Pubblicato in: Human English Version!

How to survive to a stalking dog and the art of being unable to cook

Border collies are dogs with strong personality and have an insatiable appetite. Brick is not only insatiable but he has also a “5 stars” taste. My neighbor is an excellent cook while I’m surely not, and therefore the smells coming from her kitchen are ever since like a drug for my family.
Brick broke a piece of the fence between our houses and always showed up for dinner and lunch. My neighbor’s dogs have all the time some delicacies: tuna macaroni, meatballs, grilled salmon but borders are real troopers and the poor dogs had not even the time to put their muzzles in their bowls that a gentledog thief was already coming back home licking his mustaches.

We mutually agreed, in order to keep good neighborhood relationships, to replace the old broken fence with a stronger and 1.80m high new one. Brick studied the issue seriously, measured the new fence covetously, stood on his rear paws to control the real height. Then he made his calculations: the time needed to climb over it was much more longer than the time food stayed in bowls, the neighbor’s dogs are slow not stupid.

Hence brick  changed his tactics. He stays in a strategic place to control through the fence the neighbors’ dinner table that can be perfectly seen if the window is open. He tries the hypnosis and it works. The neighbor surrenders and gives him a tidbit. He drools and looks at her gratefully ( she could call the animal care police if the doesn’t know us). She takes him some cheese and he loves cheese so much! Each meal some cheese. Borders are overbearing their sheep.
At the very beginning he barked softly to have the neighbors’ attention now he barks fiercely making them stand up to give him some cheese.

I was embarrassed that he went to his liking to the neighbors, now that he stalks them.
Today the smelling coming from their kitchen was one of real gourmand and the Tomato macaroni in my sons’ plates made such a sad impression that they looked at each other then looked at brick. I think they wished to be border collies.

Italian version Come convivere con un cane stalker e con l’arte di non saper cucinare

Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!, Fiutando Libri!, Human English Version!

Sniffing out books…! Fiutando libri!


Girl Detached by Manuela Salvi Higlly recommed for Young Adult!

(Italian version: Una ciotola di emozioni forti… è solo Letteratura! )

salviAleksandra has issues with her voice. Stress makes her stutter, and her life is one of stress. She can only speak clearly on stage, freed by the words of the character she plays. Then, when Aleksandra befriends her new neighbour Megan, and through her meets charming, handsome Ruben, it seems she has discovered a doorway into a different world, and a different Alek. But Ruben wants Aleksandra to play a particular role for him, and it is one that will come close to destroying her.



Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

To be or not to be: that’s the question…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACone or not cone that’s the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the insults of ointment, hydrogen peroxide, and the arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against Umi and fight to scatter her. Border and Bard share the same consonants. We are both English and Poets. Maybe he went to the aesthetic surgeon too instead of to the vet like me.

And yes! As far as my ear bitten by a pittbull is concerned Umi is doing “much ado for nothing”. And I, the Border from Stradford-upon-Adige, have enough of it. If I don’t pay attention the hole in the ear could open? Ok I will wear an earring! Like Will or Drake the Pirate did, or if you prefer like the sailors who survived to Cape Horn, where the ocean fight! I rounded Cape-of-Good-Hope-they-leave-me-in-peace and it do the same!

And, as my life was a sheakspearean tragedy there is also the scratching prohibition. Umi issued an edict: “any dog (as if we were a lot! ) scratching itself will be punished with a shout” that will pierce the eardrums but save the ear pavilion. When don’t wear the collar I must clean myself and being a Border I clean my hair. I don’t stink and then the “family jewels” must be well kept. No great strategist would ever won a battle if the artillery wasn’t properly oiled and the cannon-balls well polished.

dormiamoci su...
dormiamoci su…

Switching from tragedy to comedy like it happened at Will’s Globe, Umi and I met a man in the street who asked if I’m a male (what a question!). He has a little dog at leash, wearing a black&pink coat, I didn’t see at all, let’s figure to guess what it was!
He stood and gesticulate, he talked nonsense and Umi nodded patiently while I’m thrilling unpatiently…. and she kept on smiling doltish. Believe me, that man rounded Cape Horn twice but head down and he had even a screw loose.



