' Book 2 - Our Lucky Mascot '
(This is the SECOND book of my famous sequel 'I am a Gypsy Prince')
17. Begging for food; a gadjo friend; and I am our lucky mascot.
The small food stall displayed all sorts of tasty looking gadjo goodies, making my mouth water...
Ultimately, the only food I had this morning was one apple; and that for a growing boy!
Suddenly feeling hungry, I stared at the busy stall owner who still loudly praised his goods...
Misha put his hands onto my shoulders, and gently pushed me in front of himself.
Patiently, he waited, until the busy stall owner looked into our direction...
Then, he showed me to the frowning gadjo man, while he pleaded:
"Please, sir; my little brother and I didn't eat this morning, and our parents don't have any money either..."
At first, the disturbed stall owner just glared at Misha, looking angry!
I thought he would yell at us because we were Gypsies, and immediately shoo us away...
However, after he saw me, he suddenly started to bellow with laughter, while he hiccupped:
"Well, well; look at what the cat brings home! There's a little bastard Gypsy, blond with blue eyes...
"I suppose your hungry mother sold herself to a blond haired sailor?"
For a moment, I stared at the man, not understanding what he was talking about...
Then, suddenly sensing the meaning of his words, I was severely shocked by the sheer malice of what he suggested!
Never before had anybody been this mean and rude about my Mom.
I loved my Mom with all my heart, and didn't want that man to berate her like this!
Tears of anger and frustration welled up in my eyes; while I started to sniffle.
Immediately, I wiped my unwelcome tears away, using a sleeve of my shirt.
I certainly didn't want that mean man to think I would be a Gypsy crybaby as well!
At the same time, I stared into his eyes, trying to enter his mind and probe his intentions...
Why was that gadjo man so mean to me?
Had his parents never told him about Love and Respect?
That was very sad...
Suddenly, the man stepped back as if I had slapped his face, while he turned a deep red!
At the same time, the malice in his eyes started to soften quite a lot.
He even averted his eyes, as if he suddenly felt ashamed of what he had said...
For a moment, the man stared into empty space, as if he remembered his parents.
Then, acting a bit shy, he reached down, and took a huge paper bag from a pile.
While bashfully trying to smile at me, he mumbled:
"Sorry, little man; I didn't mean what I said. Now, come on and dry your tears, because today is your lucky day."
In a sudden hurry, the gadjo man started to fill the paper bag with all sorts of fresh and tasty looking gadjo foods!
I sensed that the man had changed his mind quite a lot; and, now, he wanted to be nicer to us, after all...
Still looking very bashful, he handed me the heavy paper bag, while he told me:
"I hope your brother and you will have a good meal out of this. Now, move on, because you're hindering the other customers."
I didn't know what to say, while I took the paper bag and slowly turned towards Misha.
Had the man suddenly changed his mind, because I had been angry with him and showed him my disapproval?
Or, had he seen my tears, and decided to have some more pity with us...
However, Misha already politely thanked the man:
"Thank you very much, sir, for your kindness! You are a good man."
This time, the man hastily retreated towards the back of his stall!
I even thought I saw a couple of tears, welling up in his eyes...
Misha smiled proudly, while he took over and carried our heavy paper bag.
Walking together, we left the crowded market; looking around for something to sit on.
Soon, we saw an empty wooden bench; where we sat down, to have a look at what was in our bag...
Suddenly, Misha threw his arms around me, while he told me:
"Wow, little man; that was absolutely amazing! I've made a good choice, by choosing you as my begging buddy!"
"Huh? What do you mean? I didn't do anything at all; and that gadjo man used very mean words and offended my Mom..."
"Who cares? Look at what is in this bag! Please, keep getting tears in your eyes every time, because I think you are our Lucky Mascot!"
I shook my head in disbelief, not comprehending what special things I had done to be a 'lucky mascot'...
Then, all my attention was drawn towards the paper bag full of nice gadjo goodies!
Misha opened it; and offered me a tasty looking brown roll filled with yellow pudding, while he himself took a similar goodie.
