A tale from Italy
Once upon a time there was a witch. Her name was Befana. She was not an evil witch. She was a nice witch.
The people of the village were not nice. They attacked Befana and treated her badly.
“She’s an evil witch! Get her!” they cried.
Befana was constantly afraid. She stay alone in her home.
One day, Befana was at home. She heard a knock at the door. There were three wise men from the East. They said, “Hello, we are looking for a baby. He is a king and we want to give him gifts. But we are lost. Which way is Nazareth, Israel? “
But Befana was nervous. She was afraid they would attack. She did not open the door. She stayed silent in her home. She did not say anything.
So, the three wise men left. It was January. It was very cold.
“Oh no, they will freeze,” said Befana. She took pity on the three wise men. She wanted to invite them in her home. But when she went back to the door, they were gone.
She went out looking for the three men. She wanted to offer food and gifts. So, she placed some food and gifts in a bag.
For the first time in many years, she left home. She looked and looked all over the village. But she did not see the three men.
Suddenly, Befana saw a child who was cold. Befana was compassionate. She offered him a gift from the bag. It was a blanket. He smiled and said “Thank you”.
Then, Befana saw a child who was hungry. He had nothing to eat. So, she offered him a gift from the bag. It was delicious bread! The child said, “Thank you, you are nice. “
Then Befana continued throughout the village. She offered gifts to all the children of the village.
All the children loved the gifts.
Eventually, the children all said, “Befana is kind and generous.” The families in the village loved Befana. Finally, Befana was no longer treated badly. She was respected and loved.