Many sad stories came from central Italy, where the earthquake stroke just before Halloween. There is one though, which is a story of courage and hope, that I’d like to share with you all. This is the story of Benedetta and her mum. Benedetta is an 11 year old autistic child living in Marsciano, near Perugia, alone with her mother. When the Earthquake stroke, they were together in their bedroom, Benedetta was at the computer while her mother Gabriella was tiding-up. The moment the room started shaking, Benedetta screamed with fear, frozen on the spot, refusing to leave the house, too scared to even join her mother under door’s arch, the safest place to be in case of earthquake.
Things got worse, the walls started trembling badly and crumbling apart, Benedetta was terrified, her mother desperate, not knowing what to do. Then she remembered that her daughter was a huge Harry Potter fan and often used Harry as a sort of shield from her own fears, a courage boost who helped her overcome them. That was why Benedetta always kept a pair of fake rounded glasses in her pocket, to be ready to “become Harry” when needed. Her mum then told her that Harry wouldn’t be scared, that he would be reasonable and calm and would leave the building to be safe. So Benedetta slowly put her Harry glasses on, “became” Potter and followed her mother out and into their car. “She was still a little agitated after that, gasping for breath, but I knew the worst had passed.”
As always, Benedetta told her Harry her adventure, writing him a letter in English:
«Hi Harry. Today this morning there was an earthquake in my bedroom. The chandelier it was moving. And the cabinet was moving. Me and my mom we were very scared about the earthquake but with courage we get up in the car and me and my mom we were brave. It was a terrible thing Harry. At the end I was very scared about the earthquake. But with courage I was get up in the car. I was very brave» (source: Corriere della Sera).
I’ve never been in an Earthquake, thank God, but books for sure helped me through some very tough moments of my life. In this case though, we can honestly say that Harry Potter saved this little girl’s life! Never underestimate the power of books, folks!