Cheeken A-Nee-Mal & Pig onna Roof (Daily Prompt)

Daily Prompt: Non-Regional Dictionby michelle w. on November 14, 2013

Write about whatever you’d like, but write using regional slang, your dialect, or in your accent.

Nonno with his girls

Nonno with his girls

Chicken A-nee-mal and Pig on a Roof


It was a rainy summer day towards the end of the summer vacation and my boyfriend’s daughter was bored so she asked Nonno (the Italian word for Grandpa) if she could go out to the mall to see a movie and have lunch with her friends.  Being that the alternative was to sit in the house miserably watching TV and fighting with her sister, Nonno consented.  Yippee!!!

Being of an Italian descent and perhaps a little overly cautious about his grandchildren, Nonno had to give the full out “you godda be carefool” lecture before she left, even though there was a friend’s mother kind enough to bring and stay with all of the girls.

“No talka to anybody! If you godda go pee, you no leave-a da group.  You bring-a da mamma di you friend.”

“No eat-a dat-a sheet food.

“You stay wit-a you friends

“No eat-a da cheeken a-nee-mal”

“What????” Julia interrupted.

“I say.. You no eat-a da cheeken a-nee-mal”

“I eat chicken all the time, what’s wrong with chicken”

“I no say no eat-a da cheeken!  I say you no eat-a da cheeken a-nee-mal!”

“Ok Nonno… Whatever…”

“No – you no say ‘whatever’!!!  You no eat-a da cheeken a-nee-mal!” sounding a little more nerve-wracked.  “You capeesh?

“You no eat-a da cheeken a-nee-mal or you gonna get seek!!!”

Now she is getting annoyed.  “OK NONNO!  I won’t eat any chicken animal.  I won’t ever eat chicken anymore ever again.. OK?????”

“Ho my Got!!!” “I think-a maybe you no hear me at all.. I no say no eat-a da cheeken!!!  I say you no eat-a da cheeken A-NEE-MAL!!!!”

“Maybe it’s no gonna be clean-a at-a dat place”, “you no know who make-a dat-a teeng.  Dat’s why I tole you, you no eat-a da cheeken a-nee-mal”

“Now you capeesh? No eat-a da cheeken a-nee-mal!!!”

Suddenly Julia’s laughter filled the room as she understood. Don’t eat the chicken at the mall.

To this day, we bring it up often at the dinner table and all of the family laughs every time Nonno makes chicken together mimicking his voice “no data da cheeken a-nee-mal”

“Ma, you guys make-a me so mad!”, as he smirks at the story inwardly proud that we love to tell stories about him and that we enjoy him so much.


Another day, Nonno was sitting at the dinner table with all of us (how I love sitting down to dinner with everyone and we were complimenting him on how active he still is and so much more able than many who are his age.  He smiled, of course and said that he had always been like that.

“Even when I was-a young, I was-a same like-a now.  I was-a so stronk!  Even my broder-een-laow, he tell-a me.

“I remember when I make-a da time for-a da leaves to come outta da trofe.  I clime-a da ladder and have-a no problem; I no scary da highs.

“Zio Gianni, he canna beleef-a me.  I go all da way up to da tope-a da roof. I was solo high dat Zio Gianni could not beleef it!  He say “how you make-a da peeg onna roof???”  I tole him I’m no so afraid’a dose teengs and I go clean uppa da peeg onna roof no probem”

“My Got! Eet was-a so high up, ma I clean up alla da leafs and da peeg was beaudiful!”

We laughed to the point of tears as he talked about the pig on the roof/ peak of the roof that he cleaned.  We still bring it up from time to time and laugh until we cry.

13 Comments on “Cheeken A-Nee-Mal & Pig onna Roof (Daily Prompt)

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  10. Incredible flow of conversation. Fascinating to see how the words relate to how the situation occurs. What jumped out at me was this simple line, and I quote, ” Suddenly Julia’s laughter filled the room as she understood. Don’t eat the chicken at the mall.”

    I saw great learning there.



    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this story. I am glad that Julia’s laughter stuck out at you as it was such a beautiful moment where it all came together.

      Have a great day and bless you lots!


  11. My mother’s family was all itallian, and I completely understand this. I remember holidays full of friends and family and trying to understand everyone. Sadly my grandma just passed away not too long ago the last of the “clan.” This made me miss grandpa a bit, he passed away in 2000. I’m glad for the memories though.


    • Hi there,
      Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your memories with me. I am sad to hear of your Nonna’s passing; it is so hard to lose those that we love. I am hoping to record more of the stories that our family has to tell over time and keep their flavourful accents and quirks in the telling as well.
      Bless you lots,


I love and appreciate feedback. Feel free to let me know what you think. Bless you lots, Easter Ellen

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