Another Day, Another Trial (and Another Nickname)

A deep sleep, a hurried breakfast, and a three-hour ride in a clanky VW bus later, we were, seemingly, in the middle of nowhere.
“I thought you said we’re going to a range,” Lin said, skeptical.
“We are!” Cricket cried enthusiastically. I felt he was having way too much fun with this whole mess. “Ehi, Tony!” he called over his shoulder to a small shack. “Vieni qui!
Upon his cry, a little guy no older than Cricket scurried out of the shack and tumbled down the hill. His raven-mopped head came up to my shoulder, and I’m not the tallest person in the world.
As soon as this guy saw Cricket, he exploded into rapid friendly Italian. I caught many cries of “Piccolo!”
“Ladies, this is Tony. He’s a good friend of mine from the City,” Cricket said. Tony shook each of our hands vigerously. “We need the range for the day,” Cricket explained to his friend.
“What was it that he was calling you?” I asked in an undertone.
“Literaly Piccolo means ‘little.’ If you can believe it, I wasn’t always this tall.”

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