- I am a Gypsy Prince 2 -
by Harry AnderS, Dutch psychotherapist and writer of 'books with a message'

Book 2 - Our Lucky Mascot

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(This is the SECOND book of my famous sequel 'I am a Gypsy Prince')


7. Grounded for three days; and, finally, Misha becomes my teacher.

    Our Wise Woman showed up, and stared at my terribly swollen feet with a shocked face.
She shook her head in disbelief, and immediately trotted back to her caravan.

    Five minutes later, she returned, now carrying a couple of jars and a steaming cup of greenish tea.
First, she smeared my swollen feet with a stinking brownish paste, to make the swelling go down.
Then, she smeared my sore legs with another paste, to help my muscles recuperate from the excessive strain.
I had to swallow her foul tasting tea, and burped with a sour face.

    Finally, she looked at me with her piercing eyes and told me:

    "My little shaman, you have strained your young muscles way too much! Your brain might be well developed, but your body is only five years old!
"Now, you have to stay in our camp for at least three days, until your legs are properly healed and your feet are again capable of supporting your weight.
"This evening, I will bring you another cup of tea; and, please, don't do this ever again! I have never been so worried..."

    She started to sniffle and got tears in her eyes, while she slowly turned around.
Without looking back, she went back to her caravan; carrying her jars and empty cup, and still shaking her head.
Obviously, she had been just as worried as all the others around me!

    I wasn't exactly pleased to be grounded for three days...
However, I knew I had to listen to our Wise Woman, because it was for my own well-being!

    Now, of course, everybody wanted to know how I got lost in our dense forest, despite Misha's well-known skills as a very experienced trapper...

    I cleared my throat, and started to tell my people what happened when I followed a frightened porcupine, thinking I sneaked after Misha.
They nodded understandingly, when I told them how I tried to think as a trapper, and finally followed the ravine downstream towards our waterfall.
They started to laugh, when I told them how I slept in an empty porcupine lair, accompanied by a bunch of snoring rats and an army of biting bugs.
They shuddered, after I told them how I nearly fell into a nasty crack, and rescued myself by grabbing a branch full of stinging thorns.
Finally, they looked happy, when I told them how my Dad and Michail showed up and took me home.

    Then, after a short pause, Misha started to tell us his part of the story.

    He explained how we decided to train our trapper skills, by silently sneaking after each other.
While he sneaked away, he stumbled into a hidden pothole, uttered a cry, and realized that I had heard him and now knew where he was.
Therefore, he tiptoed away from that spot as fast as he could; hoping I would lose his track and call him to show up...
He already knew that I was an excellent searcher; and he wanted to do his utmost to outdo me and make me give up!
After he didn't hear me anymore, he returned to where I had been; but, to his consternation, I seemed to have vanished into thin air.
He called my name a couple of times; and panicked when I didn't answer.
Now, he thought I could have fallen into a hidden crack or a nearby ravine; and hurried to our camp to ask for a rescue team...

    After another pause; my Big Friend, Michail, took over, and told me how the whole camp had been searching for me.

    Immediately after Misha asked for help, all our men hurriedly followed him into the dense forest, to find me!
They looked everywhere, shouting my name again and again, until darkness set in and they had to give up their search.
The whole camp was devastated, and they all prayed to our Supreme Being and Ancestors to be with me and bring me home safely...
Early in the morning, they resumed their search, spreading out into all directions and looking into every ravine and hidden crack.
Finally, my Dad heard my voice, answering his desperate calls from a far away ravine...

    My Dad had listened to our stories; and, now, he beckoned Misha to join us:

    "Misha, please, come here, and sit down next to me."

    Misha suddenly looked frightened, swallowed, and started to tremble all over.
Clearly, he expected our King to punish him, for leaving his son alone in the dense forest.
Hesitantly, he sat down near the far end of our bench, keeping a safe distance from my Dad...

    However, I was already preparing myself to defend my friend.
Everything that had happened to me, had been solely my own stupidity!
My Dad had no right to punish Misha for something he had not done and that wasn't his fault.
If he wanted to punish anybody, he had to punish ME!

