Book 2 - Our Lucky Mascot
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(This is the SECOND book of my famous sequel 'I am a Gypsy Prince')
9. Different ways of orientating; my capabilities; and point of view.
After we stopped our joyful bantering, and I sat still again, Misha resumed my lessons.
This time, he had me have a close look at our clearly visible shadows on the ground, caused by the sunlight.
Of course, I started to play with mine, creating some funny pictures with my arms and hands...
After I stopped and returned to my lessons, Misha asked:
"Now, keep in mind how our earth turns around, making the glowing sun seemingly move from east to west...
"Knowing this, can you predict how your shadow moves around and changes its length during the day?"
Suddenly, I understood why Misha taught me all these important things!
Of course, our shadows were moving from west though north to east, at the same time changing from long to smaller to longer...
By using this knowledge, I would always be able to tell roughly both the time and where north was, at least during the day.
That could be very helpful, if I ever happened to get lost again!
Enthusiastically, I told my teacher about my newest insights.
Misha smiled, nodded approvingly, and told me I was a very clever thinker.
Not many boys my age would be able to understand how our shadows were moving, let alone knowing how to use this knowledge practically.
However, within a second, I had my next question ready:
"How can I know where north is when it's dark, or cloudy, or when I am in a dense forest and cannot see the sun?"
"Little man, again, you are a very clever thinker! Fortunately, I also plan to teach you many other ways of orientating."
Misha told me I should always look out for several orientation points, as soon as I planned to enter our woods.
That way, I could always try to orientate on our mountain tops, ravines, waterfalls, trees, and different kinds of vegetation.
He also told me to listen to the sound of the wind over the treetops, which always blew from the same direction.
Of course, now, I had two more questions for him:
"What can I do if a thunderstorm rages, and the wind seemingly blows from everywhere? Or, if I am next to a waterfall; and its sound drowns out all the other sounds?"
"You really are an excellent thinker! Fortunately, you can also look at several other things that help you orientate.
"For example, tree branches tend to grow towards the sunlight; so there's a difference between the northerly and the southerly branches.
"The same thing applies to moss; which always tends to grow more onto the north sides of trees and moist boulders.
"Many plants always point their flowers towards the sun, even when it's too dark or the sun isn't visible at all.
"And, last but not least, some people can train themselves to feel the energies in our woods, and orientate on them."
Suddenly, I was VERY interested; and I perked my ears up, trying not to miss a word!
Feeling the energies around us... wasn't that exactly what I always tried to do, when I copied Misha in our woods?
Every time I did it, my still very faint sensing became a bit more evident, as if it intensified by just trying to use it...
But, was there only one kind of energy, or would I have to deal with many different varieties?
Now, my teaching was becoming really interesting!
I sat more upright, and asked Misha my burning question:
"Misha, is there only one kind of energy? Mostly, when people plan to visit our caravan, I can feel their energy field preceding them in advance.
"At first, everybody was amazed about my 'gift'; except for our Wise Woman, who did the same thing and wasn't surprised at all.
"Then, after some time, my parents became used to it; and they even started to reckon with what they called my 'clairvoyant abilities'...
"However, in our woods, I always feel too many different energies pulling at my aura; and I don't know how to separate them.
"Please, can you teach me what I have to do? Sometimes, I can sense other people; but, at other times, they seem to have vanished..."
"See? I KNEW you would be one of us! When I was little, I always felt many energies around me too, but I didn't know what to do with them either.
"A few years ago, my own Dad discovered my abilities; and he and Michail took me into our forest, to teach me how to use them.
"Now, I feel honored to be able to teach you the same things! You only have to build up your sensitivity slowly, step by step.
"Please, can you tell me what you already know about the energies; and what exactly are you feeling?"
Feeling elated, I started to tell Misha everything that I remembered about the first years of my life.
I told him how, as a little baby, I always understood what people told me, by sensing the energy of their words.
I was also able to feel all the different energies around the people I loved; and, soon, I recognized them by their specific auras.
Now and then, I knew in advance what they were going to say, by entering their minds and reading their thoughts.
I always 'felt' the energy of my herbs, and they 'talked' to me in my mind and told me what they wanted to be used for.
Once, I knew exactly where little Dimi hid himself, by just concentrating on his name and sensing his energy field.
When I was the seeker in our game of hide and seek; I could easily follow Jonno, by looking at his aura with my inner eyes.
I had been able to muss up the thoughts of a gadjo police officer, by entering his mind and filling it up with pictures of dancing devils...
However, now and then, my abilities didn't seem to work; and I didn't know why that was.
I had been able to follow Jonno's energy in our camp, but I couldn't sense our group of kids near our waterfall...
Sometimes, our campfire faintly pulled at my energy; but, at other times, too many different energies were in the way and confused me...
One time, I had sensed a red fox with a long tail in my snare; but, the next day, I didn't sense my snare at all...
Obviously, I didn't know how to tune in correctly into only one single energy, while ignoring all the other ones.
What was I doing wrong?
All the time, Misha had listened intensely, open-mouthed, holding his breath...
Maybe, my teacher didn't expect me to have so many problems with sensing all the different energies?
