“How can I send or go and ask for this falcon of his which is, as I have heard tell, the best that ever flew, and besides this, hisonly means of support? And how can I be so insensitive as to wish to take awayfrom this gentleman the only pleasure which is left to him?”
“Mother, if you can arrange for me to have Federigo’s falcon, I think I would be well very soon.”
“My son, take comfort and think only of getting well, for I promise you that the first thing I shall do tomorrow morning is to go for it and bring it back to you.”
Monna Giovannaa and her son went to the country to spend a year in Federigo’s farm, and it happened that this young boy became friends with Federigo and began to enjoy birds and hunting dogs; and after he had seen Federigo’s falcon fly many times
It happened that the young boy took ill, and his mother was much grieved. She would spend the entire day by his side, never ceasing to comfort him, and often asking him if there was anything he desired, begging him to tell her what it might be, for if it were possible to obtain it, she would certainly do everything possible to get it.
“Greetings, Federigo! I have come to compensate you for the harm you have suffered on my account by loving me more than you needed to; and the compensation is this: I, along with this companion of mine, intend to dine with you—a simple meal—this very day.”
Knowing that she was certain to have the bird if she asked for it, but not knowing what to say to her son, she stood there without answering him. Finally the love she bore her son persuaded her that she should make him happy, and no matter what the consequences might be, she would not send for the bird, but rather go herself for it and bring it back to him.
“Madonna, I never remember having suffered any harm because of you. On the contrary, so much good have I received from you that if ever I have been worth anything, it has been because of your merit and the love I bore for you; and your generous visit is certainly so dear to me that I would spend all over again that which I spent in the past; but you have come to a poor host.”
The following morning, the lady, accompanied by another woman, went to Federigo’s modest house and asked for him. Since it was not the season for it, Federigo had not been hawking for some days and was in his orchard, attending to certain tasks.
When Federigo heard that Monna Giovanna was asking for him at the door, he was very surprised and happy to run there. As she saw him coming, she greeted him with feminine charm, and once Federigo had welcomed her courteously, she said:
Then Federigo humbly replied to a beautiful lady, Monna.