Martina e l'efferata Banda del Salamino
Martina and the cruel Band of Salami

(Effatà Editrice - Cantalupa Torino)

Drowings byi Silvia Aimar
Graphics by Silvia Aimar and Vito Mosca

The birth of the story

Cervo Ligure (Imperia)

It all began many years ago, I must return to the time of the primary. Cervo Ligure (Imperia), third class, the historical teacher Filippona coming from Cervo San Bartolomeo. Then the friends were Pippo, Lino, Franco, Riccardo, Gianni, Menuccia, Vittoria.We ran in the meadows of the village, there was no taste of tourism, the only standard-bearer was a Swedish journalist that we thought a bit “off of his head”: He was sitting on the cliffs of Porteghetto for hours watching the sea. We, in doubt, avoid him suspicious.

Pippo had estates and olive trees and a she-donkey Didda named. In the spring, when days were longer, in the afternoon after school, Pippo and I went to pick her up in the stable and to graze under a carob tree. It was a joy; to poor Didda we got up to all sorts of mischief, we pull her tail, rode her, hid the pods, and she looked at us with patient eyes and good, but it was not resignation, rather than wonder. Astonishment and patience. I remember her still tied to the grinding mill for breaking the olives with a blindfold on not to suffer vertigo. He turned and walked pushing the grinds with the same patience, the same sweet surprise.
I brought the Didda always inside me, shewas the emblem of my childhood, nay, more, was the testimony of my childhood.

A donkey any (not Didda)

Oxford (Uk) - Ashmolean Museum
The rest is the life that leads to Oxford, the Ashmolean Museum which houses a rare specimen of the skeleton of Dodo (Raphus cucullatus), an extinct bird of Mauritius, Indian Ocean. It is said that the cause of its extinction has been the arrival of the Portuguese began to oust him and, above all, that cats, dogs, mice and pigs have destroyed the natural habitat of the bird eggs. What's more, it seems certain that the disappearance of the Dodo has adversely affected the growth and proliferation of the tree of Calvary, confirming what can be reckless and wretched human impacts on the whole environment and nature. Everything happens at the end of 1500, exactly in 1598 and today, in 2010, applaud you for having extinguished the last two shark infested waters of Sharm El-Sheikh in the Red Sea troubling lucrative tourism interests.

What's more, the Dodo was also immortalized by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) in Alice in Wonderland. The introduction of the Dodo in the story has an autobiographical because Carroll was stuttering and stammering when there was Do-do-Dodgson.

Right: the Dodo, drowing byTinnel

This is only a daily example.
...and much remains to be done

But even the donkeys in the affluent economies of the West are likely on the road of extinction: Today they don’t generate market share and are dramatically declining. The figures are discussed and assessed, but it seems that in Italy, in early 2000, had fallen to about three thousand; approximate figures provided today by the Ministry of Agriculture appears to have risen to about thirty thousand. Some small progress has been made.
Donkeys endangered, extinct animals, the environment often compromised and  often destroyed in the misunderstanding temple of an economic development without projectual regards and finally some quick foray into the world of genetics and painting, were the ingredients that have worked in my imagination and stimulated the desire to make a small contribution so that even the kids reflect with their parents and teachers on a more careful and responsible tomorrow. Possibly with a smile and a hint of awareness.

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