I’m asking myself: should we be nice with every mad we meet? Under that pink coat he has a wheeled plastic duck , I tell you!
Let’s go Milady, please… For heaven’s sake, Umi, put it off!

In Italiano: To be or not to be that’s the question

Pubblicato in: Fiutando Libri!, Human English Version!

Fiera del Libro per Ragazzi di Bologna – Children’s Book Fair

pegDopo tre giorni alla Children’s Book Fair di Bologna mi rimane l’emozione di una fiera del cuore.

After three days at the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna the feeling it wasn’t simply a book fair but a real “heart fair” is still in me.

Sono appena rientrata dalla passeggiata mattutina con Bryce e lui, che è rimasto a casa per tre giorni a annoiarsi, è finalmente rilassato e felice di tornare alle nostre abitudini quotidiane. Bryce è sotto la mia scrivania, la casa è silenziosa, il tempo è uggioso.

I’m just come back from the morning walk with Bryce and he, who stayed three days at home annoying himself, is finally relaxed and happy to have our daily routine back. Bryce lies under my desk, the house is quite and the weather is gloomy.

Scrivere per ragazzi è per me un mestiere speciale, nei miei libri ci sono io e sempre io ci sono nelle relazioni umane che intreccio. Quella rete strana, fragile o d’acciaio che sono le amicizie. L’amicizia è uno dei temi che ricorre sempre nelle mie storie, l’amicizia è un valore che coltivo da sempre.

To write children stories is a very special job: I’m always in my books and I’m in all the human relationships I weave too, that peculiar, fragile or strong net forming friendship. And friendship is one of the main subjects of all my stories, it’s one of the values I’m always cultivating.

In questi tre giorni di fiera ho incontrato tante persone, ho capito che alcune amicizie sono salde e forti. Alle volte l’ho capito in un abbraccio o in un continuare a cercarsi: Sei al padiglione 29? Sto scappando a una presentazione! Andiamo ad ascoltare quell’autore, a sfogliare quel libro, a mangiare un panino…? Altre volte l’ho capito in quindici minuti di conversazione fitta fitta, condensata, piena di parole importanti.

During these three days I met a lot of people, I realized some friendships are strong and steady; sometimes I could understand it through a hug or just because we were keeping on searching each other: Are you at stand 29? I’m going to a reading… let’s go listening to that author, to read that book or to eat a sandwich??? Other times I realized it in a 15 minutes intense conversation full of important words.

Poi in fiera ho incontrato persone che volevo conoscere e in pochi minuti ho capito che l’empatia funziona anche tramite la rete internet e abbracciarsi è stata solo una conferma. So che quelle persone rimarranno nella mia vita di scrittrice, lettrice, promotrice dell’amicizia leale e senza barriere per la quale abbiamo con spontaneità gettato le basi.

At the fair I met people I would like to know and in a few seconds I felt that empathy works also through internet and to embrace each other is a further proof of it. I know those people will stay forever in my life as a writer, reader and promoter of leal and no barrier friendship, for which we spontaneously lay the foundations.

Il mio ultimo libro era sul banco dell’editore. Gli occhi magnetici del gatto mi hanno incoraggiato, rassicurato, guidato e una filiera di bellezza e di positività nel mondo dei libri per ragazzi si è rivelata ai miei occhi. Autori, editori, lettori, bibliotecari e librai che credono nel potere dei libri onesti, quelli che regalano emozioni e aiutano tutti noi a crescere. Continuano a tornarmi in mente le parole di Roberto Piumini che, sintetizzate, esortano a non banalizzare. Non banalizziamo il potere della letteratura per ragazzi, alimentiamolo con passione sincera e semineremo bellezza.

My last novel was on the editor stand. The magnetic cat’s eyes encouraged, reassured, guided me and a beauty and positiveness die in the children books’ world revealed to my eyes. Authors, editors, readers, librarians and booksellers believing in honest books’ power, those giving emotions and helping us to grow. Since then Roberto Piumini’s words are still in my mind. Shortly they urged us not to trivialize. Don’t trivialize children literature’s power but instead let’s feed it with honest passion and we will spread beauty.

Nel mondo di oggi si può, forse, chissà… ci crediamo?

In today’s world it could be possible… we can, perhaps, maybe… do we believe in it?

