> a Man loves a Boy - book 1 <
- Last time, my ongoing 'Gypsy Series' story ended with:
Still trying to look mock angry, his deep baritone voice told me:
"Every time you throw me away, I will tickle you again!"
Chuckling at the thought of 'throwing him away', I responded:
"Oh yeah? What makes you think I will let you win that easily?"
"Because I am too intellagent for an old man like you!"
Smiling at hearing my boy's linguistic error, I teased him:
"My 'old' brain thinks the correct word is 'intelligent' with an 'i'."
Immediately, my boy retorted, still with brightly sparkling eyes:
"You and Jack really could be brothers, because you are just as critical as Jack was! For us Gypsies, your language is very difficult to learn, and I have only spoken it for two years. But, Jack also called me his 'linguistic miracle', so I cannot be that bad. Now, beware, because this intelligent linguistic miracle is going to WIN!"
Again, my boy dived for my ribs, obviously trying to force me to give up. Again, he knew exactly what to do to make this 'old man' squirm around on our wobbling waterbed. Trying to fend him off in vain, although both he and I still had lots of fun, I decided to let him win. Therefore, I opened my arms wide and just slumped down in surrender. With triumph in his brightly sparkling eyes, he jumped onto my chest and quickly pinned my arms to our bed. Looking proud, his deep baritone voice told me:
"Gotcha! What are you going to do now?"
"Okay, I give up! You've won my body, my heart, and my soul."
"Huh? I've won your body... your heart... and your soul? You really are a silly old man, but I love you anyway! Now, wait for me and don't move, because I have to pee first."
- CHAPTER 12. My skilled cookie and amazing little chef.
Quickly, my boy jumped off my chest, expertly slid down from our wobbling waterbed, and raced towards the door, while his naked frame with uncombed hair looked like a wild savage that planned to sneak out for a hunt. His little backside full of nasty scars playfully wiggled at me, before he disappeared through the door. I heard him race down the stairs in a hurry and recklessly jump down the last few steps, to present his offering to the ceramic god just in time.
Inwardly, I chuckled, while realizing that I enjoyed my boy's 'pleasant company' more and more! Never before had I experienced so much fun with romping around with a child, not even with my own daughters. I really hoped that 'See Pee Es' would allow me to keep my happy little soul mate for a very long time! I would certainly do everything that I could to reach my goal, which hopefully also was my boy's goal. Was this what Jack had meant when his warm voice told me: 'spend everything you have on him, and you will be royally rewarded'?
Within two minutes, my boy returned into our bedroom, with a mischievous smirk on his happily beaming face. Immediately, he clambered back onto our wobbling waterbed, rose upright, and launched himself at me with a loud Indian yell. Fortunately, I caught him just in time, again lifted him high into the air, and threw him towards the other side of the bed. Quickly, he returned to me, trying to look mock angry but still showing me two brightly sparkling blue eyes in his proudly beaming face. Cheerfully, he jumped onto my chest, obviously planning to try to pin my arms again.
Then, he seemed to change his mind, because he suddenly slumped down and 'octopussed' himself onto me, by using all his little limbs to clamp down onto my chest. Happily, I folded my own arms around his heat-radiating little body and pulled him even closer against my stomach, again basking in our mutual love and togetherness. Again, I thought I heard my boy purr like a happy kitten, while now and then heaving deep sighs of utmost content. He really was a remarkable child!
For quite some time, my boy and I cuddled together, both of us loving each other very much and basking in our powerful mutual love. I really started to love my so special little friend more and more, and I hoped we would stay together for a very long time! At last, my boy's hungry stomach started to rumble, telling us loud and clear it was time to get up, go downstairs, and be fed! Chuckling, he wrestled free from my arms, sat upright on my chest, and stared deeply into my eyes with his beautiful bright blue orbs that again touched my soul.
Still chuckling, his deep baritone voice told me:
"As you can hear, my stomach feels hungry, and I've already promised to show you how to cook properly. Shall we go downstairs and make some healthy breakfast as a start?"
For a moment, I still doubted. Would this tiny boy really be able to make some healthy breakfast, without any help from me? Or, was he only bragging about his cooking skills, and perhaps trying to look more mature? Well, I supposed I would find out soon enough. I nodded my consent, and my boy dived off my chest and slid down onto the floor. Impatiently, he took my hand and started to drag me down the stairs and towards the kitchen.
