It's a great pleasure and joy to present the new Betty MacDonald Essay written by unique Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor Member, artist and author Letizia Mancino.
Thanks a million dear Letizia Mancino for sharing this very funny and charming story.
It doesn't surprise us at all that Letizia Mancino got so many international fans.
What an outstanding writer and artist!
It has been translated in english language by Mary Holmes.
Dear Mary Holmes we are so grateful for your excellent translation.
Thank you so much.
Letizia Mancino's very supportive husband Prof. Dr. Christoph Cremer documented it with photos.
Thanks a Million for this. We hope we'll be able to see the photos some day.
By the way Prof. Dr. Cremer recently celebrated his birthday.
Happy birthday dear Prof. Dr. Cremer and thanks a million for your support.
We are a bit jealous that Betty MacDonald Fan Club founder and Betty MacDonald Memorial Award winner Wolfgang Hampel has the most wonderful friends.
Lucky Wolfgang Hampel!
As you know you can win several very interesting prices if you can answer the question of our new Betty MacDonald Fan Club Contest.
Where did Betty MacDonald describe the experiences with her 'Camembert' ?
The answer is easy, isn' t it.
Now read and enjoy!
Many greetings to beloved Letizia Mancino, Mary Holmes, Prof. Dr. Cremer, Wolfgang Hampel and 'Mr. Tigerli'!
The mouse and I
Copyright 2012 by Letizia Mancino
All rights reserved
english translation by Mary Holmes
"The place is occupied! I have a new guest. I haven’t invited him! He makes an terrible amount of mess for me to clear up! No less than your beloved chickens!”
“So an uncivilized fellow? Tell me, who is he, what’s his name?”
‘Perhaps! But he could be a German or an Italian. It doesn’t matter! Camembert is a mouse!”
“A mouse? How did he come to you?”
“You’d better ask Tigerli!”
“Is it possible? The Dolcevita cat is also a hunter?”
“Yes, Tigerli brings me many dead mice, Renate has lied to me, Betty: “Never a mouse from Tigerli” she told me. In reality Tigerli presented me not only with this mouse but many more. He must have caught Camembert and now I have Camembert in my studio!”
Betty laughed, “The Mouse and I! Come on Bert!”
"There’s nothing to laugh about, Betty! Recently I wished that I had no cat! Maledetto Tigrellinaccio!”
But Maledetto Tigrellinaccio loves you!”
"Yes, but I don’t have time for painting any more. Tigerli here, Tigerli there! Brush me! Feed me, give me delicious titbits, not this boring food! Olive oil, café cream, otherwise I will miaow. I will climb on your shoulder and play at Marcus Aurelius (Tigerli is the Emperor, I am the horse! I feel ashamed in front of the neighbours when they see how I carry the cat through the garden!) I am the beloved and the cleaning lady!”
“What an interesting life, Letizia!”
“But now there is this wretched mouse! These two useless animals will be the end of me. If only they laid eggs like your chickens!”
“Don’t exaggerate! There is only one mouse and one cat. I had dozens of them! “Römischenase is troppo schizzinosa” (Roman nose is too fussy).
“You are a strong American, Betty, and I don’t have a Bob for the dirty work like you had!”
"I would gladly have exchanged Bob for Tigerli! But tell me, how can a cat and a mouse live together?”
“Tigerli and Camembert share my sofa: the cat sleeps on top, the mouse has its store and its toilet on the lower floor. My God, when I discovered it! It was enough to turn one’s stomach! Worse than the geoduk’s schredded meat dumpling! I tell you Betty, only chickens crap as much as mice. They cover metres with it!”
“You should be happy that Camembert has not come into your kitchen!”
"I experienced that two years ago! But that mouse was better organized! It had used the electric socket under my washbasin in the built-in kitchen to pee into. At last there was an explanation for the sudden short in the hot plate!”
“And the solid round bits?”
“As usual it had spread it all over the place, even on my kitchen table! I thought is was caraway seed!”
“That mouse was small and sweet!” But Camembert is big and fat, more than 45%!”
“What do mice eat?”
“Dry cat -food! Tigerli’s bowl is always empty. Imagine, Betty, in the extra bed under the sofa I counted 42 pieces of salmon crackers”.
“Christoph has documented it all scientifically with photos.”
“Perhaps Tigerli delivers the food to the mouse himself!”
“I shouldn’t be surprised!”
“Does Camembert only eat cat food with salmon?”
“He doesn’t seem to like turkey or poultry! The mouse eats like a bear from Alaska: but only salmon and that’s it!”
“Where does the mouse sleep?”
“I don’t know. I’ve only found Camembert’s bed linen on the floor.’
“And what was it?”
“Wrapping paper with a cat motive - torn up into small pieces!”
“This mouse is cheeky!”
“A cat massacre! Christoph has also documented that! Otherwise no-one would believe me!”
“That’s virtual murder! Camembert is a computer mouse!”
“If he was he wouldn’t eat so much, Betty.”
“And what does Tigerli say about this?”
“He must have been in agreement! The mouse is alive and all his rivals are at last as dead as a dodo.”
“ I’m sure, Letizia, that Tigerli has given his cat food to the mouse as a thank you gift!”
"I think it must have been like that! But now I’ve had enough of Camembert. I can’t work for ever as a cleaning lady!”
“How did you catch the mouse?”
“I set up a nice humane mouse trap made out of Perspex- and put cat food in it.”
“The food disappeared immediately – and the mouse – but the flap was still open.”
“The second time the food had disappeared once more - and the mouse – but the flap was shut!”
“ This mouse is super-intelligent!”
“I believe, Betty, that I am too stupid for this mouse! I now set a normal wire mouse trap as well.”
“I organized the two mouse-traps. In one instead of cat food I put an decaying piece of Camembert cheese. It was really stinky! The mouse went straight into the trap! Dear Betty, I have never seen such a fat mouse. “Hallo, Camembert!” I said to the mouse. “Don’t be frightened! I’ll take you straight to the woods.””
“Tigerli followed me. I told him to keep away!”
“He miaowed: “My friend, come back soon!””