The small mask

That day, there was a grand reception at Sir cavalryman’s estate. Nandino’s father, that had been invited, brought the boy along, who wore a mantel-cut costume, with a hood that hid his face. The lady of the house took the mask’s hand and brought him into a room, where there was a long table, laid with all that is good: pastries, fritters, nougats, chocolates, pies, cakes, candied chestnuts, ice creams, chocolate, liquors.
-Look at all the pastries! – the lady told him – eat as many as you want.
The boy didn’t hesitate: he took an african (chocolate covered pastry. TN), a puff pastry, a fritter, a piece of cake, a meringue, a stuffed pastry, a plate of whipped cream, a piece of pie, and then a nice cup of steaming chocolate, in which he dipped many, many biscuits! What a bust! – May Saint Lucy maintain your sight!-  the servants told him, while they were shockingly watching that destruction. After filling his pockets with candied chestnuts, the small mask disappeared. For mercy’s sake! Two or three minutes later he re-appeared, fresh as a daisy, and, after suspiciously looking around, he got close to the table and repeated the previous scene: three pastries, half a dozen fritters, a plate of trifle, a puff pastry, an almond brittle, an ice cream, a cup of hot chocolate, a piece of fruitcake, a sip of sweet liquor, and away he ran. The servants were stupefied –it may be true that the proverb says that kids and chickens are never satiated, but that’s not a kid, that’s a wolf!- While they were thinking these things, - dear angels help us! – the small mask went back to eat a mouthful of africans filled with zabaglione. How many did he eat? No idea! The servants counted until twenty, then they lost any Arithmetic knowledge they had. The small mask graciously bowed, and left, munching a piece of cake. The servants had yet to acquire speech, when the little mask came back for the fourth time, took a look at the table to choose a strategic point, and threw himself on the puff pastries, just out of the oven, devouring two at the time. After emptying the tray, the servants brought another one; the little mask polished off that one as well, and then left. The same scene went on for about twenty times, and every time was the same. The worried servants went to the hostess.
No more sweets are left, madam!
What! Half an hour ago, the table was full!
Everything was polished off!
Who was it?
That child.
Is that possible?
In that moment, the small mask came in.
There he is!
But that –gasped the lady – isn’t the child I let in!
In fact, he was a beanpole wearing a knee-length mantle. They stopped him and asked him who he was. The boy was confused, stuttered a few words, then raised his hood and revealed it all: down in the garage, were all of Nandino’s schoolmates, that the boy had invited himself, about thirty, that, clad in their mask, took turns in getting a bellyful of pastries.