Read the instructive story of Nonno Umberto and his staff

Nature, respect for it and respect for creation.

Questi i cardini della storia inedita di Elena Rossi sul rispetto per l’ambiente che God ci ha donato.

From today we are all "Grandpa Umberto and his staff": tomorrow it is already too late.

Let's read together:

In a small town not far from a large lake, surrounded by large mountains and with a few tall skyscrapers, lives a grandfather who, by comparison, seems tiny but does great things.

He doesn't do it to become a famous rich king; but there were kings like that around.

Most of the people who live around him don't know him, actually, maybe they don't care that others know what he does, but I decided to tell you about it anyway.

Of course, it's not easy to train a large staff like his, and he did it all by himself. Every component he has chosen is available, capable, tireless, always ready, determined and above all he never says no! You don't find that many around. A staff that, to tell the truth, never even says “Yes sir!”, because the only one who knows how to speak is Nonno Umberto. This nice little group may seem too silent and not very funny, yet Nonno Umberto has formed a perfect team that does not get lost in useless chatter but dedicates itself to important actions.

Every morning, after his walk and having sorted out some household chores, Nonno Umberto goes to wake up another important member of his staff who is sleeping in the dark in his garage. He doesn't make preferences with anyone because they are all equally important, but if he hadn't been for that fall a few years before with her, he would never have really opened her eyes.

Falling off Bibina, his bicycle, had been a heavy blow for Nonno Umberto, who fortunately had only scraped his knee and found himself with many pebbles stuck to the palms of his hands. Bibina had only filled up with dust. Lying on the ground, Nonno Umberto could clearly see what he would never have seen as he passed by without stopping and he understood that there was no time to lose. Indeed, it was quite urgent to get busy right away, especially for his grandchildren and all the grandchildren of all his grandparents.

Only a trained staff like his could hunt down all the plastic, paper and those obnoxious cigarette butts that bullies so much. They were found everywhere and clung to every wisp of wind to run around the city.

Grandfather Umberto and his staff
Grandpa Umberto and his staff 4

They always blamed people to justify themselves. They said they threw them on the ground instead of throwing them in the bins or keeping them in their pockets, but Nonno Umberto's staff didn't want to hear any more excuses. Until people learned, they'd be there like so many toy soldiers to deal with it.

Grandfather Umberto had prepared a large map of the city with all the streets, squares, roads and every evening he pinned the area where he and his staff had been that day with a red flag. Slowly, the city that he had drawn was becoming all colored.

The black Bibina is always ready in the morning when Nonno Umberto picks it up in the garage. From the very first pedal stroke she is snappy like a cat when she sees a mouse. She has memorized all the curves, slopes and signs of the city: the streets have no more secrets for her.

Its wheels spin fast and lift off the ground when they have to avoid potholes, to get smoothly where they are needed most. Grandpa Umberto gets out and leans it against the trunk of a tree by the roadside, before taking off his rucksack. Where there is Bibina, a little cleaning is needed.

I primi ad uscire dallo zaino sono i due guanti gemelli, verdi con i puntini bianchi, che si infilano fino in fondo alle mani di Nonno Umberto per avere una bella presa. La seconda è la pinza dal braccio lungo che si apre e si chiude per catturare tutto quello che non c’entra con la Natura e cerca di scappare quando la vede avvicinarsi con la sua hand bianca come un guanto.

Then it's the turn of the bags, which are many because there are so many raids to collect every day. What better name than raids could they give to those petty cleaners who went around dirtying the city. The bags come out one at a time from the backpack and quickly unroll in the hands of Nonno Umberto. He tried various types before finding the right ones to add to his staff.

They had to be strong but light, big but become small inside the backpack. So she finally chose the ones made with the fabrics of broken umbrellas. If they could no longer be used to shelter from the rain, they were perfect for keeping raids at bay, and they were all colored too.

When they finish gathering all those who are lying peacefully at the sight of Nonno Umberto and his staff, it is the turn of the others who are very good at hiding in the corners, in the cool under the bushes, between the legs of the benches or between the tufts of grass and cling to everything they find so as not to be picked up.

The staff broom is very wise and patiently waits its turn in its backpack, its stick always popping out on the alert. If it comes out first and those sneaky hidden guys see it, they try to escape with the first breath of wind that passes by and they go down who knows where around the city.

At each stop there should be Nonno Umberto with his staff who immediately lets them into the bag but since they cannot be in several places at the same time, Nonno Umberto hopes to be an example for other grandparents and dreams that one day they will do like him.

When it's finally her turn, the broom quickly straightens its thin strands of straw and stretches them as far as possible to tickle all those pranksters as it escorts them to its shovel friend who is waiting for them with open arms.

When they arrive in front of her, she asks them if they enjoyed the broom ride and warns them that they are about to take another one on the slide with her, as she drops them in the bag, and the party is over for them.

Among the insects and animals around the city, the word of Nonno Umberto and his staff has spread and they are all rooting for them.

They hope people also understand how important it is to keep the city clean.

They would like to help them in some way but they don't know how. One afternoon, they make an appointment with his staff at the park where that same evening Nonno Umberto will go to put a red flag on his map. By now there are only a few flags missing and they can only be proud of what they have done.

The broom, which is very wise, thinks that the only ones who could do something are the birds, going around singing Nonno Umberto's dream.

In the squares, in the gardens, on the terraces of the houses, in the public parks, nothing more than a melodious chirping could make it pleasant to take care of your city. The birds, who love to sing, promise that from that day on they will never get tired of repeating it and will continue to chirp from dawn to dusk to help Nonno Umberto,

He wishes with all his heart that one day he will pick up his Bibina in the garage and when he arrives with his staff at any place they will have nothing to pick up. Grandpa Umberto wishes he could lie down on the grass after having placed his Bibina against a tree, listening, together with his staff, to the breath of the wind that makes the leaves fly and not the bags, that moves the branches of the trees and not the gloves of plastic.

The only colors he would like to see when he lowers his eyes are those of flowers and not cigarette butts. When the wind sneaks through their thick colored hair, she would like to see the seeds fall on the ground to make new flowers bloom.

Thinking about it, I believe that Nonno Umberto would be happy to know that I told you about him and his staff because if we all know what they do every day, there is the possibility that we too would like to follow his example.

It's not that difficult to be careful not to throw anything on the ground.

His map of the city is all colored red because it is full of flags. Every area has been cleaned up and if it stays that way Grandpa Umberto won't have to remove the flags and start over again because each of us will have helped him.

Finally Grandpa Umberto and his staff will be able to go back to taking care of their little garden full of fruit and vegetables where they met to start this adventure.

source © Elena Rossi –

Bedtime stories
Bedtime stories
Grandfather Umberto and his staff
Grandpa Umberto and his staff 2
Avatar of Remigio Ruberto

Hi, I'm Remigio Ruberto, father of Eugenio. The love that binds me to Eugenio is timeless and spaceless.

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