La Bocca della Verità



Roma traveled away from Sicily to lick the wounds of the first of two battles on the island, and prepare mentally before returning to its shores as a guest of Aetna. Greeting Roma as she approached the beaches were dozens of elephants, descendants of Hannibal's forces. The presence, on top of one of the elephants, of the oriental archer whose accuracy had caused Roma problems before brought forth brief contemplation, which did not last long and soon gave way to confidence. As Roma placed her hand inside la Bocca della Verità she proclaimed loudly that she was a warrior awoken from its slumber:
See, for I defeated the traveling renaissance fair from Firenze. See, for I fought a good battle in hostile land; a battle which had Jupiter allowed it to be fought under more benevolent conditions I would surely have won. I stand now before this Mouth of Truth and proclaim to be great!
If the hand wasn't chopped off, it was heavily bruised. Only some lucky bounces at the end of the battle gave some small (superficial) semblance of half truth to her claim. But the lesson was obvious for all those who witnessed the defiance of fate by assuming a larger posture than one could carry: perhaps one day Roma will indeed be the mighty warrior she pretends to, but that day hasn't come yet.