    My Dad looked at me, saw my determination, and started to laugh at my stern face.
He threw an arm around my waist, and tenderly kissed the top of my head.
Now, I understood that he was NOT mad at Misha, but only wanted to talk to my friend...
I felt quite a lot better, and crawled onto his lap with a sigh of relief.

    Again, my Dad motioned Misha to sit down next to him.
Slowly and hesitantly, Misha approached us, and sat down next to my Dad and me.
Obviously, he still didn't know what to think of it...

    My Dad started to laugh again, and playfully ruffled Misha's hair.
He put an arm around Misha's waist, and pulled him close.
    Then, he told him:

    "Misha, I want you to teach my son how to orientate himself in our woods."

    Misha opened his mouth, gasped for air, and closed his mouth again.
Then, he jumped up from our couch, wide-eyed...
He stared at my Dad in shock; while it slowly dawned on him what my Dad wanted him to do...
This was absolutely not what he had expected!
    He shook his head in disbelief; while he stuttered:

    "But... but I've LOST him! I am not good enough to teach him anything..."

    Hesitantly, he sat down again, keeping some distance, and staring at his feet...

    Again, my Dad started to laugh, while he put an arm around Misha and pulled him close.
Suddenly, Misha started to cry and buried his head into my Dad's side!
Obviously, all the built-up stress and worrying had been too much for my fifteen-year-old trapper friend.
He expected to be punished for his carelessness; and got only kindness and understanding...

    My Mom offered Misha a packet of tissues; while little Dimi stared at him and asked me:

    "Why does Misha cry? Isn't he happy to teach you how to 'oriontate'?"

    "I am sure Misha is VERY happy, and he only cries from happiness and relief! Can you understand that?"

    Little Dimi nodded slowly, with a pensive face, while his brain was working overtime...
Then, his face brightened, his eyes sparkled again, and he started to smile.
    Looking very wise for his age, he told me:

    "I think that, sometimes, you can BE too happy to FEEL happy. But, what is 'oriontate'?"

    A few kids started to laugh; but they also explained the mispronounced word to Dimi.
Clearly, they all liked him very much, and wanted to help him whenever they could.
Dimi thanked them politely for their explanation, and sat down next to Misha.

    In the meantime, Misha had pulled himself together and dried his eyes with my Mom's tissues.
He still looked a bit bashful, but my Dad put an arm around him and pulled him close again.
    Now, my Dad told Misha why he wanted him to be my teacher:

    "Misha, I ask you to teach my son how to orientate himself, because I know you are an excellent trapper with a lot of special skills.
"I also know I can trust you; and I am convinced that you ARE good enough to teach Harry everything he needs to know!
"Only, I am not ordering you. I am only asking you a favor. Please?"

    Misha looked up at my smiling Dad, while the light returned in his still wet eyes.
Slowly, an unsure smile rounded his lips, as if he started to comprehend what my Dad asked him to do.
Then, he looked at me, questioningly...

    Of course, I wanted Misha to be my teacher!
This was what I had been waiting for all the time!
Finally, my friend would start to teach me how he always used his built-in compass...
And, I was sure I could learn quite a lot more 'special skills' from him!
    I nodded vigorously, while I told him:

    "Please, Misha? I want you to be my teacher; and I am sure you can teach me quite a lot more special skills! Please..."

    Finally, but still a bit hesitantly, Misha nodded his consent.

    I hobbled off my Dad's lap, and enthusiastically threw my arms around my friend's neck.
Yesss! Misha really wanted to be my teacher!

    Our intently listening friends around us started to applaud, when Misha decided to teach me.
Then, they all congratulated him with his new job as my private teacher!
They patted his shoulders, and told him they were sure he would be an excellent coach.

    Misha still looked a bit confused, as if he first had to digest some more of what happened.
After a moment, he dived from under my Dad's arm, and stared at our faintly glowing campfire...
For a moment, he closed his eyes, as if he wanted to disappear from all his confounding feelings...

    Until little Dimi pulled at his arm, and pleaded with his best puppy-dog eyes:

    "Misha? Please, can you be my teacher too? I am nearly dry during the night, and I want to be ready for when I can join you and Harry."

    Suddenly, Misha started to laugh, while he promised little Dimi:

    "The very moment you are allowed to join our group into the woods, I will teach you how to 'oriontate'. Okay?"

