By Giovanni Galavotti, translated into English by Ruth Stephens
Chapter 1 – Happy Birthday!
Today is Michele’s birthday. He’s 10 years old.
It’s Sunday and, to celebrate, his parents take him, his brother and his sister to a funfair.
In Michele’s family there is his father, Luigi, who is 45, his mother Paola, 38, his brother, Antonio, 12, and his sister, Elisa, 14.
They all get into the car and go to a village fete. Michele, his brother and his sister try all the rides, or almost all: the dodgems, the pirate ship, the Russian mountains; but not the apple dip – that’s only for small children: Michele is big now!
Then, the whole Mattei family play the fish game. Luigi buys a number for Michele and it wins! A beautiful goldfish! Michele takes the plastic bag containing the water and the goldfish with a big smile; he’s very happy.
At home Michele puts the goldfish into a glass bowl with the water and carries it to the bedroom he shares with Antonio. He gazes lovingly at the goldfish and at bedtime he tells his mother:
“Today is the best day of my life!”