( Book 1 - Heir to the Throne )
Greetings from Little Harry; and from me, Big Harry, his adopted Dad!
After the enormous success of my series of books 'Born to be a King';
(please, buy my books, or read them again, by clicking on the link below),
I am now helping my 'adopted son' rewrite his own story of growing up...
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11. About my past lives; and choosing an experienced guide.
From now on, we enjoyed all the days in our secluded camp as one big feast.
Every morning, we went into the surrounding woods, to set up our traps and catch our delicious animals.
Now and then, we filled a few baskets with berries and tasty nuts, as a special treat for all our grown-ups.
Then, we gathered around our campfire, to roast the nuts and eat them with lots of melted butter.
Of course, I tried my herbs on them; and everybody savored the exquisite taste and complimented me with my cooking skills!
Every afternoon, as our little Chief Cook, I searched our bushes and nearby woods for even more scrumptious herbs.
My strange abilities never betrayed me, and I always knew exactly which herb I could use for what animal or food.
After our Wise Woman heard about my extraordinary gift, she called me over to her caravan, to test me...
She wanted to be absolutely sure I wouldn't unknowingly provide my friends with a poisonous or dangerous herbs mixture!
I felt a little bit nervous, but decided to be proud of myself and let her do as she liked.
Of course, she only wanted everybody in our camp to be safe...
The Wise Woman sat me down on her couch, stared at me with her piercing eyes, and asked:
"Now, I want you to tell me exactly how you know which herb you can NOT use to spice our food..."
"Sorry, but I don't know how to explain it. It is as if the herb lets me feel what it would do to my own body, if I used it to spice my food...
"I take the herb into my hands; and, if it is dangerous, it makes me feel queasy or gives me strange sensations. Then, I know I cannot use it.
"With an edible herb, I feel happy and know exactly how it wants to be used. Now and then, the herb talks to me in my mind, to let me know what it wants..."
"Thank you very much; and this is exactly what I wanted to hear! I wanted to be sure you didn't make things up in your mind.
"Now, I want you to feel a couple of my own special herbs; and, please, tell me what you sense or what they tell you."
One by one, the Wise Woman handed me a couple of herbs I recognized from our woods; plus a few strange herbs I hadn't seen before.
I took them into my hands; and immediately told her what I sensed, what her herbs did to me, and what they told me...
I even told her how her unknown herbs wanted to be used, and how they would be able to cure certain diseases!
One particular herb was extremely dangerous; because it smelled and tasted very nice, but it would give you severe heart rate problems.
However, if used in very small amounts and with much care, it could be used to cure a sick heart...
The Wise Woman started to smile broadly; and she told me with a beaming face:
"Thank you, my young Prince. I am very impressed with your extraordinary abilities; and you have showed me all the signs of being a powerful Shaman!
"From now on, you are allowed to gather and use all the herbs you like; but with one very important restriction...
"If you ever feel unsure, or start to doubt, you have to stop immediately, and wait until your gifts are reliable again. Okay?"
"Okay; and thank you very much for trusting me! I will always be very careful, and stop immediately if I am not absolutely sure."
The Wise Woman put her arms around me and hugged me, for the first time!
She told me I would always be very welcome to ask her anything that I wanted to know.
My Ancestors and spirit guides were always with me, and they guided and protected me whenever they could...
I only had to listen to my 'inner voice' or to my own heart.
We parted; and I raced to our own caravan, to tell my parents everything that our Wise Woman had said about my extraordinary gifts...
My Mom had already accepted my special cooking skills; and she often asked me to spice our meals and help her.
She trusted me now with her sharp kitchen knife; and she even let me fry our meat in hot oil, or poke around a pan of boiling water!
I seemed to have another infallible sixth sense for safety, and always carefully stayed out of any danger zone.
My Dad was very impressed about me being a powerful Shaman; and he teasingly called me 'our new Wise Boy'...
Well, that sounded good!
It surely could help me feel even more proud of myself.
Next to all these praises, everybody else in our camp told me I was a very valuable part of our community.
They were still savoring the many smoked hams and sausages of my huge pig; and they had used all its lard, leather skin, and strong tendons.
My proud friends told me they even cherished my insatiable curiosity and my incessant questioning!
And, they loved it when I switched into my 'brainiac mode', as my Dad teasingly called my witty remarks...
