My father’s parents lived in a big farmhouse overlooking the bay. Their landlords were rich nobles who owned a lot of land and also owned a big house next door, which was their summer residence. They got on really well with my grandparents who looked after the little land they owned nearby and tended to their fruit trees and sold it for them.
There was a big pathway from the house of both families to the bay. Halfway down was the hidden garden in this story which my grandparents tended.
This story is imaginary but all places mentioned exist.
In those days, people were more trusting and mostly farmers or fishermen. They worked hard.
They were church-going and God-fearing people. Most of their food was homegrown and wine was homemade. Children were encouraged to have a sip of wine with meals regardless of age.
Older children looked after younger ones as most families were large and both parents worked in the fields to provide food.
This is a story of survival. The extreme measures found only in such cases.
The ensuing tenderness for the child that fate threw in Andrea’s way in his desperate hour and the new world formed thereby.
A glitch in time when the abnormal became normal and created a more tender and caring time albeit temporarily.