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Copyright, Kellscraft Studio
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Little Zitta lives in sunny Italy. Her father has a snug cottage. It stands on a mountain road.
Roses, and scarlet and blue flowers, almost hide the cottage door. Vines cover the roof.
Great white sweet lilies are in the garden. Crimson blossoms peep in at Zitta's bed-room window.
Zitta's mother keeps goats and rabbits, and many hens.
Zitta and Peppo, her baby-brother, stay out of doors nearly all day. The air is very soft and warm in Italy.
When Peppo is tired he has a drink of goat's milk, and lies down on the grass.
Zitta plays on her tambourine and sings to him. Soon he is asleep.
Then she takes up her distaff again and spins upon it. She spins long white threads from a roll of flax.
Zitta does this every day.
Her mamma weaves strong linen cloth from these threads for dresses and aprons and towels.
Many large chestnut trees grow upon her papa's land.
In September the prickly brown husks open. Out drop great glossy brown nuts.
Then her papa hires young girls to help pick them up.
Each picker has a canvas bag tied around her waist. She drops the chestnuts in.
These pickers work a month. Zitta's papa gives them two bags of chestnut flour for their work.
He sells many bags of nuts.
Flour is made from these chestnuts. Cakes and bread are made from this chestnut flour.
Every day Zitta and Peppo have boiled chestnuts for their dinner.
They drop a pinch of salt on the kernel of each nut before they eat it.
As soon as the chestnut harvest is over, papa, mamma and the children go to a great fair.
Then Zitta wears her holiday dress. It looks as if butterflies and roses were all over it.
It shines with blue and red and bright golden colors.
Look at her necklace and her earrings!
They were name-gifts from her grandmother when she was a baby.
Zitta was named after her grandmother.
For two years she has worn them on Sundays and holidays. She is ten years old now.
Scarlet ribbons lace her dainty slippers. A band of scarlet ribbon is tied over her glossy black hair. Her teeth are like pearls!
See her dark eyes full of fun! She has run to the garden to count over her bits of money.
Zitta has a purse of her own today. Papa bought it because she, too, helped to pick up chestnuts.
She is thinking what she will buy at the fair.
She is so happy she laughs all over her face as she lies there on the grass
"Zitta! Zitta!" calls her father. They are ready to start.
It is pleasant to walk down the cool mountain road.
Many cousins and friends are also on the way.
They all wear such gay caps and such bright beads!
The men wear scarlet and blue and brown caps, with long tassels.
The women wear high white caps, and handsome aprons.
Zitta shouts to the dove-colored oxen, aid the sheep and goats, that are feeding down on the plains.
She hears their bells tinkle, tinkle, tinkle.
She claps her hands as she thinks of the dancing bear she will see at the fair.
Good-by, little, laughing Zitta.