Would he now think I wasn't good enough, yet, to be able to learn anything important?
Or, would he send me back to my caravan, and tell me to develop my sensitivity some more first?
Ultimately, I was the smallest child in our kids group, and the youngest...
I fell silent, slumped down onto my soft pillow, and stared at my still slightly swollen feet...
Suddenly, Misha exhaled, followed by heaving a couple of deep sighs.
I looked up at him, and saw that he stared at me with almost reverence in his eyes...
Why did he look at me so funny?
After another deep sigh, Misha told me, with a trembling voice:
"My dear friend, I didn't realize you would be this far in your development... I think you are, at the least, an upcoming shaman!
"Soon, you will be our new Wise Boy, working next to our Wise Woman... and, I really don't know why your Dad chose ME to be your teacher.
"I don't know anything about most of the energies you told me about; because I can feel only a few easy things around our woods...
"Now, I fear I can only teach you what I know; and that isn't very much, compared to all your amazing capabilities..."
This time, it was MY turn to listen intensely, open-mouthed and holding my breath.
Did Misha really think he didn't know enough to teach me how to orientate in our woods?
Would he now stop being my teacher?
But... I didn't WANT to be an 'upcoming shaman', or to have 'amazing capabilities'.
I also didn't want to be 'our new Wise Boy', thank you very much!
I only wanted to be just like every other five-year-old little boy...
Why couldn't I be some duffer, instead of such a super-intelligent 'brainiac'?
Suddenly feeling disappointed, I rose from our wooden bench, and turned around.
Feeling angry with Misha, and with myself, I didn't want to go on with my lessons...
Hobbling on my still sore feet, I sauntered to my own caravan, without saying a word.
I wanted to be alone, sit down, and think everything over first...
At the same time, I had some weird feeling, as if Misha betrayed my trust.
I also had another strange feeling, as if life itself was betraying me!
All my former enthusiasm was gone, and I wanted to just sit down and be left alone.
Misha begged me to come back; but I didn't listen to his pleading, and slowly entered my caravan without looking back...
I hobbled to the living room and slumped down onto our couch, waiting until my parents returned home.
Outside, I saw Misha, sauntering towards his own caravan, with a sad face...
Would he now be mad at me?
After some time, my parents entered our caravan; and I crawled onto my Dad's lap without saying a word.
My worried Mom asked me what had happened, but I told her that my lessons had stopped a bit early.
I was only tired, and wanted to have some rest...
To prove that everything was normal, I followed her to our kitchen.
Absentmindedly, I helped my Mom prepare our dinner, mixing my herbs into our food on autopilot.
I helped her carry the platters towards our living room and set the table.
Then, I sat down next to my Dad, and scooped up some food.
However, I only picked at our tasty dinner, staring into empty space...
My worried Mom thought I could be ill, as a backlash from my nasty experiences in our dense forest.
She wanted to call our Wise Woman, but I told her I was fine and didn't need any help!
I was NOT ill, but only wanted to think about what Misha told me during my interesting lessons...
Although I sensed that my Mom didn't really believe me; she stopped her fussing.
She felt my forehead, but didn't detect any fever or excessive sweat.
After a short time, I wanted to go to bed, because I started to feel extremely tired.
My helpful Dad put me under the shower, washed me, and dried me.
Then, he carried me to my bed and tucked me in.
Within two minutes, I tumbled into a deep sleep!
Soon, I dreamed about our Supreme Being, turning our earth around and around.
All the time, He grinned, teasingly thinking about reversing the turning, to have some more fun...
I became very angry at Him; and told Him to leave me alone, and that He now betrayed our trust!
However, He told me I was a Powerful Shaman and a Very Wise Boy; and dared me to stop Him...
Feeling even angrier at Him, I started to fill His mind with dancing devils, making him dizzy.
Now, our earth started to sway from left to right and back to the left...
In the middle of the night, I woke up, feeling very sweaty and dizzy.
Swaying on my feet, I stumbled out of my bed, to have a leak and drink some water.
Then, I staggered to my parents, and worked myself in between them to feel safe again.
Fortunately, that helped; and, after a few minutes, I drifted off into a dreamless sleep.
The next morning, I woke up to the bright sunlight that tickled my eyes.
Much to my delight, I detected that I felt quite a lot better!
My tiredness was gone, and my stiffness had diminished considerably.
Vaguely, I remembered some beautiful dream about a powerful Ancestor, healing me and filling me with new energy...
He also told me that I needed my experience, to grow stronger and have more confidence in my own abilities...
But, of course, that had only been some strange dream.
I jumped out of my parent's bed, and found out that my legs and feet were almost healed!
Had my Ancestor really filled me with new energy, during my dream?
"Thank you very much for helping me, my powerful Friend!"
Almost dancing from happiness, I went to our living room and looked outside.
Misha sat on our wooden bench, staring at our campfire with a sad face...
Of course, he still had no idea why I suddenly left him and went back to our caravan.
Thinking about it, I myself didn't have any idea either!
I only knew that I suddenly was extremely tired, and felt betrayed by everybody around me...
Fortunately, now, I was in a good mood again!
