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Josef Sheep also wants a human being: a children's story at the family hotel in Val di Fiemme

A family hotel in Cavalese in Val di Fiemme (Trentino)... Eco Park Hotel Azalea is truly a hotel for everyone. A diverse and inclusive environment where everyone can freely express themselves and feel at home. Val di Fiemme is a family-friendly valley and offers many activities for children of all ages; there are playgrounds and adventure parks that are really fun! After a day of playing, it's nice to sit down and listen to a story together.

Today we tell the story of Josef Pecora by Kristen Boie, illustrated by Philip Waechter and published by Oetinger.

"It's obvious you can't have a human," says Papa Sheep at lunch. "We've told you a thousand times. Done, full stop, done."

"Everyone in my class has one!" says Josef Pecora contritely. "Everyone! It's always me who can't have one!"

"Don't talk with your mouth full," says Mama Pecora kindly. "You know Papa and I don't want people in the house. That's cruelty to man!"

But when they cross the moor at night before going to bed, Josef tries again out of sheer curiosity.

"Just a very, very small one, Mama?" he asks. "I promise to always clean the cage too!"

"No means no," Papa Sheep says sternly again, but then he meets Mr Rabbit and only Mama and Josef are left.

"Just a tiny little one?" whispers Josef.

"A birthday is coming up! I'll never forget to feed him. I promise!"

"It's not nice for someone like that, darling," says Mummy. "Always in a cage."

"I'll play with him," says Joseph Pecora. "Please, Mummy, please!" "We'll see, dear," says Mother Sheep, and then they lie down comfortably under the big moon to

to sleep.

The next morning is Men's Day at school and again Josef can only bring his old doll. But Cara Calf has brought a cage with a real black man, Sharon Pig has a Chinese one and Heiko Dog even has a real Eskimo!

So Josef quickly puts his old doll back in his satchel. Such a stuffed object is embarrassing to have at school. He wishes he still had one.

But to Josef's great surprise, he gets a human for his birthday! He has a very, very small white man in a suit and a hat on his head, and he may not be as cute as Heiko's Eskimo and Cara's black man, but he is definitely alive.

"Thank you, Mama, thank you!" says Joseph Pecora and gives Mama a big kiss.

"His name is Purzel," says Papa Pecora and clears his throat.

So Joseph kisses him too.

Now Joseph Pecora has a human too.

Josef has a lot to do now.

Whenever he wants to go and play after doing his homework, Mummy asks him: "Have you fed your human yet?

And sometimes she also says, "But the cage has to be cleaned again!". And when the weather is nice, she wants Josef to let the little one out of the cage. "He wants to let off steam too," says Mama Sheep. "After all, what did we give you the leash for!".

Josef takes Purzel by the leash and goes to Cara, Sharon and Heiko. They force their human to pick up sticks and jump on a branch, and if they don't behave there is no reward.

"But you didn't set him up with Sharon's Chinese girl, did you?" their mother asks in the evening, a little surprised, when Josef tells her about his afternoon before bedtime.

"She's a girl! Who can give birth to babies!" Then Josef sighs a little and says "No".

Although these little people would certainly be very cute.

But they would have to buy too many new cages for that, and human food doesn't grow in the meadow. Mum and dad don't have much money.

One day Cara says that her little black dog is so good-natured that she can let him run around without a leash.

"Want to bet?" says Cara.

So Heiko lets his human go too, but Sharon says, "No, no, his Chinese is too wild".

"What about Purzel?" asks Cara, who always looks at Josef like that, and Josef says that Purzel is logically also terribly tame and takes off his leash.

But unfortunately he did not know how wild his human could be! He slips under a bush in a flash, and when Josef calls out to him to come out immediately, Purzel doesn't even think about it, and when Josef tells him in a very sweet voice to please come, please, he'll get a prize, Purzel slips further into the bush.

"My Purzel!" cries Josef, searching and searching.

"My little human has escaped!"

Although Cara, Sharon and Heiko join in the search, Purzel remains missing.

At home, Mum does not succeed in comforting Josef at first.

"What happened?" she asks, licking his ears soothingly, but then she sees the empty leash and already knows what's wrong.

"Oh dear!" says Mum. "I told you never to leave your human without a leash!"

But then she sighs a little and calls Papa Sheep, and all three of them run together to the bushes, where Fart has disappeared and the moon has long been in the sky and the first stars are twinkling behind a cloud.

"He's afraid to be alone," cries Joseph.

"He's so scared!"

"Can't you be a little quieter?" says Mrs Deer, lifting her head from a bush. "You're waking up my children!" "Joseph's human ran away," Ewe says apologetically. "He's starving himself! He can't find anything to eat!"

Then Mrs Deer wakes her children and they all help look for him.

"No, that's going too far!" says Mrs Fox, poking her head out of the den. "What a racket!

Don't you know what time it is?"

"Joseph's human ran away," says Mrs Deer apologetically, and that's when Mrs Fox wakes her children too, who help her search.

Only Mrs Badger says that such a noise at night is really an impertinence and goes back to sleep. But Mrs Hedgehog and all her hedgehog children go with her and Mr and Mrs Snake and twenty-four little mice and the three fat frogs and all the rabbit children and the old brown horse.

"I don't think I see very well," says the owl.

"Is there a meeting here tonight or what?" "Joseph's little human ran away," says Mr Snake kindly. "Could it be that you have better eyesight at night than the rest of us?" Then the owl says it would be very surprised if it wasn't, and flies across the meadow where everyone is looking.

"He fell in the ditch," the owl says sternly as he lands right in front of the ewe.

"If you're going to give your son a human being, you should at least make sure he can handle it!"

But Joseph Sheep doesn't listen at all. Hastily he runs to the ditch, and there sits his little human shivering under a big leaf, and his trousers are all wet and his jacket all dirty, and he hasn't even got his hat any more.

"My Purzel!" whispers Joseph, hugging his human tightly. "What are you doing, you!"

"We have him back," says Papa Sheep sternly.

"I won't let anything like that happen to me again!"

Before he goes to bed, Joseph gives Fart a treat.

"My dearest Purzel!" he whispers and strokes his human's back. "My dearest Purzel!"

And under the big moon they both fall asleep.

Credits: Kristen Boie, Philip Waechter


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