One time, we were strolling around in our woods, while looking after our snares and setting new traps.
I had emptied my snare, put the caught animal into our string bag, and set up a new trap along another animal track, using my own special knot.
After I covered my snare with some forest litter, I wiped my own trail, so as not to alarm the returning animal.
Then, I went back to our group, to watch what the others were doing...
To my surprise, a couple of kids had started to copy me; using my special knot and wiping their own trails!
After they returned, they smiled at me, as if they stealthily looked for my approval...
Suddenly, one of the older boys asked me:
"Harold? Who taught you how to use that special knot? It looks complicated, but it works very effectively..."
Immediately, all my friends perked their ears up and crowded around me!
Suddenly, all their eyes were on me; while they squatted down in a circle and listened to my answer.
Obviously, they were very curious, and wanted to hear my explanation...
For a moment, I felt a bit timid, while I started to blush involuntarily.
Would my friends really want to hear what I had to tell them?
Ultimately, I was only a four-year-old 'little runt'...
Then, I decided to act as a real Prince, and be PROUD of myself!
Misha lifted me onto a boulder; and I sat down on my makeshift throne and told them:
"Please, don't laugh at me; but I think I was a trapper boy in my past life. I remember helping my Dad setting traps, cleaning animals, and roasting them over a fire.
"My Dad taught me how to fold my snare, how to spice our caught animals, and how to walk around safely in our dense woods and rocky mountains.
"Then, a grizzly bear caught me and killed me; while my Dad couldn't rescue me because he only had a small knife in his hands...
"Now, I am back in this life; and my Inner Self seems to remember how to fold a snare, how to recognize our herbs, and how to cross dangerous rapids.
"What do you think... Could I be right, or am I talking nonsense?"
My friends listened to me open-mouthed, holding their breaths, trying not to miss a word...
Wow! I seemed to be a really entertaining narrator!
For a moment, everybody was silent...
Then, Misha blurted:
"See? I TOLD you that you are a natural! Of course, you were a trapper in your past life; and that is what makes you so special.
"By the way, does anybody else remember anything extraordinary about a past life? Who wants to tell us about it?"
Immediately, many hands went up into the air; and a couple of kids started to say:
"I remember living in a big gadjo town, and we were chased by a couple of armed soldiers. They killed my parents and me; and now I am living here."
"The first time I entered our lake, I immediately knew how to swim. I think I was a famous swimming champion in my past life..."
"I am sure I've lived here before, in this same camp. I only can't remember what my name was, and who my parents were."
"I still dream of huge sand dunes, with small wells and some vegetation around them. We traveled from well to well on strange and wobbly animals..."
"In my past life, I owned many enormous beasts with dangerous horns; but I milked them every day and wasn't afraid of them."
I listened intently to all their interesting stories; while I felt a deep longing welling up in my soul...
The rest of our earth seemed to differ quite a lot from where I lived now; and I wanted to visit all the other extraordinary places!
When would I finally be old enough to leave this secluded camp, and discover a bit more of our mysterious planet?
According to what Misha once told me, I had to have my 'growth spurt' first...
After a few other kids also told us about their own remembrances; we decided to go to our waterfall, to cool off and swim in our lake.
Today, I followed them absent-mindedly, still thinking about all the interesting things I had heard from the others.
I wanted to see quite a lot more of our curious earth, preferably as soon as possible!
When could I finally leave our camp; to discover all the amazing habits of other people?
A few months later, our hot and sweaty summer slowly came to an end.
The days started to shorten and be cooler, while fall approached...
Many trees and shrubs started to lose their leaves; and the animals started to prepare themselves to hibernate.
Almost imperceptibly, we caught fewer animals; while more and more snares turned out to be empty.
At last, the few famished stray animals we caught were old and wiry, and too small to fill our stomachs properly.
All the berries were gone, and the few remaining nuts were old and putrid.
It was time to change our tactics!
The next morning, the older and more experienced kids gathered us in our clearing, and told us:
"By now, almost all the marmots are in hibernation; and we will have to wait until spring, for them to start breeding again.
"From now on, we will have to sneak noiselessly into our dense forest; to find any remaining stray hares, lazy marmots, and foraging porcupines.
