ERODITO, A MOUSE AT THE VILLA. A TALE FOR YOUNG AND OLD.
I’m Erodito, the old, old ghost of a simple country mouse. I sneak into the libraries of old villas, castles and palazzos and I gobble up words – Latin words, the tastiest words of all! Not herbs, but verbs! I nibble them from the parchment pages of antique books and historical documents. That’s how I got my name, Erodito – just perfect for a book-loving library mouse.
My friend Count Rattazio gave me my name – he has a fabulous family library in his villa, and he invites me over to feast on luscious Latin words. I’m always on the hunt for new libraries, new books and new words to taste. But I’m a very polite mouse – I only come when I’m invited: all you have to do is close your eyes, think of me and say “Erodito, hic et nunc” and I’ll be there in a flash, scampering among the bookshelves, happily helping myself to a first course and a second course and dessert. The invitations I like best are from high-spirited children, like Count Rattazio’s three grandchildren, who came from America and discovered in their grandfather’s big villa a secret room full of classical Latin books: what a delicious surprise! A paradise for my bookish appetite! So many mouthwatering new words I’ve never tried before, on pages thought to be long-lost!
What’s that you say? “Books aren’t for eating”? Ah, never fear – the words I devour aren’t destroyed; on the contrary, they feed my mind and satisfy my hunger for knowledge, and once I’ve digested them, I love to share them and teach them to other fellows. Would you like to try it, too? Alright, then – think of me, call on me and show me the old villa libraries you discover, and we’ll savor and learn the very best Latin words together! Remember, all you have to say is “Erodito, hic et nunc, here and now”. Thanks, kids – and now, start exploring!