- 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')


8. Misha teaches me about our sun; gravity; and the four seasons.

    The next morning, I woke up early, feeling quite a lot better and certainly less tired.
Enthusiastically, I remembered that, today, I would be Misha's pupil and have my first lesson!
What was Misha going to teach me?
Would it be very interesting?

    I left my bed, and found out that my poor body still felt as stiff as a dead tree!
Cautiously hobbling on my still sore feet, I went to our living room, to have a look outside.
Would Misha already be waiting for me?

    From behind our windows, I stared at our faintly glowing campfire and empty wooden benches.
Nobody else was awake, and all our caravans were still enveloped in darkness!
Obviously, I was a little bit too enthusiastic, at this early hour in the morning.
My Dad once called me an 'early bird'...

    Feeling a bit disappointed, I limped to my parents' bed, and silently crawled in between them.
My Dad grunted something unintelligibly, but he threw his strong arms around me and held me close.
My Mom yawned, turned towards me, and embraced me from the other side.
Feeling safe and loved in between their warming sandwich, I fell asleep almost immediately.


    "Harry, wake up and eat your breakfast! Misha sits on our bench, waiting for you to show up."

    I opened my eyes in sudden shock, and squinted at my Mom's smiling face.
WHAT did my Mom say?
Had I really overslept my first appointment with my new teacher?
Why didn't she wake me up in time?

    I jumped out of my parent's bed in a sudden hurry...
Then, I groaned at the stabs of pain that went through my sore feet.
OUCH! That still hurt!
Obviously, I still had to be very careful, until my feet would heal sufficiently...
Groaning and gritting my teeth, I hobbled to our living room, to have another look outside.

    A couple of grown-ups had already gathered around our campfire; planning to visit a nearby gadjo town, to try to find some work.
Our regular group of older kids waited for the last lazy slackers, as usual, to enter our woods and look at their traps.
Of course, our 'diaper kids' were already playing their usual game of hide and seek around our caravans.
This time, little Dimi was the seeker, proudly counting to twenty before he opened his eyes.
Then, he saw me looking at him, and waved at me before he found the first kid.

    Misha sat on our Royal wooden bench, staring at our campfire while silently playing with his fingers.
Now and then, he turned his head and stared at our caravan, as if he could force me to show up sooner...
He smiled from ear to ear when he saw me, and waved enthusiastically!

    I forgot my cramped legs and sore feet, and hurried to our kitchen:

    "Come on, Mom, please hurry up! Misha WAITS for me!"

    "Yes, I've told you... Now, don't be impatient and eat your breakfast. I'm sure Misha will not go anywhere without you."

    I wolfed my healthy breakfast down in record time, and gulped my glass of milk.
Then, I kissed my parents goodbye; and hobbled outside, to join my waiting teacher on our bench.
Would Misha be very mad at me, for making him wait on my first lesson?

    Much to my relief, Misha's face lit up like a torch when I finally showed up.
He took my soft pillow and laid it down next to him, for me to sit on.
Trying to walk carefully, I limped towards my friend, and sat down on the pillow with a slight groan.

    Immediately, Misha was all over me, trying to help me sit even more comfortably.
Obviously, he still was very concerned about my health!
    However, I felt a bit guilty for making him wait, and told him:

    "Sorry, for making you wait, this first morning! My parents didn't wake me up in time..."

    "Yes, I know. Your Mom told me she would let you have some more sleep, after everything you went through."

    For a moment, I felt angry at my Mom, who didn't wake me up in time.
Women... They will never understand us men!
Why didn't she just wake me, and ASK me what I wanted...
Then, it could have been my own decision.

    Misha looked at me with little fun lights in his eyes, while he asked:

    "Did you enjoy your beauty sleep?"

    "Oh yes, I certainly did! Of course, I don't have to be afraid of LOSING my beauty..."

