Feliciano Vargas lay in bed, sleeping peacefully. The time is closing in on 7:00am and, of course, this is usually about the time when ________, his young daughter, decides to get out of bed and come and wake him up. You know what day today is, though. Its chocolate day. Okay, so your papa had explained why Easter is celebrated, but being five, you dont really take much notice.
So, you put on a pair of bunny ears, looking rather adorable, and went next door to your papas room, pushing the door open with a quiet creak.
Your father is a heavy sleeper, so you need to go right up to his bed to wake him. The bunny ears on your head start to tickle his face as you lean close to him, grinning. He frowns and reaches up to brush away whatever is irritating him, but your giggle causes him to open one eye.
He instantly returns the smile and sits up, saying, Buongiorno, Bella! Dont-a you look adorable?! He picks you up and sits you on his lap so he can hug you, kissing your cheek.
Buongiorno, papa! Im a bunny! you say, giggling as he tweaks the bunny ears gently.
Of course! Are you-a ready to go and collect eggs, ________? he asks.
You nod enthusiastically, but Feliciano has to find a way to keep you entertained whilst he hides the little eggs outside.
He could call Ludwig. He did say he was coming over today, after all, and he was probably awake by now, out jogging or something.
Feli tells you to go and get dressed, so you do, and once youre gone he picks up his phone and dials Ludwigs number.
Hallo, Feliciano, Ludwig answers.
Ludwig, can you come over? I need to distract-a ________ so I can hide eggs outside! Feli tells him.
Easter eggs? Ja, of course. Ill be right over.
what about your brother?
He went out with Toni last night and didnt come home. I need-a you to come over now!
Alright, Im on my way, dont panic.
He hangs up, so Feli gets himself dressed and then goes to find you in your bedroom, struggling to do the zipper on your dress up as its at the back and you cant reach. Feli kneels down so he can help you before putting the bunny ears back on your head.
Grazie, papa, you say, smiling. You can speak some Italian, but you arent fluent. You know enough to have a small conversation, which impressed Feli.
Prego, ________. Now, we should give-a you some breakfast first. What would you like?
You think about this for a second before saying in a sing-song voice, Pasta~!
Italy laughs, As good as that-a sounds, how about-a biscotti?
Si! you nod and he picks you up, carrying you downstairs and sitting you at the table. He finds the pre-made biscotti and pours you a glass of milk and then makes himself some coffee, joining you at the table.
After you have both eaten, you hear the doorbell ring and follow your papa to go and answer it.
Uncle Ludwig! you say, happily, as he greets Feli and then picks you up for a hug.
Guten Morgen, ________. Are you a rabbit? he asks, smiling at you as he taps one of the long ears on top of your head.
Si! Papa is going to help me find eggs outside!
________, why dont you sit with Zio Ludwig for a moment and Ill go and check that theres a basket for you to put them in, Feli says before dashing off and out of the back door, ready to hide the little chocolate eggs around the garden. You sit with Uncle Ludwig on the couch, colouring pictures in your colouring book with crayons, insisting that Ludwig help you colour them too. He only does a little part, slowly so that you can fill in the rest by yourself. This goes on for about ten minutes until your papa comes back, a little out of breath from racing around to find suitable hiding places for each colourful chocolate.
Okay, ________, you can put them in this! he announces, handing you a little basket. You slide off of the couch and take your papas hand, holding the basket in your other hand, and he takes you outside, followed by Ludwig. You go running off around the garden in the directions that your papa prompts you to go. He stands with Ludwig, a smile on his face.
Are you alright, Feliciano? he asks.
Si. Ive got ________. Im fine, Feli replies. He sees you shimmy under the hedge and then yell with delight when you find a pink chocolate prize. He chuckles, Shes gets more like her mama every single day, you know.
Ja, I can see that, Ludwig nods.
Its not as hard as I thought it would be. I know I have to stay strong for ________, but even though I miss her mama terribly, its okay.
Youve done well, Feli. Ludwig puts his hand on Felis shoulder for a moment.
Papa! I cant find them! you say.
Check Zio Lovinos tomatoes, Feli replies, but then suddenly adds, But be careful not to break any, si?
You carefully edge around the tomatoes, knowing your uncle could have a bit of a short temper. He went out with Uncle Toni last night to Pick up the chicas and never came back. You werent sure what this meant and Papa simply told you they went out to make friends.
When you had found two more eggs in the tomato garden, your papa called you out and told you to look by the flowers.
How many did you hide? Ludwig asks him.
Fifteen little ones. Theres a bigger one under the kitchen table, he whispers back, grinning.
He gives you a hand when you start to struggle finding them, but once each little egg is in your basket, he tells you theres something in the kitchen. Youre not silly. The first place you check is under the table, finding a bigger egg in pink foil with a red bow on the top on one of the chairs, hidden from view by the tablecloth.
I found it! you declare, hugging it to your chest.
Well done, bella! Papa says, smiling at you. He lets you have a little egg before lunch. Ludwig stays, poking at the pasta presented to him and then eating it politely.
This is the point when Lovino arrives home. He walks in and says, Ciao, Feliciano.
Ciao, fratello! Feli replies.
You jump up and run over to him, hugging his leg. He smiles fondly at you as you say, Zio Lovino!
He picks you up and says, Ciao, bambina. Come stai?
He looks at Ludwig sat on the couch. What are you doing here, you potato basta- he pauses, glancing at you in his arms, and finishes with,
Fratello, dont be mean. Its Easter!
Lovino grumbles something and sits in the armchair, scowling, keeping you on his lap as youre hanging onto his neck. You reach up and take the rabbit ears off of your head and put them on his, trying to cheer him up. He cant help but smile, Grazie, ________. Sei così carino. Buona Pasqua.
Happy Easter, Zio, you reply with a big smile.
So, how was your night out, fratello? Feli asks.
Non va bene. Ho soggiornato a casa di Toni. Nessuno era fuori, he replies with a shrug.
Did you pick up the chicas, Zio? you ask, innocently oblivious. This causes Feliciano and Ludwig to burst out laughing, Lovino staring in disbelief at his young niece.