WP_20160406_17_11_52_Pro (2)

Sono tornata a casa da Bologna con tanti libri, alcuni con dediche meravigliose e dolcissime e con il libro del piccolo Sheepdog che tanto assomiglia a Brik. L’editore scozzese Floris Books non poteva vendermi quel libro che i miei occhi avevano individuato il primo giorno con un’attrazione fatale. Chi ha disegnato quel cane lo conosce bene e un legame invisibile che sfida la distanza e la velocità della luce si è creato immediatamente. L’editore ne ha messo da parte una copia e l’ultimo giorno me l’ha regalata. Io ho regalato in cambio una copia di Echino dove c’è l’articolo del Brik. Non è stato un contatto di lavoro, è stata una relazione umana tra persone, passata attraverso il mio inglese approssimativo e le pagine dei libri. Ho ricevuto in dono un libro che adoro e la gentilezza di un’editor scozzese.

I came home from Bologna with lots of books, some even with beautiful and very sweet dedications, and with a special book about a little Sheepdog who is so very like Brik. The Scottish editor Floris Books couldn’t sell to me that book, which fatally attracted my eyes from the very first day… who drow this dog, knows him very we’ll and an invisible relationship, challenging distance and the speed of light, created immediately. The editor kept one copy for me and last day she gave it to me. In exchange for it I gave her a copy of Echino, where there is an article of Brik.
It wasn’t a work contact but a real human relationship fed by my inaccurate English and some book’s pages. I have been given the book I adore and the kindness of a Scottish editor. (… and compliments to Sandra Klaassen!)


Sandra Klassen di Floris Books:


brik manoscritto

Come nascono le storie…

Notes Edizioni:

Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

Frankly, I don’t give a damn

Sheepdog, sheep, flock control are part of a Border Collie work, and yet Brick slights them. He likes to taste the sheep poop pralines and to bark to the hens in the near fence. He barks offensively aloud to the horses but he is not interested in the sheep. At least this is Umi’s idea after a few sheep control lessons that she and Bryce did together.


But other thoughts go through young Brick’s mind, while he rests dirty and tired.

“I ask myself: why should I gather 4 afraid sheep? Ok, I’m a border and if you take me to a farm in a boundless moor with a flock to be led to a sheepfold I could bustle. But in a fence, with the sheep I feel myself uncomfortable then the poor animals are fed up to give lessons to a dog, the teacher explains to the people what to do and they do it, they improvise themselves shepherds and dogs engage and some even try to bite the sheep. Istantanea 8 (12-02-2016 22-04)The dogs, the ordinary ones, don’t know that during serious sheepdog competitions biting the sheep shank is a serious penalty. They can even be disqualified only for a bite! I don’t want to be the jaguar’s friend or rewrite Tom and Jerry subverting the things natural order, but I’m sorry for those wooly heads, all day long going around foolishly in a fence, going in and out the gates risking the shanks only to entertain humans! We, the borders, control the sheep with our look, our eyes give order…. let German Shepherd join the Police and leave us the dirty job! Paws get muddy, hair puffs up and our magnetic eyes order the rebel sheep to go back to the flock. Istantanea 10 (12-02-2016 22-06)That happens in Scotland or in the Alp pastures, not in the riding school fence behind the house. There you annoy the hens because a serious border has mostly a nuisance nature. He is irreverent, virtually scoundrel, and extremely clever to understand when a human needs to be cuddled. We, the borders, love to converse with horses, they have great empathy and irony, we gladly exchange a few jokes when we met. As far as the pralines are concerned… everyone has his own weaknesses and tastes… and it’s real vegan food!

In italiano… L’amico del giaguaro

Pubblicato in: Canine English Version!

Rain and fire

It’s raining, I just came back, the rain makes me completely humid. I was well dried and rubbed. Now I’m lying on then carpet by the fire burning in the fireplace. I hear Umi working in the kitchen but I know I don’t need to get up because according to my brothers when she is there she only plays with the chemistry set…

IMG_6568 - CopiaTherefore I keep watching at the fire! Rain reminds me at something I don’t know but that is in me somewhere. It doesn’t bother me to have wet hair, my undercoat keeps me warm and dry. I love running in the rain, it makes me electric! If I close my eyes, stung by the flames’heat, I can imagine myself working on my canine ancestors’cold hills, I hear the shepherds’ whistles, the mud soaking my paws while I rally big and nervous sheeps. My young body’s energy busts in the control and gathering work, and overcomes cold and danger and even the stony ground scratching my fingertips.

