the prince

At the risk of giving away our exact location I will tell you that, two floors below us, there lives a prince.

He is quite debonair in his pastel cashmere sweaters, carefully combed-back silver hair, as he walks his small dog about the neighborhood. He occupies one entire floor with his much younger wife and their elementary school age daughter. There is an excessively large brass plaque on the landing outside their door and they have an entire brass panel of bells to ring downstairs outside the main door, one for himself, the Prince, another for the Princess, and one for each of the various associations he purports to head (knights of this, noblemen of that, etc.).

This morning as we headed down the stairs to school, the boys ran into the Prince on his landing.

I could hear the brief exchange from the floor above, but my six-year-old recounted it to me in his booming voice just outside the Prince’s door when I caught up with them.

“We saw The Little Prince. He said ciao.”

That my son calls this man The Little Prince pleases me to no end. Clearly it’s because we have been talking about the book, but it so perfectly captures the dubious title of this odd neighbor of ours that a snort of laughter escapes me whenever he says it.

And even six doubts the authenticity of the Prince’s title. He is too clever for a ruse like that! When we got downstairs today, six asked in that way he does, when a thought has just occurred to him, “Did he actually change his name? Do you think it says “prince” on his passport?”

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About Jennifer

I'm a freelance translator and American expat. I live in Northern Italy with my two young sons.
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2 Responses to the prince

  1. Sara says:

    LOL!!! Kids’ minds are so awesome! 🙂

    Hey, a quick question for you: This exchange that you had with your son – was it in English? I’m just wondering if your kids automatically switch into English when they’re around you, or if you generally speak Italian in public and English at home.

    I always dreamed of raising bilingual kids and we had a Spanish-speaking Nanny for that exact purpose. Sadly, we could never force her to make the kids actually speak Spanish, so my dream went away with the Nanny…

  2. Jennifer says:

    We always speak English together, so it was in English. I think it would be very confusing for the boys (and myself) to go back and forth.

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