“We couldn’t give it all away,” Maria answered.

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