Book 1 - Heir to the Throne
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21. My fifth birthday; and my beautiful small mountain bike.
My parents started to laugh, when I showed up in our caravan with a beaming oil-smeared face and very dirty hair...
This time, my Dad took me to our shower; where he scrubbed my skin until it looked bright red instead of gray and soiled.
Next, he washed my hair thoroughly, until all the oil and smear had disappeared and I finally looked blond again.
While he rubbed my hair dry with a huge bath towel, he chuckled:
"Harry, you really are one of a kind! I only hope you are not going to make a regular living out of repairing old snow scooters?"
"Of course not! Once I'm a King, my personal staff will do that for me."
My Dad laughed at my joke, and playfully slapped my bare ass:
"My little Prince, have you ever seen MY personal staff in action?"
"Well... yes! I remember a certain police raid, where my Dad was escorted by many of our cars..."
"Sigh... will there ever be a time when you do not have an immediate answer ready?"
I laughed at him, and playfully stuck out my tongue.
This time, he kept his mouth shut; while he rubbed my body dry until I looked like a cooked lobster.
Then, we went to our living room, where I climbed onto his lap and asked him:
"Dad? Is there only one standard snow scooter, or are there larger and smaller ones as well?"
"Well... I remember once seeing a small snow scooter, in some gadjo store, made especially for young children..."
"Yes! That's the one I want to have! Please, could you buy me one, maybe as a birthday present?"
"Well, maybe the scooter wasn't THAT small... I think you will have to wait for at least a few more years."
Of course, I felt rather disappointed; but I didn't show it to my parents.
It wasn't their fault that my little body was still too small and too immature...
When would I finally have my 'growth spurt'; and be big enough to ride such a children's snow scooter?
I knew I was still a four-year-old 'little badger'; but my fifth birthday was approaching fast...
And, this year, I would finally have my first official birthday present; because I now belonged to our grown-ups!
Unfortunately, my people were very poor, and they probably couldn't afford to buy me such an expensive snow scooter.
I only hoped they would have enough money to buy me something else I liked...
The next day, Pietro picked me up for another ride through our snowy valleys.
This time, he had attached two small props to the sides of our snow scooter, so that I could put my feet onto them.
He had also attached an extra saddle in front of his own one, especially for me!
That helped me a lot, because now I was able to sit more forward and steer much easier.
I started to jump up and down from happiness, while I told him:
"Pietro, thank you very, very much; and I love you for reckoning with my small body!"
Pietro just laughed, while he lifted me onto my own little saddle in front of his bigger one.
He put his arms around my waist and held me, while he let me start the engine and put it into forward gear.
A moment later, I let the engine roar, while our snow scooter raced towards the open woods.
Soon, I let it slalom around trees and jump little hills at full speed, like a professional.
This was the real life, and I cheered at the top of my lungs!
Now and then, I used my brakes, to let our scooter spray huge fountains of snow onto our jealous onlookers...
Then, I had some extra fun, while my friends jumped out of the way and scolded Pietro and me.
All the time, Pietro sat directly behind me; ready to intervene immediately if necessary.
Of course, he never allowed me to ride our scooter on my own, although he and I both knew I would enjoy it very much...
However, I knew that my parents had talked to Pietro, and he had promised them to take good care of me and always bring me back in one piece.
Therefore, I never asked him to let me ride alone; but I enjoyed every moment of our riding together.
Many times, a couple of older kids accompanied us to our snowy hills, riding their own sleds.
Of course, they always tried to outrace us, but our snow scooter was way too fast for them!
Now and then, Pietro let my friends have their own short rides, while I looked on; but always after asking ME first.
Ultimately, it was OUR snow scooter, and we had put it together in unison!
He still called me 'my little mechanical engineer', and I was very proud of my title.
My friends always tried to equal my driving skills; but they soon had to admit that I was the best!
Nobody else was able to make these huge fountains of snow, or perform such steep curves, by using the brakes and the throttle at the same time.
I seemed to have a natural gift for driving our snow scooter; and always kept my balance, even in the most difficult curves.
The very moment I mounted my small saddle, my scooter and I immediately became one...
Way too soon, the snow blanket started to melt away, and the valleys became too muddy to sled safely.
Pietro and I cleaned our snow scooter carefully, and greased it from top to bottom to keep it in good condition during the summer.
Then, we stored it away in one of our spare caravans, to wait there until the next winter.
After we put the grease away, left the caravan, and closed its door, Pietro chuckled:
"I didn't know it would be necessary to preserve you too..."
Why was it so difficult, to preserve a snow scooter without greasing yourself at the same time?