I open my eyes on my pack, the pack I love like only dogs can do. My human brother, that I wake up every morning with my humid nose, that I push out of the door and follow with my eyes till he leaves the house alleyway (not for nothing, but if he looses the bus I must “keep it” till we take him downtown to the school). To wake up my other brother I must jump on him with all my four paws! But… how much do the humans sleep? Then there is Umi… you can’t even imagine how much patience I need with her! She stops to talk with an old couple: the lady has a stick, the dog has not… but I’m sure it would be useful to him too… Umi softens and every time is almost moved: the dog was her husband’s, who died some years ago. The ambulance came to talk him and since then the dog doesn’t bear the siren’s sound. Before dying at the hospital the old man was worried about his dog’s future and since then his wife always keeps the dog by her side as she was the husband. Life, old age, and death: that’s the way it goes. Stop moving every time! I close my eyes and let the fire heat warm my hair and bones. The rain smell is still in my nostrils… I could be elsewhere, there, where my nature would like to be… but I’m here and here I’m useful.

In italiano … Pioggia e fuoco

Pubblicato in: Human English Version!, Ragionando di un cane di nome Brik...

… è tutta questione di naso! … it’s just a matter of nose!

WP_20151111_09_23_57_ProBryce al parco gioca con la sua pallina. Gli chiedo di stare fermo, la lancio e lui potrà andare a recuperarla solo quando io dirò: OK!!!

At the park Bryce plays with his  ball. I ask him to stay, I throw it and he can go to fetch it only when I say: OK!!!

E’ inverno pieno, ma il freddo quest’anno è arrivato tardi. Un tappeto di foglie morbide di bruma, gialle, rosse e arancioni ricopre il terreno. Arriva un Beagle femmina. Una simpatica cagnolona sovrappeso e allegra. Tiro lontano la pallina e Bryce corre a cercarla. Si lancia all’inseguimento, salta, affonda nelle foglie, si rotola e infila il naso nell’erba alla ricerca della sua preda di caucciù.

It is midwinter, but the cold arrived late this year. A carpet of soft, misty, red, yellow and orange leaves covers the ground. A female beagle arrives. A nice, overweight and cheerful dog. I throw the ball far away and Bryce run to search it. He gives chase, jumps, sinks in the leaves.  He rolls and sticks it’s nose to the grass searching its rubber prey. 

Arriva Wendi, la Beagle, al trotto e senza neanche abbassare troppo il naso sul terreno segue le tracce della pallina. Bry ha sollevato terra e goccioline di bruma con la coda a spazzola e allegro perlustra tutto intorno: gira e rigira e cerca. Fiuta e s’accanisce nella caccia come un lupo nel bosco. Wendi non devia il percorso, che sa già essere il più breve per arrivare alla pallina, e non ci mette neanche dieci secondi a scovarla sotto il fWP_20151111_09_23_48_Proogliame e a prenderla in bocca. Con occhi dolci e orecchie morbide come una cascata di capelli castani guarda Bryce: se non avesse la pallina tra i denti si potrebbe pensare che sorrida.

Wendy, the beagle, arrives trotting and even without lowering to much her nose to the ground, she follows the ball’s tracks. Bryce lifts ground and mist drops with his brush-shaped tail and cheerfully scouts all around: he turns and turns and searches. He sniffs and insists hunting like a wolf in the wood. Wendy doesn’t change her route, that she knows to be the shortest one to the ball. She needs less than 10 seconds to find and take it in her mouth. With sweet eyes and soft ears that remind a soft cascade of brown hairs, she looks at Bryce: if she hadn’t the ball in her mouth you could think she is smiling.

Lui si immobilizza: coda ritta, posa plastica e negli occhi una muta domanda: “Ma dove diavolo era intanata quella furbissima pallina? L’ho cercata ovunque!”

He Stands motionless: straight tail, proud pose and a silent question in his eyes: “But where on earth was that smart ball? I looked for it everywhere!”

Caro border, è tutta questione di naso!

Dear border, it’s just a matter of nose!