The country of Savoy (suh VOY) had been ruled by the Savoy family since the 1000's. By the mid 1800's the family ruled all of Italy and continued to do so until 1946. It was a land of glaciers, mountains and lakes. Life was hard for the common people who lived in the land. They only had a small parcel of land and could not make a very good living from it.
Some had to wander away from their home to try to make a living elsewhere. That's what these children are doing. They go from farm to farm and make music for people. In exchange they get some food. Often at home they would have to eat bread made of chestnuts or go hungry.
We would call them "wandering minstrels". The boy has his accordian strapped to his shoulder. His sister is giving her pet marmot a drink of the milk.
The milkmaid has given them all the fresh warm milk they can drink. The cow looks as though she "hoped they liked the milk she has just given them".
Look at the enlarged version.
What do the milkmaid's children find most interesting?
Grandmother's Story Soap Bubbles
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