Italian slang:"Avere la coda di paglia"

Italian slang:”Avere la coda di paglia”

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(Delia Ciccarelli – La volpe dalla coda mozza)

It’s a funny colloquial expression, used in Italian to indicate someone with a guilty conscience in a friendly and light way. Its origin can be found in a popular novel: a young fox was caught by a trap. She could get away, but without her wonderful tail. Now, everyone knows that foxes beauty is represented by the tail,  so the poor fox was really ashamed of her ugly stump. To make her happy, the animals of the wood created for her a  fake tail made of  straw.
None of the animal told this secret but an evil cock, which revealed everything to the farmer.
So the farmer, to keep the fox away from the hen-house decided to light some fire around it…and the fox couldn’t do nothing else than staying away from her beloved chikens.

When someone has a “coda di paglia”, means that he did something wrong and is afraid of being discovered…!

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