Although I had planned to dress first, I decided it didn't really matter because we would be all alone in our house. Immediately after enjoying our 'healthy breakfast', we would return upstairs to take a quick shower and dress. Therefore, I just left my waterbed and followed my boy downstairs. Walking together, we frolicked down the stairs, on our way trying to bump into each other on purpose.
Still bumping into each other and having lots of fun, my little friend and I entered our kitchen, where I felt very happy to have some carpeting on the floor, because we were both barefooted! My naked little savage let go of my hand and started to look around critically. This time, he had a pensive look on his face, as if he tried to recall where everything had been while he lived here with Jack. After a moment of pondering, he went to my refrigerator, opened its door, and curiously peeked inside.
Soon, he shook his head and told me:
"Your fridge is bigger than Jack's, but it's nearly empty! Don't you have any more edible things to make a decent breakfast?"
"Well. Until yesterday, it was only me in the house, because I didn't know you were going to live with me. Therefore, I am afraid we will have to dress and go shopping first. Perhaps, there is still some leftover toast and butter around, and in the fridge should be another bottle of milk to brew hot chocolate, if you want to have a snack and a warm drink before we go shopping."
Fiercely shaking his head, my boy immediately retorted:
"Before we go shopping, I've already promised to show you how to make a healthy breakfast, so let's do that first! I saw a couple of eggs in your fridge, but do you happen to have any tomatoes?"
"Yes, I do have a few eggs and no, there are no tomatoes."
"Then, do you also have canned beans, or maybe potatoes?"
"Well, I’m not sure. Why don't you have a look for yourself?"
Involuntarily, I smiled, at seeing my naked little savage nearly disappearing into the refrigerator, with only his unclad little bum sticking out. After rummaging around, he showed up again; carrying the eggs, a small leek, two leftover onions, and a clove of garlic. He put everything onto the table, and asked me with a happy smile:
"Do you have some curry, or maybe some other spices?"
"Well, there are some spices in the cabinets over the sideboard."
Happily, my little cookie dragged a folding chair towards the sideboard, climbed onto it, and started to inspect the various cabinets, opening them one by one. Again, I smiled at the funny sight of my naked little savage, nearly disappearing into the cabinets with only his little bum sticking out. Now and then, he reappeared, carrying small tins of curry and black pepper, a container of salt, a loaf of bread, a halfway filled butter dish, and a nearly empty bottle of hot sauce.
After putting his gathered stuff onto the sideboard, he jumped down onto the floor without any help, picked the gathered things up, and neatly set them out onto our kitchen table. Turning around to face me, he asked:
"Do you have some slippers?"
Suddenly feeling surprised, I couldn't help exclaiming:
"WHAT? I hope we aren't going to eat SLIPPERS for breakfast?"
For a split second, my little imp only stared at me, with a deep frown on his forehead as if he tried to translate my question. Then, he started to bellow with laughter, falling down and rolling around on the carpeted floor while slapping his knees from sudden fun!
After he recovered, his deep baritone voice chuckled:
"No, silly, I am not THAT hungry! I only want to collect some spicy plants from my own herbs garden, but the morning ground is still moist with dew."
Finally, I knew for sure that my boy had his own little garden full of abundantly flowering plants in my backyard! Still laughing at his funny antics, I collected my old slippers from the hallway closet and offered them to him. Showing me a broad smile, he put his small feet into my way too big slippers and tried to walk a couple of steps. Of course, he almost tripped over his own feet and promptly started to laugh again. Although he tried to show me a sour face; his built-in sun full of happiness easily won.
Shuffling towards the backdoor, he stopped just in time and asked:
"Please, can I have your keys? Our backdoor is still locked."
Chuckling at his funny antics, I responded:
"Well, you know where you've put my keys after you locked the backdoor! My trousers are in my bedroom."
"Oh yeah, I forgot."
Clearly, I wasn't the only one who sometimes forgot things. I would remember that for a next time!