    A moment later, we were rolling around on our bench, trying to tickle each other, as usual.
At first, Misha tried to let me win, but I didn't want him to have any mercy with me!
I had only very stiff muscles and sore feet, but I was NOT a cripple!
Chuckling, I threw my arms around his neck, and threatened to strangle him...
Then, generously, I let him win, because I was too curious about what he wanted to teach me.

    Now, Misha told me to be serious, and listen to his first lesson:

    "Sit still, and let's have a look at what I want to teach you today..."

    I nodded, sat still, and held my breath in anticipation; while Misha went on:

    "First, I want you to have a look at the sun over our heads, without staring into it. What do you think the sun is in reality?"

    "Well... It looks like a very bright lamp; but I don't understand how it lights while Pietro hasn't attached it to his batteries."

    Misha started to chuckle, while he answered:

    "Then, Pietro would be able to turn it on and off at will! Fortunately, the sun doesn't need any batteries, because it is not a lamp and doesn't use any electricity.
"The sun is more like an enormous glowing cinder from our campfire. When you blow onto a cinder, it glows more and more, until it finally radiates a bright yellow light."

    "Yes, I know. But, who blows onto the sun, to make it glow?"

    "Well... that's a question I never thought of. I don't know... maybe our Supreme Being?"

    I looked up at the sun and the surrounding sky, but didn't see anybody blowing on it...
Okay, some things in our existence could be a little bit too perplexing for a five-and-a-half-year-old little boy to understand.
Even my extremely bright mind had to accept that.
I only hoped that our Supreme Being wouldn't blow at the sun too forcefully, thus blowing it away...
That would be a disaster!

    In the meantime, Misha squatted down, and fetched an old tennis ball and a small round pebble from under our bench.
Immediately, I looked intently at what he was doing.
Obviously, he had already planned his first lesson in advance, while he waited for me.
Fortunately, my teacher had some really interesting stuff to tell!

    Misha put the tennis ball down onto our bench, and demonstratively circled his small pebble around it:

    "Now, I want you to imagine that this tennis ball is our sun, floating around in our universe, glowing and radiating its bright yellow light.
"And, imagine that this small pebble is our earth, in reality looking like a huge boulder full of moss, trees, mountains, ravines, and nasty potholes.
"Our earth turns around slowly; so that, every time, another part of its surface is illuminated by the glowing sun.
"At the same time, the earth moves around the sun in a wide circle; but even slower and at some angle. Can you follow me so far?"

    I looked up at my teacher, indignantly, sending him a death look.
Who did he think I was? Some stupid duffer?
Of course, I understood everything that he told me!
    But, I already had a very important question for him:

    "Why can't I feel our earth turning around? How come it doesn't make people feel dizzy?"

    "Of course, our earth turns around extremely slowly. It takes a whole day to complete one turn around its axis; and that is too slow to feel anything.
"At the same time, the radiating sunlight creates day and night on it; while the moving earth completes its circle around our sun in exactly one year."

    Suddenly, I understood how some little flea, sitting on the turning pebble, would see our sun disappear and show up again, day after day.
Everything started to make sense; and I felt more and more enthusiastic.
    However, I already had my next question ready:

    "Why does our earth never collide with the glowing sun? That would put everything on fire!"

    Misha chuckled at the rather absurd idea.
Then, he made me remember how we sometimes attached a small pebble to a piece of rope and swung it around and around.
Now, I only had to imagine that I was the sun; and my pebble was the earth, rotating around and around the sun...
    Immediately, I had my next question ready:

    "Where is the rope? I don't see any, and doesn't a rope easily catch fire on the glowing sun?"

    "The rope is an invisible one, called 'gravity'. Gravity also pulls everything towards our earth; that's why all things always fall down."

    Chuckling inwardly, I imagined our Supreme Being, swinging our earth around and around, attached to an invisible rope of gravity.
It sounded like fun...

    "What happens if the rope breaks? Then, the earth will fly far away, just like our swinging pebbles do all the time..."