That evening, my chuckling Dad washed and scrubbed me again...
Finally, the most important day of my young life showed up: March the third!
I had been looking forward to this special day for many weeks; while driving everybody in our camp crazy.
Every day, I had counted all the remaining days on my fingers and my toes, plus adding those of my chuckling parents.
After a while, I only needed my own twenty fingers and toes; until, at last, only my ten fingers were enough.
Now, I needed only one little finger, to count the last day until I finally would be five years old...
Tomorrow, I would celebrate my fifth birthday; and have my first official birthday present!
Of course, I knew that my people were very poor, and they certainly couldn't afford to buy me a small snow scooter.
Therefore, I had decided not to ask them for one; but wait until we would have some more money, maybe next year...
I knew they all loved me deeply; and I didn't want them to feel guilty!
A couple of weeks ago, Michail had asked me what I wanted to have as a present for my fifth birthday.
After some thinking, I had told him to buy me a second-hand small bicycle, or maybe a leather football...
What else could my people be able to give me as a birthday present?
I would be grateful for anything they gave me, because it would be given to me out of real love!
To my surprise, Michail got tears in his eyes, while he ruffled my hair before he went to his own caravan.
I hoped I hadn't disappointed him too much, by asking for a too expensive thing...
The next morning, I woke up in my small den, feeling happy that today was the first day of my new year!
Since today, I was FIVE years old, finally!
Of course, I couldn't sleep anymore; so I jumped out of bed and paid our small lavatory a fast visit.
Then, I crawled in between my still snoring parents, trying not to wake them.
My Dad woke up a little bit, grumbled something unintelligible, put his strong arms around me, and fell asleep again.
I snuggled up to him and closed my eyes, feeling safe and loved...
An hour later, my Mom woke up, yawned, and turned onto her back.
Her sudden movements woke me too, and I wormed myself out of the arms of my still sleeping Dad.
Next, I crawled onto my Mom's stomach, laying my head in between her warm and soft breasts.
That felt nice and cozy, and I marveled in the lovable feeling I still remembered from my early youth.
Five minutes later, my Dad woke up; and he chuckled when he saw me cuddling with my Mom.
He turned around, threw his strong arms around her and me, and held us both very close.
Now, I was sandwiched in between the two people I loved most in the whole world!
I basked in the pleasant feeling, and loved every part of it.
My parents cuddled each other and me for a long time, until the bright morning sun started to peek through our curtains.
That made me too impatient; and I wrestled free from their sandwich and left our bed.
I washed my face, combed my hair, and dressed into my beautiful badger fur coat and nice warm fox boots.
Next, I went outside, scooped some fresh snow into a pan, and put it onto the grate in our small fireplace to have some warm water.
Then, I helped my Mom prepare our healthy breakfast in our small kitchen.
Fortunately, she was no longer afraid of letting me use her sharp kitchen knife!
I mixed our food with my nicely smelling herbs, while she looked approvingly at my skills as her little chief cookie.
We took the readied breakfast to our living room; where we sat down and devoured our healthy meal.
Of course, our food tasted excellent again; and we all took second helpings and licked our fingers clean.
My Dad scraped the pan, looking for the last crumbs, while he smiled at me with pride in his eyes:
"Boy, you are really good at cooking! I think you could easily open a restaurant..."
"Okay! You invite the people, and I will prepare their meals. Of course, with the earned money, you have to buy me a small snow scooter!"
"Good heavens... Again, your witty brain is thinking way too fast for me. I will praise the day you don't have an immediate response to everything..."
"Then, you better breed a duffer, as I've told you before."
My Dad started to chuckle, while he suddenly grabbed my arm and pulled me onto his lap.
Then, he tickled my armpits and ribs, until I nearly wetted my fur coat and promised him to better my life...
Fortunately, my Mom rescued me, by telling my Dad we had to hurry to be in time for my official celebration.
We went outside, to meet our own beloved people and celebrate my fifth birthday.
Many people had already gathered around our campfire, wanting to congratulate their growing little Prince...
We went to our special Royal bench; where I sat down in between my parents, looking around curiously.
One by one, all our people approached us, happily congratulating my proud parents and me.
Pietro passed by, congratulated me, and enthusiastically ruffled my hair before he disappeared again.
Biny even offered me a little kiss, while she wished me all the luck in the world during my fifth year!
This time, I started to blush, felt a bit shy, and tried to disappear under our bench...
That caused my chuckling Dad to tease me about my first case of 'puppy love'.
I was mad at him for calling me a 'puppy', and punched his ribs to silence him.
He winced a bit, tried to look angry, and whispered into my ear:
"I will GET you for that, as soon as we are home..."