Not surprisingly, my little Shaman had already read my thoughts, because he started to chuckle before he kicked my too big slippers off and raced up the stairs. Within a few seconds, he returned with my keys and unlocked the backdoor. After leaving my keys on our kitchen table, he again stepped into my huge slippers. Walking carefully, so as not to stumble, he shuffled outside and into our backyard.
Hesitantly, I followed my naked savage towards the open door, suddenly being very aware of being clad only in my briefs. What would happen if one of my neighbors saw me like this, being almost naked? Or, even worse, if anybody saw my totally naked little savage who was still clad only in his 'birthday suit'? Wouldn't they be very suspicious about what we had been doing inside?
Surprisingly, my little soul mate seemed to be oblivious of the effect he might have on any nosy neighbors. He just shuffled towards 'his' little garden, squatted down, and started to gather some herbs. Obviously, this was HIS abundantly flowering property that he had marked out by several white cobblestones. Had he set it up alone, or had Jack helped him? I remembered I had seen it before, stumbling over its painted stones and wondering who could have put it here. Now, I saw that my boy had put his fallen cobblestones upright again. Had he been angry with me for damaging his little property?
Within two minutes, he returned, still walking careful while trying not to trip over my too big slippers. He now carried a couple of green leaves, some yellow flowers, a small carrot, and a tiny reddish pod.
Proudly, he showed them to me, while he explained:
"These spices are from my own herbs garden with all sorts of tasty plants in it. Jack and I laid it out a year ago after I returned from the hospital, with the help of my herbal learning book. Now, I will show you how to prepare a healthy breakfast out of almost nothing!"
Up to now, I had been convinced that this small boy would be way too young to be a 'real' chef. However, now that I had watched him gather his 'tasty herbs', I had to admit that I started to feel impressed. My little imp really seemed to know what he was doing!
While I closed our backdoor, my boy shucked my too big slippers and kicked them into a corner. Next, he dragged a folding chair towards the sink, placed his gathered herbs under the water tap, and washed them until they were spotlessly clean. He dried them with my kitchen towel, took them to our kitchen table, and put them next to all the other edible stuff he had gathered. Now, he started to open and close all my drawers, one by one, but couldn't find what he needed.
Looking at me with a questioning face, he asked me:
"Do you please have a sharp kitchen knife and a cutting board?"
Feeling very surprised about such a tiny boy asking for a sharp kitchen knife, I responded:
"Are you sure you know how to handle a sharp knife? When I was at your age, my parents would never ever allow me to handle such a dangerous thing without at least some very close supervision."
Looking at me with a suddenly indignant face, my boy responded:
"How come all the grownups I've cooked for always ask me those same questions? Why can’t you just trust my cooking skills? Perhaps, I am only a 'little cookie', but I know what I am doing!"
Heaven knows why, but I decided to trust my little soul mate. He told me he knew what he was doing and, so far, he had NOT disappointed me! Apart from that, he certainly acted as if he was sure about himself. Of course, my too analytical mind immediately started to doubt again. What would happen if my 'little cookie' accidentally sliced his own fingers instead of his herbs? Wouldn't everybody in our small village blame ME for his accident, by accusing me of not properly looking after such a small boy? I also didn't want to find any little boy meat in my 'healthy breakfast'. Had Jack allowed him to use such a kitchen knife before, or would this be his first time?
Still feeling uneasy, I went to our hallway and opened a couple of filled cardboard boxes, searching through them until I found my old wooden cutting board and my frequently used but still sharp kitchen knife. Hesitantly, I carried them to our kitchen table and put them next to my boy's herbs. Of course, I also decided to keep a very close eye on my little chef, in case something would go wrong with the knife. Where had I put my, fortunately still unused, first aid kit?
A second later, my chin almost dropped to the floor, while I stared at my busy little chef in utter amazement, and nearly gasped from his unexpected show. Never before had I seen such a small boy handle a sharp kitchen knife with such an amazing skill! Although he probably was putting on a show, he knew what he was doing!
First, he bundled his herbs with his fingers and adeptly chopped them into pieces at an astonishing speed. Then, he used the blade of my kitchen knife to scoop his pieces into a cup. Working at lightning speed, he frittered the onions, sliced part of the leek, and diced the carrot and the small pod. Skillfully, he peeled the clove of garlic and smashed it, by using his fists to punch the blade of the knife.
