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Befana to the Rescue


"It's Befana Day!" hollered the Wombat as he ran down the hallway just before 6 o'clock. If you're Italian, you know who Befana is. If you're unfamiliar, Befana is a woman on a broomstick, enticed by gifts of wine, who brings treats for all the girls and boys on the eve of the Epiphany. A baking, tipsy witch. Sounds like my kinda gal.

I was in the middle of my second 1-minute plank and sweat was pouring from my brow. Shhhhhhhhhhhhh....I hissed. People are sleeping. "You're not sleeping, Mom." True. But please just be quiet, okay?

D stepped over me with our tattered copy of The Legend of Old Befana in his hands, curled up under a blanket, and watched me finish my workout. As soon as I was finished, he burst, "Do you think Befana brought me something?"

Go check, I urged as I rolled over and did my best corpse pose. Maybe if I stay really still he'll forget I'm here! I thought.


After a squeal of delight, he bellowed, "Mom, come here. I need you to read the note. It's in Italian." I had him try to decipher it with what little Italian he knows and cognates from Spanish. He got the gist of it.


She brought you a tronchetto di Natale - an Italian Bûche de Noël - because we didn't make one for your birthday.

"Oh, may I eat it for breakfast?"

Yes.

"Really?!?" he looked at me, waiting for some clarifying statement.

Sure. But you have to share.

"Deal!"


He eagerly divided the meringue mushrooms between plates; he carefully sliced thin portions of the cake and placed them on the plates. Just then, Jake and R came to the table.

Cake for breakfast? Jake asked. He looked at me, Did you get that at Sweet Elena's?

"No! Befana brought it," I said, maybe a little too loudly.

Yes, Daddy! Befana saved Mommy. Since Mommy didn't make me a Bûche de Noël for my birthday, Befana brought an Italian version for me. And, we're eating it for breakfast.

R piped up, "Cool. Cake for breakfast. Befana to the rescue."

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