    "Well... I think our Supreme Being will catch the earth in time, and immediately attach another rope."

    "What if He sleeps when that happens? That would cause a real disaster..."

    "I think He doesn't need any sleep, because he's way too busy governing everything."

    "What is 'governing'? Is that the same thing as navigating?"

    "I think that is the same thing; but let's now go back to what I want to teach you..."

    "Sorry, for asking too many questions. Am I annoying you?"

    "You will never annoy me; but you are asking exactly the things I never thought of!"

    "Sorry for that. Even my Dad always complains about my zillions of questions. He calls me a 'walking question mark'...
"By the way, do you know how much a zillion is? Nobody ever told me..."

    Misha started to chuckle, but he answered my last question:

    "A 'zillion' of anything means it is totally impossible to imagine how much it is in reality."

    "Huh? Am I really asking THAT many questions? Wow..."

    We continued talking about impossibly large numbers, until Misha finally begged me to stop my questioning.
He told me he got a dry throat from all the explaining, and wanted to drink some water in his caravan.

    Of course, I immediately invited him to my own caravan, to drink some fresh orange juice!
I told him I was thirsty too, from asking all my questions...

    Walking together, we went to my caravan, while I slowly hobbled next to Misha.
To my surprise, nobody was home, so I had to make our drinks myself.
Maybe, my parents were at my grandmother's; or, they were babysitting Michail's little sons while he was away.

    I took a couple of oranges from our stock; and prepared two helpings of fresh orange juice.
Next, I added a few carefully chosen herbs to our juice, to refine its taste.

    Misha sipped his glass, licked his lips, and told me with beaming eyes:

    "I am VERY impressed by your ability to make everything taste so much better. It's unbelievable!"

    "Thank you for your compliment, and I am very happy with it as well! My mom always calls it my 'gift'."

    "Please, could you teach me how you do it? I surely would like to have such a gift too..."

    "Well, I could give it a try... but, first, I want you to teach me how I can find my way through our woods all on my own, without getting lost!
"I also want to know a lot more about the earth circling around the sun in one year. Why is there summer and winter, every year?"

    "Well, actually, this is very simple. Just remember what I told you, about the earth circling around the sun at some angle..."

    Misha explained how a little ant, sitting on the boulder, saw the heat-radiating sun moving from north to south and back during the four seasons.

    I felt very excited, now that I finally understood why our earth became colder during winter, when the sun was low at the horizon!
On the other hand, during summer, the sun was much higher in the sky, thus warming our earth quite a lot more.
I also understood that, near the North Pole and the South Pole, the temperature had to be much lower than near the always warm equator.
When would I finally be able to visit all these extremely interesting parts of our earth, sigh...

    We rinsed our empty glasses in the sink, and returned to our wooden bench.
Again, Misha took his old tennis ball and the small pebble.
    This time, he let me see how a little ant, sitting on the turning pebble, saw the glowing tennis ball moving along the sky:

    "Now, you can see how the glowing sun seemingly moves from east towards west, every day.
"This is very important; because it lets you use the sun to roughly orientate yourself."

    "Yes, I see; but does our earth always turn in the same direction? Or, does it change directions from time to time?"

    "Fortunately, the earth always turns in the same direction!"

    "What if our Supreme Being wants to pull a joke on us, and reverses the turning to have some fun?"

    "As far as I know, our Supreme Being never did such a strange thing."

    "It would be very strange to see everybody growing younger, instead of older..."

    "Now, stop joking around, and try to follow this important lesson! You need it, to understand my next couple of lessons."

    "Yes teacher. Sorry teacher, for bothering you. I will try to behave from now on."

    Fortunately, Misha wasn't too angry at me, for teasing him and being such a nuisance.
He only tickled my ribs mercilessly, until I gave up and promised him to better my life.
The torturer...



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Harry AnderS, Dutch psychotherapist and writer of 'books with a message'

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