    "Huh? I thought the right word was 'oriEntate'?"

    Everybody started to bellow with laughter; except for a confused looking little Dimi...

    After they calmed down, my Dad had one more thing on his mind:

    "Misha? I only want to ask you one more thing, before you start teaching my son...
"Please, next time you turn into a porcupine, guide your pupil back to our camp instead of to an unknown ravine."

    Again, everybody bellowed with laughter, slapping their knees, and making our caravan windows rumble.
This time, little Dimi started to hiccup from the fun, until he almost couldn't stop.
His Mom had to take him to their caravan, to drink some water and calm down...

    Now, Misha turned towards me, while he asked:

    "Harry? Shall we start our first lesson tomorrow morning?"

    "Well... I would like that very much, but our Wise Woman grounded me for the next three days..."

    "Excellent. Now, I can teach you a few important things in advance, before we practice them in our woods!"

    "Okay. Then, I will be here tomorrow morning, to have my first lesson."

    "Don't be here too early, because I need my beauty sleep first..."

    "Oh yeah? Are you sure? Isn't a BEAUTY sleep wasted on you?"


    Misha looked at me indignantly, as if I had told him a very bad joke.
Then, he started to tickle my ribs; but I dived from under his hands and slid down onto the ground...

    OUCH! That hurt!
In my sudden hurry to escape from Misha's wrath, I totally forgot to reckon with my swollen feet!
Sitting on the ground, I gritted my teeth, waiting until the stinging pain slowly subsided...

    Immediately, Misha was all over me, apologizing for his 'clumsy behavior'.
He even got tears in his eyes, because he didn't know how he could help me.
My new teacher certainly cared quite a lot for his new pupil!
Finally, he took me into his arms, and lifted me back onto our bench.

    My Dad took my painful feet into his hands, and gently started to massage them.
That helped; and, soon, the pain subsided and the feeling in my feet returned to relatively normal.
This time, I had to admit that our Wise Woman was absolutely right!
I HAD to wait, until my feet recovered from the excessive strain.


    During the remainder of the day, I lounged on our bench, lazily sitting or lying down on my soft pillow.
My swollen feet were still rather sore, and my too strained muscles now started to feel very stiff and tired.
All the time, Misha was around me, providing me with everything I needed, without ever complaining.
    Teasingly, I told him:

    "I think about promoting you to be my personal assistant."

    Misha just chuckled, while he supported me near our surrounding bushes to have a quick leak.
Next, he went to his own caravan, and returned with fresh orange juice and a nice snack.
Of course, we let little Dimi have his own share, because he too tried to help me whenever he could.

    Little Dimi was glued to my side, asking me his zillions of questions as usual.
Patiently, I tried to answer them all, unless I really didn't know the answer.
Then, Misha took over and explained everything, until both Dimi and I were satisfied with his answers.
If not, we just asked him our next important question...
    Finally, Dimi's Mom took our little friend to their caravan, to put him to bed.
Dimi tried to protest fiercely, but to no avail...
She just took him under her arm, and carried her struggling son home!
    Just before they disappeared inside, Dimi shouted:

    "I will be back tomorrow!"

    "Okay. Have sweet dreams, and enjoy your beauty sleep!"

    Next, I asked Misha to help me to my own caravan.
I started to feel really tired, and wanted to go to bed early as well.
Maybe, the next day, after having a lot of sleep, I would feel a bit better...

    Misha did as I asked him, took me onto his shoulders, and delivered me to my chuckling parents.
He promised me to be back on our bench the next morning, to teach me my first lesson.
I thanked him for all his help, and told him to have sweet dreams and a refreshing 'beauty sleep'.
Misha chuckled, but he didn't dare to answer...

    My helpful Dad put me under the shower, dried me, and carried me to my small sleeping den.
Suddenly, our Wise Woman showed up in our caravan, and came straight up to me...
She wanted to smear my legs and feet again with her stinking pastes, to help them recuperate a bit faster!
Next, she offered me a cup of a strange tasting tea, to let me have a sound and dreamless sleep.

    I closed my eyes, and almost immediately disappeared into dreamland.



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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'

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