Gualverio Michelangeli lives on.
Charlotte, now in her thirties, has a child of her own. And her mother has updated me on the story of the frogs.
After so many Orvieto frogs came to live in Baltimore (with 2 very wise owls watching over them), Charlotte, still a child, made up many stories about their nightly adventures. Charlotte’s mom and dad made houses out of clay where each branch of the frog family lived because they wanted them to remember their home in the hill town and all the friends they had there.
Time passed. Charlotte grew up to become a lovely girl who met a nice young man and married him. All the while, the frogs stayed in Charlotte’s room having fun with her mountains of stuffed animals and patiently waiting for her return.
Then Charlotte and Patrick found a home of their own with lots of rooms – big enough for the frog families and the owls and just a few of Charlotte’s very best friends. The best part of their new house was that it looked across a big field to a pond where there were foxes, deer, squirrels, owls, cardinals, hawks, and – in the early spring – frogs!
Soon, the young couple had a big garden and a cat and a baby boy named Charlie. Charlotte loved Charlie and wanted her frog families to sing, chortle, twitter, and cluck to him as they did to her, so she put them all together in Charlie’s room. She left the owls in her study. (Charlotte needed their wisdom to help her with her job teaching little kids to read). Evenings after story time, the frogs sang lullabies to young Charlie until he fell asleep. They told him stories about what went on with the cat while he was visiting Charlotte’s parents (his Zaidie and Omo) during the day. After a few months, Charlie began to chortle, and trill, and whisper, and sing to his frogs in their language – Then, in March, just before Charlie’s first birthday – what do you think happened? The pond frogs outside his bedroom window began to sing!
Charlie’s friends had taught him well. When his parents and grandparents took him on carriage rides along the path near the pond, he could coo and trill to the pond frogs and hear their stories of ancient romances. He took their stories back to his frogs at home and they all felt deeply loved and appreciated.
All this adventure will go on forever because of Charlie’s Omo’s dear friend Erika, a craftsman who loved his home and his family, and a lovely shop in a beautiful hill town – Orvieto. How we miss them all.