Finally, he scooped everything into his cup, and added some salt, pepper, curry, hot sauce, and a little bit of milk. After mixing his ingredients together, he tasted his greenish mixture. He shook his head, and added a little bit more salt and some more curry. Again, he tasted his mixture, and smiled.
Without looking up and still mixing some more, he asked me:
"Could you please take a pan, put some butter in it, and heat it?"
Doing as I was told, I put a frying pan on my electric cook top and carefully added two spoonfuls of butter, suddenly feeling proud to be the kitchen help of such an extremely skilled little chef. What a truly amazing child was he! I was now sure that this tiny boy would be able to teach me quite a lot about cooking. Would I ever be able to equal his amazing skills? That would be highly unlikely.
In the meantime, my little chef had dumped the used cutting board and the knife into the sink. Now, he took a spatula from a drawer, dragged one of the folding chairs towards my electric cook top, and climbed onto it. Looking in the already sizzling pan, he asked me:
"Could you please hand me the eggs, one at a time?"
Obediently, I took the eggs and handed them to my little cookie, one by one. Skillfully, he broke the eggs by tapping them against the rim of the pan, without crumbling the shells into his mixture and making a mess, as I certainly would have done. Next, I handed him his cup of nicely smelling herbs mixture.
He poured his mixture into the sputtering eggs, and started to scramble everything with the spatula. Quickly, I returned to the table, prepared some toast, and buttered the slices. In the meantime, a wonderful aroma started to fill our kitchen, caressing my nostrils and making my mouth water. This aromatic mixture smelled as if my little chef was preparing something very special! I really hoped it would taste just as good...
Finally, my little cookie hopped off his chair and asked me:
"Could you please take my hot pan and put it onto the table? My 'simple breakfast a la little Harry' is ready."
Again, I did as I was told. Feeling almost respectful, I took the steaming pan to our table and put it onto a fireproof tray. Next, I took two plates from a cupboard, some cutlery from a drawer, and neatly placed them in front of our folding chairs. Both my boy and I sat down and took some toast onto our plates. We scooped some of my boy's greenish looking scrambled eggs onto our toast, and brought the first pieces to our mouths.
Hesitantly, I took a bite... and felt as if I entered heaven! Never before had I tasted anything this delicious. This greenish 'breakfast a la Harry' tasted absolutely exquisite! My 'little cookie' turned out to be a truly excellent cook and an amazingly skilled chef; and he really had prepared our 'healthy breakfast' out of almost nothing!
Feeling very proud of my extremely skilled little chef, I told him:
"You are an amazingly excellent chef, and I am truly jealous of your outstanding cooking skills!"
Beaming with pride, my boy took the next piece of toast and some more greenish scrambled egg. Looking at me with sparkling eyes, he brought it to his mouth and took a bite. Of course, I couldn't drop behind. Trying to outdo each other, we started to devour our 'simple breakfast', savoring its exquisite taste until we were fighting for the last piece of toast and scraped the pan for the last crumbs. Then, my little chef opened his mouth and burped loudly!
Feeling shocked, I first thought about admonishing him for being naughty. Then, I decided to let it go, because I still knew next to nothing about his background. Perhaps, as a Gypsy child, he was used to burping after every tasty meal? Feeling a little bit naughty myself, I joined my little imp and made my own burping noise.
My little soul mate looked at me with a big smile and proudly beaming eyes, as if he approved of what I did. Then, he burped again, followed by my own even louder second burp. It felt wonderful, as a grownup, to act as a naughty little boy and feel a bit mischievous.
Working together, we did the dishes. Then, I put the cutlery away into the drawers, while little Harry climbed onto the sideboard and put our spices away. Finally, we washed our hands in the sink and dried them, using the only kitchen towel I had been able to find. Unexpectedly, my boy jumped up at me and trustingly let me catch his small frame in midair. He hooked his arms around my neck and offered me a few kisses directly onto my mouth.
Well, I certainly didn't complain, while I sat down on a folding chair and took my proudly beaming boy onto my lap. Strangely, I had already forgotten I was clad in only my briefs and that my boy was still totally naked. I had never thought I would get used to being a 'naturist' this fast; and my little soul mate even seemed to be a 'natural naturist'. Could his deceased Gypsy parents have allowed him to walk around like this in their caravan, or were all Gypsy children used to walk around clad only in their 'birthday suits'? My so special little Gypsy friend seemed to be totally uninhibited being naked, obviously without having any 'bodily shame' at all!