A moment later, we both savored our meal, gratefully licking our fingers clean.
Finally, we were able to have some proper breakfast!
A filthy looking and really thin gadjo boy of around twelve years old hesitantly approached our bench.
He sat down at its far end; slowly rubbing his stomach, but not looking at us directly.
With hungry eyes, and unconsciously licking his lips, he stealthily eyed our filled paper bag...
Obviously, this boy was at least as hungry as we had been, a minute ago!
From the corners of my eyes, I saw Misha looking warily at the hungry boy.
He took our paper bag, closed it, and protectively clamped it in between his legs...
Did Misha really think this starved gadjo boy would try to steal our food?
I thought that all the gadjo kids called US thieves?
I looked at the hungry gadjo boy, and suddenly decided to help him!
We were both human beings, and both desperately trying to get some food...
So, why should we not share some of our free meal?
Gently, I took the paper bag from between Misha's legs, while my friend stared at me with a questioning face.
However, he respected my intentions, and didn't object other than slightly raising his eyebrows.
Next, I opened the bag, and invitingly held it towards the now very hungry looking gadjo boy...
For a moment, the boy hesitated.
Then, tentatively, he reached for the bag, and took some tasty looking brownie.
Immediately, he popped it into his mouth, as if he was afraid we would want it back...
Still chewing and swallowing, he suddenly blurted:
"But... you are GYPSIES!"
"Yes, we are; and you are a gadjo. So what?"
"What is 'gadjo'? You now cut my throat?"
"WHAT? Why would you ever think such a ridiculous thing? We are not murderers!"
"Everybody tell Gypsies mean, steal, and cut throat... but you seem nice?"
For a moment, I felt flabbergasted, and didn't know what to answer.
Was THAT what all those gadjo's were thinking about us; that we were thieves and throat cutters?
No wonder their children were afraid of us, and threw pebbles at us to chase us away!
I smiled at the still hungry looking gadjo boy, and again put the paper bag under his nose.
Hesitantly, he took a huge doughnut, this time looking even more grateful.
He held it into both hands, as if he couldn't believe his own eyes...
Then, he mumbled:
"I keep this for sister. She hungry too..."
A minute later, we were in an animated conversation.
Misha and I told the boy about our lives in our secluded camp, and that we were peaceful people who never harmed anyone.
The gadjo boy told us about living in an abandoned sewer plant, together with his slightly older sister, since their parents died.
Day after day, they scoured all the different markets and malls in town, looking for anything edible.
Our brownie had been his first meal of the day...
Now and then, it was difficult to understand each other's heavy accent and foreign use of words.
Fortunately, I seemed to be an excellent translator, because I felt the energy of his words and thus knew what he was saying.
I also seemed to pick up the foreign gadjo words really fast, and immediately mixed them into our conversation.
Misha admiringly told me I seemed to have 'a real knack for languages', making me blush about the compliment...
Then, the gadjo boy wanted to go to his sister and bring her his precious doughnut.
He was sure she was still hungry, and would be very grateful for her first meal of the day...
Of course, Misha and I immediately decided to share our own huge bag of food with the boy!
Carrying two hands full of goodies, and having tears in his eyes, our new gadjo friend sobbed:
"I hope we see back sometime! And, thank you a lot! You good friend, and sister and I love you..."
He disappeared into one of the side streets, almost skipping, and carefully carrying his precious gifts...
I never thought we would make such a good gadjo friend; while we were hungry and still begging for our own food!
And, I also never thought that even gadjo kids could be poor and starving...
Misha stared at me for a long time, until he finally blurted:
"My friend, again you taught me quite a lot; about being friendly even to our enemies, without thinking the worst in the first place...
"And, again, you showed me that you are a real Royal Prince! I think you will grow up to be an Apostle of Peace."
"Thank you, my dear friend; and I am sure you will grow up to be an Apostle of Love."
"I surely hope so; but I'm afraid I will have to learn quite a lot more first..."
We threw our arms around each other and hugged for a long time, oblivious to the busy people around.