My parents had already left our caravan, so I prepared myself a nice and healthy breakfast and drank a glass of milk.
Then, I left our caravan and trotted to our wooden bench, planning to apologize to Misha.
However, before I reached our bench, our Wise Woman beckoned me over to her caravan!
What did she want from me?
Had I done anything wrong?
Hesitantly, I followed our Wise Woman into her caravan...
Inside her caravan, she smiled at me, ruffled my hair, and asked:
"My little shaman, how do you feel today?"
"Well... I think that something very strange happened to me! Yesterday, I suddenly felt sad and betrayed, without any explanation.
"Last night, I had some weird nightmare, about our Supreme Being challenging me to stop Him from reversing the earth...
"But, this morning, I woke up feeling quite a lot better! My feet and legs seem to be healed overnight, and I can now walk on them without any pain."
The Wise Woman smiled at me, and explained:
"This morning, your Mom asked me to have a look at you; because she felt a bit worried about your strange behavior.
"She told me about your sadness and tiredness, and thought you might have some backlash from all your nasty experiences.
"I told her not to worry, and that I would have a look at you and talk to you, after you woke up and had some breakfast.
"After your Mom left, I contacted our Ancestors. They told me not to worry, and that one of them already healed you during your sleep!
"Your body has endured a bit too much stress; and your psyche showed a sudden reaction to your fears after you got lost in our dense forest.
"However, you also needed this important experience, to grow stronger and have some more confidence in your own abilities...
"Please, today, still take it easy with your legs and feet; but, tomorrow, you are allowed to enter our woods again!
"Now, go back to your impatiently waiting friend, and have fun with your lessons."
The Wise Woman hugged me, and walked me towards the door.
Suddenly squinting at the bright sunlight, I left her caravan and raced towards Misha.
During the next hour, Misha and I had a deep and revealing talk.
I told him everything that had happened to me, yesterday and last night, after I left him all of a sudden.
I also told him what our Wise Woman told me, and that I was allowed to enter our woods again tomorrow.
Misha told me about his own doubts, when he suddenly found out that I could be an upcoming shaman.
He didn't understand why I suddenly left him; but decided not to worry about it, and return the next day as if nothing had happened.
In unison, we decided that Misha would forget everything I had told him about feeling all these energies.
From now on, he would continue to do as he always did; seeing me only as his a bit too intelligent little friend.
He was an excellent trapper, and I was an upcoming shaman; and we both had our own unique and useful abilities!
Misha would go on training me to be a better trapper; and, soon, I would try to help him develop some extra 'special gifts'...
After we went to my caravan and drank some tasty orange juice, Misha continued his lessons.
He squatted down onto the ground, took a branch, and drew a picture in the sand.
Now, he showed me how 'perspective' and 'point of view' always moved the nearby and further away things differently.
This could be very useful, when looking at our nearby and far away mountain tops...
Suddenly, a completely new world opened up to me, and I was fascinated and felt elated!
I didn't know anything about geometry; but this was my first lesson in it, and I was very enthusiastic.
Immediately, I wanted to know a lot more about this very useful phenomenon:
"What about the stars at night? Are there nearby and far away stars too, to help you orientate when it's dark?"
"Well, I suppose the stars over our heads are too far away to show us any visible point of view shifting.
"But, they are certainly able to tell you where the North Pole is! In fact, that is very easy. Here, look at this drawing."
Misha drew another picture in the sand, trying to depict a part of the sky at night.
He drew several stars, and told me that many different groups of stars each had their own names, called 'constellations'.
Now, he told me how I could recognize the Polestar:
"This is the North Star, which always is in its same place all over the world. Point towards that star, and you know where North is."
After I nodded, Misha drew another picture of our sky at night, this time seen from a different position.
Although the picture differed quite a lot from the first one, I immediately found the North Star, and proudly pointed to it!
Now, Misha started to repeat many things he had told me; and he asked me several questions about them, as an exam.
Every time, I knew the correct answer; but his questioning also helped me remember all the different things even better.
My friend really was a very good teacher!
Finally, he told me to go to bed early, to be ready for my first field lesson the next morning...
That night, I woke up, and silently crawled out of my bed.
I sneaked outside our caravan, and stared in rapt at all the blinking stars over my head...
The sheer beauty of our enormous Milky Way overwhelmed me; and I felt very small and vulnerable.
This night, I really felt like a tiny ant, sitting on an enormous bolder full of mountains, woods, and caravans around a faintly glowing campfire...
But, I knew now where North was, as I easily recognized the Polestar!
At last, sleep started to overpower me, and I went back inside.
Silently, I crawled in between my snoring parents, to feel safe and let them warm my shivering body.
My Dad woke up, and mumbled something about my being very cold...
However, I was already asleep, and didn't hear the rest of his muttering.
Soon, I started to dream about our universe with all its zillions of blinking stars.
Many stars had little ants on them, staring at their own suns with attached ropes of gravity.
Our Supreme Being turned them around and around, so that they all had day and night and all the different seasons...
Suddenly, He grinned at me, and told me to pay close attention to Misha's lessons!
I would need them, to use them during the rest of my very long and interesting life...
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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'
Thank you very much, for reading and enjoying my stories!