After some more cuddling, I thought now would be a good time to ask my little namesake a few questions. Ultimately, I still didn't know anything about him or about his mysterious past. I only knew he was of Gypsy origin, was around eight years old, and had survived a caravan fire two years ago. Where did he come from, and why had his parents and he arrived in this small village? Had one of his deceased parents been of non-Gypsy origin, having blue eyes and blond hair? What could have caused the caravan fire that had flared up in the middle of the night and nearly burnt him to death? Maybe, it would be better to ask my boy an easy question first, to boost his ego...
After again kissing the top of my boy's small head, I asked him:
"How come you are such a skilled cook, at such a young age?"
Surprisingly, my boy's happy face saddened considerably, while his small shoulders slumped down. Staring down at his dangling feet, he hesitated. Could I have asked him a too difficult question, in my eagerness to hear a few facts about his mysterious past? Then, my boy responded, with a sad sounding little baritone voice:
"Sorry, sir, but I don't know where my skills come from! I seem to have many special 'gifts', but I can't remember why that is, because the caravan fire burnt away all my memories from my past. My doctor thinks that my brain tried to shut down my pain; but, at the same time, the stupid thing also shut down my memories! During the first days after the fire, I couldn't even remember my own name or date of birth. Now, slowly, a few memories are coming back..."
My boy wiped a few stray tears from his face, before he went on:
"Since a few months, some memories from my Gypsy past are coming back, for example huge mountains with glowing tops, and we are living in a circle of caravans around a campfire. During summer, we always went into our surrounding woods to catch small animals and roast them over our campfire. I am sure I always collected tasty herbs to spice our roasting animals, because my friends sometimes called me 'little cookie', next to 'little Prince' or 'black and white'. Only, I still can't remember why my friends called me those strange nicknames. Perhaps, I'm only remembering some beautiful dream..."
My still sad looking boy fell silent, again wiped some tears away, and again stared at his slowly dangling feet.
As a trained psychotherapist, I was now sure that my boy suffered from 'post-traumatic hysteric amnesia', probably caused by excessive pain from his burns! Fortunately, I was also sure that, over time, all his memories from his past would return. He only had to wait until an unexpected emotion triggered them, so that they woke up and showed up again from his 'unconscious mind'.
After a moment of silence, my brave little soldier went on:
"Around a year ago, while I was in a hospital for my umpteenth skin operation, I felt bored and asked Jack about using herbs and spices. The next day, Jack brought me an herbal learning book, and I immediately recognized several plants from their colored pictures. I also knew how they taste and how I can use them to spice our food, but I don't remember where my knowledge comes from. After I returned home, Jack took me to a huge plant nursery, where we bought many spicy plants, cuttings, and seeds. Together, we set up my little herbs garden in our backyard, and I started to experiment. Now and then, my experiments tasted yucky, and we had to throw them away and start over again. Fortunately, now, my spiced food always tastes great, like today."
Again, my little soul mate fell silent, probably because he thought of his two months ago suddenly deceased Big Friend, Jack. Patiently, I waited, until my boy would be ready to tell me some more about what he could remember from his early youth. I also still wanted to know a lot more about his mysterious Shaman 'gifts'!
# # #
- A few excerpts from your wonderful 'fanmail' emails:
> I am so glad you are rewriting your beautiful story. I could see that you were not able to write what was really in your heart and your mind in the first version, and it distressed me, because I could see into your heart and it is beautiful. I could feel the frustration of struggling to get what you wanted to say down on paper in an unfamiliar language, and I was in awe at how wonderfully you did it. Now you are more competent, I am looking forward to an even more beautiful version, and I will save it to disk so I can read it whenever I am having a hard time with my own life.
> I just want to join the long list of people to congratulate you on this truly excellent story. I only just started reading it this morning and I couldnt stop reading. I now eagerly anticipate the continuing chapters. It is very heartening to read a story like this as it speaks to the goodness of love and family. I must tell you I was moved to tears on more than five occasions reading it all. Keep up the fine writing... it is truly appreciated.
# # #