The narrator had passed over half life after a life full of adventures and lessons, and had retired in the provincial city that he loved. Here he bought a modest house, but enriched with an almost savage beautiful garden and a patch of orchard end of which the former owner planted two dozen vine.
Between the trees and under the smell of ripe grapes he spent autumn cores writing short stories, cautionary, as it was commissioned by the teachers of the wealthy merchants children. Before he send the ordered stories, he call the Artisan to read it to see what he thought about the core and wire of the story. He said he always likes that because the stories are surprising, but always feel drained after he listen to, even he get out sometime a tear from his eyelids. Could he, narrator, write a story with a happy end, of love? Yes, replied his friend and narrator, and the second day even start writing …
In a rich city, a true shining star of an empire of a hundred years ago living in peace without knowing war or internal political conflicts, lived one of the best known and most respected poets. His poems recited all over the Empire, and even beyond the borders of, and the songs composed in his lyrics soaked all hearts.
Everybody thought he is a happy man, all but those who knew him …
The Poet was hunched, and one of his legs was much shorter than the other … As compensation, his voice was like the voices of cherub, any song, how dull, played by him, going to the heart of those who listen to him.
Nobody pity the Poet, really, deformed as it was, since the enjoyed success compensate for other shortcomings. But the Poet was in love with the prettiest girl in town, Ballerina, courted by all the young men of the city. No one knew where she came from, she was tall and blond, and his curls falling down her back in waves high up the heels. Everyone, rich or less wealthy, was trying to win her love, and she was generous with smiles and gestures of encouragement. They crowded under her balcony to sing serenades, or submit piles of fresh, seasonal flowers.
Until, in love with Ballerina, the poet come under balcony to sing. His voice and the lyrics of the song conquest Ballerina; she get out to see him, but then his blue eyes lost their glow forever, because she shuddered when she saw the hideous creature. There never came other courtiers, frightened by the fame of the Poet and humbled by the quality of his serenades.
He remained consistent, year after year, many in number, singing under the balcony. Never knew if the one he loved was listening to him, if she looked at him, because he was suffering from deformities preventing him to look up at the balcony, but continued to sing until, due to old age, lost his voice. Then he buy a barrel organ and continue to come every night under the same balcony, spinning the crank of the machinery that drove metal sounds of a song composed by him, many, many years ago.
Almost he had lost all hope, until one evening, the front door opened and a figure appeared inside: an old woman as bent as him, coming out and grabbing his hand with affection. The poet looked at her and only the long hair to heels, the old snow-white now, made him realize that the old bent lady was the Ballerina who fell in love with many years ago …
(Translated from aMorale, by Marius Cilibia)