"They are now very wary about any hungry predators. If they hear any unknown sounds, they will flee towards the mountains and stay there!
"Starting today, we will work individually, or split up in pairs. Then, we will set up our traps in the dense forest, as far away from our camp as possible.
"The younger kids will be guided by the more experienced ones; unless they are real trappers and we are sure they will be able to fend for themselves...
"And, please, be careful, think first, and don't get lost in the dense forest! We don't want to have to set up a rescue team at the end of the day."
Of course, I looked around for my friend Misha, because I wanted him to guide me!
Only a few minutes ago, I had seen him with the older kids, talking to each other and deliberating...
I walked around and looked everywhere, until I finally found him near the other side of our clearing.
Unfortunately, another small boy, six-year-old Jonno, had already attached himself to my friend...
What should I do now?
Misha was clearly not pleased to have Jonno at his side; but he couldn't reject him without being very rude.
He looked at me apologetically, and shrugged his shoulders to tell me this hadn't been his decision.
Yeah, well... Next time, I would immediately glue myself to Misha's side, to be the first one to claim him!
Today, I had to look for another experienced guide...
A moment later, Biny stepped towards me, and enthusiastically took my hand.
However, one of the older boys told her to leave me, because she was too young to guide such a small kid.
I had to choose one of the experienced guides; because this was my first time in the dense forest, and they didn't want to take any risk!
Looking disappointed and moping, Biny left me and sauntered back to the others.
Okay, who else wanted to guide me, now that my friend Misha wasn't free any more...
I stepped back, and looked around.
By now, all the younger children had found an older and more experienced kid to guide them.
They were all standing next to their chosen guides...
That is, except for me!
I was still all alone, now feeling a bit lost...
Why did nobody choose ME, to be my guide?
I started to feel disappointed, and didn't know what to do...
Why did nobody want to be MY guide?
Slowly, I started to feel like an outcast; while tears welled up in my eyes.
Didn’t my friends really like me; and had they told me only empty words?
Were my so-called 'friends' not really my friends?
Or, was everybody, except for Misha and Biny, afraid to guide their little Prince and so praised Chief Cookie?
What should I do now, now that I couldn't find a guide?
Should I turn around and go home for the rest of the day, to play with the toddlers?
Suddenly, I decided to be PROUD of myself, as my Dad had told me so many times.
Instead of waiting for somebody else to choose me, I decided to choose my guide all by myself!
I took a deep breath, raised my shoulders, straightened my back, and determinedly stepped forward.
Why shouldn't a fourteen-year-old and very experienced boy be able to guide TWO younger kids?
I went in a beeline towards Misha, and looked at him with a questioning face...
At the same time, Misha seemed to reach his own decision.
He left Jonno's hand, straightened his back, and went in a beeline towards me!
We met halfway, stopped, and grinned at each other sheepishly...
Misha took my hand and guided me towards Jonno, while explaining:
"I am a very experienced trapper; and I can easily guide TWO younger kids!"
The other guides nodded their consent, obviously feeling pleased with our agreement.
Only, Jonno didn't seem to be very happy about Misha's decision...
He glared at me with his dark brown eyes, as if he wanted me to disappear immediately.
Then, he walked around, and demonstratively took Misha's other hand.
Today, I determined that not everybody always wanted to be my friend...
Now that we had paired up, the oldest boys told us what they had planned for today.
We would go to our old traps first, to gather the last caught animals and take our empty snares with us.
Then, every pair would take another route into the dense forest, to look for fresh animal tracks.
We would walk as far away from our camp as possible, and set up our traps in absolute silence.
After we returned, we would meet at our waterfall; to have a talk, and a quick swim if the weather wasn't too chilly.
The oldest boys dismissed us; and every pair of kids started to walk away in silence.
They all took different courses, to reach their old traps and get their snares first.
Misha beckoned Jonno and me; to follow him into the surrounding dense shrubbery.
Determinedly, he paved his way through the heavy undergrowth, as if he knew exactly where to go.
Within a few seconds, I didn't have the faintest idea where we were; and Jonno and I just followed his trail.
However, Misha seemed to know his way; and he only now and then stopped to wait for us...
How did he always know the way, even in the densest of woods, without ever getting lost?
I wanted to learn that too!
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Harry AnderS, Dutch psychotherapist and writer of 'books with a message'