I laughed at him, stuck out my tongue, and whispered back:
"Are you sure? You and whose army?"
My Dad looked a bit surprised, while he shook his head in disbelief.
However, he didn't dare say another word...
After everybody had congratulated my parents and me, they returned to their benches and sat down.
All the children climbed onto a safe and cozy lap, to be held and cuddled.
Then, they sat still and waited...
What would happen next?
What were my people waiting for?
I supposed it would be time to hand me my official birthday present...
However, I looked around curiously, but nobody carried any package!
Where could my official birthday present be?
Had they forgotten to buy me one?
Or, didn't they have enough money to buy one, and had I to do without a present?
Maybe, we really were too poor and needy to buy anything for me...
I started to be a little bit impatient and fidgety.
Why didn't they just tell me the truth, so that I could accept the inevitable...
Maybe, they had forgotten me, and now it was too late...
This year, I had to live without a birthday present...
Suddenly, Pietro appeared from in between two caravans, carrying a huge package.
He approached our Royal bench, put the package in front of me, and beckoned me to help him unwrap it...
I stared at him in surprise, while I got lots of tears in my eyes from sudden shame.
Obviously, I had betrayed his love and everybody else's, by not trusting them...
My people had NOT forgotten me!
Slowly, I rose from our bench and went to my huge birthday present.
With trembling hands, I unwrapped the package, assisted by a smiling Pietro...
Then, I stared open-mouthed at a beautiful mountain bike, painted in our own black-and-golden colors!
Was this for ME?
Was this really my official birthday present?
A real mountain bike, painted in our own black-and-golden Royal colors, provided with lots of extra gadgets?
I couldn't help it... this was too much for me... I started to sob uncontrollably.
My sudden emotions overwhelmed me, my eyes filled with tears, and I choked up and started to cry.
Did my people really love me this much?
Then, they didn't know what I had been thinking only a moment ago...
I went to Pietro and buried my face into his stomach, now sobbing loudly.
I cried for a long time, keeping my eyes closed and my face buried into Pietro's stomach.
All the time, I felt ashamed about not trusting my people, and for being such a little crybaby...
What would my people think of their unthankful little Prince now?
They would certainly regret giving me such a beautiful birthday present!
I would never again be able to look at them without feeling utterly ashamed of myself...
Finally, my sobs started to cease, and somebody offered me a couple of tissues.
Pietro took a tissue, peeled me off his stomach, let me blow my nose, and tenderly dried my eyes.
Then, he turned me towards my birthday present, and told me:
"My little mechanical engineer and Royal Prince... thank you very much, for showing your emotions. Your openness and honesty proves you are a real Prince!
"Now, please, go to your official birthday present, and try it out. We all love you dearly; and we are waiting for you!"
At first, I didn't believe what Pietro told me; and I nearly started to cry again.
How could my people love me dearly, after I mistrusted them and thought they had forgotten me...
I also didn't want to accept the beautiful birthday present I hadn't deserved.
I only wanted to disappear under the ground, or to fly far away from here!
Because I couldn't disappear, or flee from my fate, I finally did the inevitable.
I opened my teary eyes, and looked around at everybody; expecting to see many angry faces glaring at me...
To my utmost surprise, nobody looked angry, laughed at me, or made fun of me!
On the contrary, several people had tears in their own eyes, looking at their emotional little Prince with lots of love and pride!
This was the last thing I expected...
They all smiled at me, while my Dad beckoned me to go to my beautiful mountain bike and try it out.
Nobody thought I had been a crybaby, or that I had done anything they didn't like.
They only saw their beloved little Prince, who obviously was overwhelmed by his unexpected birthday present...
Nobody knew what I had thought, or how I had mistrusted their love!
Suddenly, I recalled the words my wise Dad had spoken, about always being proud of myself.
Nobody would ever know what I had thought about them!
They expected me to be a real Prince; and I decided not to disappoint them.
From now on, I would never again mistrust them, and they could always count on me!
I straightened my back, wiped the last teardrops away, and forced myself to smile and look happy.
Smilingly, I went to my beautiful birthday present, and tentatively touched it.
I had never imagined my people would give me such a valuable thing...
They had done a lot of work on it, and obviously rebuilt all its important parts!
My small mountain bike was refurbished to perfection; and repainted in our own royal colors.
I guessed that Pietro had rebuilt it, while Michail had sanded and painted it until it sparkled...
Now, it was the best bike in the whole camp, and all my friends would be jealous of me.
How had they ever been able to hide this project from my always-prying eyes?
Finally, I mounted my beautiful mountain bike, with a little help from Pietro.
