a child of tuscany

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: A CHILD OF TUSCANY. AUSTINA and Raffaello lived alone in a small hut just beyond the village of Galluzzo; not quite alone, for there was Minnetto. Faustina was a very tall, dark-eyed, hard-faced woman; Raffaello was a small, curly-haired boy; and Minnetto was the cat, a Tuscan cat, with a beautiful coat of maltese gray, a monstrous head, and big sleepy eyes, and a long bushy tail that resembled the plumes on the Florentine soldiers' caps, whenever he encountered a neighboring dog. Raffaello and Minnetto were the best of friends ;they were about the same age and very nearly the same height. For, when Raffaello stood up near the table, of a morning, to eat his bread and milk, and Minnetto placed his two front paws on the little boy's shoulders, and stretched his long neck to get a sniff of the good breakfast, their two heads were almost on a level. As to Faustina, she was not a very genial companion ; she never played with them, or fondled them, or called them by any loving names; but she took care of them both, gave them what she could to eat, and she was not unkind. Minnetto did not mind this at all. He was happy if Raffaello let him lie in the warm sun, and did not stroke his fur the wrong way; and he would purr for hours with his head buried in the bend of Raffaello's little arm, and never seemed to find fault with his destiny. But not so with Raffaello. He often wondered how he and Faustina happened to be living in this lonely way together, who he was, and what he was, and why she was not his mother, and why he had no brothers and sisters like little Luigi yonder, at the village, but only Minnetto to play with, who was a good friend in his way, but only a cat after all, and who could not talk with him, or understand him when Raffaello tried to take him into his confidence...
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