Then, we decided not to tell our friends about sharing half of our food with some hungry gadjo boy.
We were afraid they would never accept our motivation...
Besides, we still had our halfway filled paper bag with all the remaining gadjo goodies!
Together, we returned to the central market, to resume our begging.
This time, we took another lane, looking around until we detected another promising stall.
Again, Misha pushed me in front of himself, while he waited until the few customers left and sauntered away.
Then, he showed his best puppy dog face to the female stall owner, while he begged:
"Please, madam... This morning, we didn't have any breakfast; and my little brother and I are still hungry..."
The stall owner looked at us with sudden fear in her eyes, while she barked:
"I don't trust any Gypsies. You have already done enough harm! Go home, you thieves; and don't let me see you again, or I will call the police!"
I was able to feel the energy of her angry words, and felt very shocked by what I sensed.
This woman meant what she said; and I was relatively sure she had a valid reason for her fear and hatred!
Maybe, somebody else once had betrayed her trust, and afterwards blamed us Gypsies?
Now, I knew how it felt to be a scapegoat...
Misha tried to drag me away from the stall, but I refused to move on and dived from under his hands.
I stepped forward and stared at the woman's eyes in wonder, trying to read her mind and understand why she didn't trust us...
Feeling her Inner Self, I could sense she was a good woman with a big heart, capable of giving a lot of love.
However, she didn't trust any stranger; because somebody once betrayed her kindness and stomped onto her soul...
Slowly, my eyes filled with tears, while I opened my heart and sent the poor woman all the love I could muster.
She wasn't really mean, but only very afraid of being betrayed again...
I also 'saw' a faint picture of a young boy, dearly loving his mother, until he suddenly died...
That too had broken her heart.
Misha started to be impatient, while he forcefully pulled my arm to get me to move on.
However, I resisted him again; while I continued to send the poor woman my love.
I sensed that she remembered her own young boy, but she was very afraid to love a kid again.
Knowing this, I opened myself up even more...
Suddenly, the woman colored a deep red, while she turned around to hide her face.
Hastily, she took a couple of money flaps out of a metal box, without looking at what she did.
Without counting them, she handed me the pile of money, ushering me to go away and leave her alone...
Feeling very bashful, I took the money and handed it to Misha, while I stammered:
"Thank you very much, madam; and you have a good heart!"
"It's in your eyes... they remind me of my own son... you are a good boy; and sorry for my harsh words!"
She started to cry, turned her back towards us, and blindly grabbled around for a box of tissues...
Misha and I walked back to our wooden bench, where we sat down in silence.
I felt confused, while I desperately tried to get rid of the woman's sad feelings that still lingered around me.
I also sensed her deceased son around me, gratefully thanking me for helping his Mom!
However, I had done nothing but only sending her my love and telling her she had a good heart.
How could that ever have 'helped' her?
Then, I remembered what Misha had taught me this morning, after I felt confused and dizzy...
I started to steadily breathe in and out, slowly and deeply; and that helped immediately.
The grateful boy disappeared from my aura, after again thanking me and sending me his love.
My sad feelings disappeared completely, and I felt like being reborn!
In the meantime, Misha had been busy counting our pile of money flaps.
With an astonished face, he counted the money for the second time...
Now, he threw his arms around me, while he exclaimed:
"Look at what that woman gave to us! This is a huge amount of money. How the heck did you do that? You ARE our Lucky Mascot!
"Please, keep doing what you did, again and again. You are opening a real goldmine!"
"Sorry, but I don't know what you are talking about. I am sure I did nothing special..."
"Then, please, keep doing 'nothing special'! Thanks to you, Michail will now be able to buy all the food we need!"
Now, I felt even more confused!
I was sure I had done nothing special; and, yet, every gadjo seemed to offer me lots of food and money, just like that...
Maybe, my Dad had been right, about my 'innocent face' and 'blue puppy dog eyes'; although I still hadn't switched into my 'brainiac mode' yet...
Silently, I leaned into Misha, who put our pile of money into his back pocket.
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'