Then, I peddled off, and rode it around our camp with a proud face and beaming eyes.
Fortunately, my friends had taught me how to ride a bike, although their own bikes had been way too big for me...
Mostly, I couldn't reach the saddle; so I had to stand on the pedals, while my hands gripped the handle bars.
Now, I could finally sit on the saddle of my own beautiful mountain bike; and even stand still with my feet touching the ground!
I felt more and more enthusiastic, while I rode my second round around our camp.
This time, everybody stood up and started to cheer at their beaming little Prince.
They seemed to love me quite a lot more than I had thought...
I stopped in front of my parents and Pietro, and looked at their proud faces.
Then, I waited until everybody was silent, raised my voice, and told my beloved people:
"Thank you very much, for giving me such a beautiful birthday present! I love you all dearly, and I promise that I will do everything I can to become an excellent King, once I am old enough to reign!"
Again, all my people started to cheer, looking at me with love and pride in their eyes.
Obviously, I had used exactly the right words to please them.
And, this time, I really meant what I had said!
Tentatively, little Dimi started to pull at my arm, trying to get my attention...
I had already seen him, impatiently waiting for me, with his beaming eyes full of adoration.
Now, I smiled at him, while I raised my eyebrows questioningly.
While showing me his best pleading puppy dog eyes, Dimi asked me:
"Harold, please, could you teach me how to ride a bike? Yours is the only one that's small enough for me..."
Why did I unexpectedly feel like being sort of a father to this small boy?
That was very strange; because I was only two years older than he was, and I was still a small boy myself!
Then, I had another very weird idea...
Could little Dimi once have been my own son, in one of our past lives?
It certainly felt as if he and I already had a very special bond...
I smiled again at my little friend, ruffled his hair, and told him:
"First, I have to teach myself how to ride my bike a bit better. Then, I will teach you. Okay?"
At hearing my promise, Dimi's eyes sparkled even more, while his face lit up like a torch!
He started to dance around, in his enthusiasm nearly overturning my beautiful mountain bike.
Fortunately, I was able to rescue my precious present just in time, while Dimi calmed down considerably.
He looked at me with a shocked face, until I ruffled his hair again.
Then, his built-in little sun restarted to shine, while he told me:
"Sorry for being so clumsy! I think I am too happy to control myself... And, thank you very much, for wanting to teach me how to ride!"
In the meantime, all our other bike-owners had collected their own bikes.
I left little Dimi, and joined my friends to race them and have lots of fun.
After counting to three, we mounted our saddles and rode off, with me proudly leading the way.
We raced around our camp, trying to outdo each other in using our brakes and slipping in the puddles of muddy snow.
Now and then, one of us fell onto the wet ground, but that didn't temper our fun!
We just remounted our bikes and went on, chuckling...
Near the end of the day, we were too tired from our playing, and our stomachs started to rumble.
It was time to go back to our wooden benches, and be fed by our happy looking parents...
To our utmost delight, in the meantime, our grown-ups had prepared a real feast!
We sat down, and started to munch on all the nice and tasty delicacies.
Soon, we were stuffed to the brim, feeling very thankful.
We burped loudly, to thank both our food spirits and happy-looking grown-ups.
We had really enjoyed my fifth birthday celebration, and felt tired but wonderful!
After we promised each other to race our bikes again the next day, we went to our own caravans.
That evening, I went to bed with an intense feeling of gratitude.
My people loved me dearly, I had many good friends, and I was again proud of myself.
It felt good, to be a little Gypsy Prince, growing up in our secluded Rumanian mountains.
And, finally, I was FIVE years old...
---. My story goes on! Just read the second book of my series.
Of course, my story goes on and on!
Just read the second book of my series, which is called:
I am a Gypsy Prince 2 - Our Lucky Mascot
In my second book, I am suddenly lost in our dense forest.
I have to sleep in a porcupine lair, until my worried Dad finds me.
Then, finally, Misha teaches me how to find my way anywhere!
Now, I am a real trapper, allowed to enter our woods on my own...
We are visiting a gadjo town, and begging for food and money.
I am our 'lucky mascot', and we survive another nasty police raid.
Michail takes me to a big gadjo store and another Gypsy camp.
Then, I am having my sixth birthday... and a small snow scooter!
See you back soon, in my second book.
Your big friend, Little Harry
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Thank you very much, for reading my books!
I love you all.
Harry AnderS, writer of 'books with a message'.
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I wish you lots of Love in your life, and Profound Peace in your heart.
Harry AnderS, Dutch psychotherapist and writer of 'books with a message'
And, an enormous bear hug from your big friend, Prince little Harry...
Thank you, for reading my stories!