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The Gypsy Wagon Part one

Nota 
Stasera, dopo un lunghissimo tempo, ho rovistato tra il mio blog, e con piacere ho notato che ancora i miei racconti sono letti. Ringrazio tutti questi nuovi lettori che trovano diletto nelle mie vecchie storie. Mi chiederete perche` mai ho cessato di pubblicare in Rosso Venexiano. Non ho mai programmato di fare cio`. Unicamente il tradurre i miei racconti dall'originale versione Inglese mi richiede ore di lavoro. Dovete sapere che in tre settimane saro` ottantottenne, e propio non me la sento di fare certe sfacchinate. Preferisco dedicare il mio tempo nel giardinaggio e (non meravigliatevi) andare in palestra per mantenere il mio fisico nel modo migliore.
Vedo che le versioni in Inglese sono ancora letti, con uguale interesse delle stesse traduzioni in Italiano. 
Penso quindi di far piacere ai lettori di presentare questi miei racconti unicamente in Inglese.
un caro saluto ai vecchi amici e ai nuovi lettori,
Carlo Gabbi 
 
 
 
THE GYPSY’S WAGON
Gypsies by nature are secretive with their intense history of colorful myths and legends.
They have a simplistic life and mainly live with what nature offers them and carefully use what environment offer without destroying the habitat, preserving things in the way they have found.
By nature they are sensitive and magical people, with powers of healing and ability to cast spells, and forecast the future.
In this story we read of their simple life and the way they are part of nature.
~*~
    A convoy of six gypsy’s wagons traveled along the Hungarian plains, on a winding country road, following the Danube River. They had left Romania in early spring and crossed over the Transylvanian Alps before reaching the Hungarian plateau. Winter was spent on the mountains, where the Gypsies used the woodcutter’s barns to shelter. 
      It’s a Gypsy belief that they are allowed to freely use whatever they find along their way, for their survival. That was the reason why they felt free to use the forage they founded stacked in the barns for their horses, and to use for themselves the crops of potato, that had been buried in the fields by the locals, to preserve them from the winter frost.
       This was a few years after The Second World war had finished and the Balkan Countries had newly installed the Communist Regime which had proclaimed laws declaring the Gypsies and the nomadic people illegal residents, unless they would abandoned the nomadic life and were willing to integrate with the locals.
      That was the major reason why the Gypsies moved on. History was repeating once more the persecution against them through the centuries that had created the legend of their nomadic life.
     Winter inclemency had stopped their traveling over this valley, enclosed with high peaks, a natural refuge offered by the inaccessible mountain at winter. It was a natural barrier from any possible incursion from the state police patrols that would not risk to venture over those high peaks in the dangerous winter’s season.
      Joko was the capable leader of this clan of Gypsies, the one responsible for taking them safely across the impervious region.
      They were abandoning the country which, for generations, had been known as the Gypsy’s Cradle. They chose to find refuge in a far away land, where other clans of Gypsies had created, through centuries, an important cultural heritage and had integrated with the local, who had accepted their traditions and folklore in this Spanish region.
  Joko’s clan had found refuge in the empty woodcutters’ barn in the valley that offered an ideal and secure refuge to spend that winter. There they had enough supplies and shelter for them and their animals and they easily converted one of the barns into an art and craft laboratory, where they manufactured wooden utensils and jewelries to sell along their journey in the villages on their way to Spain.
      As the season became warmer and the valley roads practicable, Joko assembled the clan one evening.
      He told them, “My people, the time has come to leave our winter refuge. Springtime will make it possible to start the next part of our journey and we’ll follow the road down to the valley.”
     There was a murmur of approval from the Gitanos, with one asking for all,
 “We welcome the time to move. Winter has been long and we need greener pastures for the animals. But where are we going? Would our way be safe in the long journey across so many countries?”
        Joko reassuringly told them, “We are going to join our faraway brothers, the Andalusia’s Gitanos in Spain, and there we will be safe. Remember it is a long journey and there will be hardship on the way until we’ll reach their country. Tomorrow we’ll take the windy road cut into the rocky side of the mountain. We will follow the Muresul River to the valley, until it joins the Danube. There the Hungarian Plains start.”
         For centuries Gypsies have been nomadic. A documented history doesn’t exist, because Gypsies never had a written language. Their past is full of legends, distorted in time with the continuous passing of word of mouth, from father to son. They have been nomadic since history exist, and through time they never been adventurers or conquerors.
          Because of their lifestyle they lived with only the few possessions that their nomadic life allows them.
         They had moved throughout the centuries, adjusting in the way nature adjusts. They follow the motion of the stars, moon and sun, changing with the continuous changes of climate, over the different locations on the path of their peregrinations. They believe in nature’s creation which has to be equally owned by humanity and where anybody can borrow from what nature offers, but use it sparsely and save for the future. Only in this way the Bari Wesben Dai (The Great Forest Mother), would recompose them providing the essential needs for their lives.
    Gypsies by nature are secretive and magical people. They possess mystical healing powers, and can cast spells; as well as lift them.  They have powers of forecasting a person’s futures as well as they have inherited magic powers to cure ill horses, and they know how to charm wild animals. Through the centuries this has been part of their lives as well part of their culture and heritage, and they use their magical powers in their contacts with the gaujo (the non gypsy) to ingratiate them.
        Joko, as the chieftain, was the one who preserved the legends and kept alive the tradition of the past, narrating to his people the colorful stories, during the long nights, while they sat around the campfire.
         Joko was in his mid fifties, strong as the eagles of the Transylvanian Alps, where he was born. He was fierce to the Gypsies’ enemy, and a good father and adviser to the people of his clan.
He wasn’t very tall, well planted on his feet and strong as Goliath, capable of lifting a Gypsy wagon, whenever a wheel needed to be changed.
        He dressed in fustian pantaloons, well creased around the knees and back, because of the long use, and neatly rolled up above the calves. He wore strong riding boots, weather-proofed with animal fat rubbed periodically into the leather.
        The jacket matched the pantaloons, tailored with the same strong fustian, and having a deep pocket across the back, used to store small game when hunting.    
        He completed his outfit with a large black brimmed hat, and a knotted red checked scarf around the neck.
        Joko was still handsome for his age. The nomadic life had made him an athlete capable of any physical work.  His skin had the light ebony patina and highly polished with continuous oil rubbing. His eyes, dark black, sparkled with the power in him.
     His nose resembled the beak of the Transylvania’s eagle and his hands were large and powerful.           
     He commanded respect between his men as well as struck terror in the enemies. Nevertheless under this multiform vestige of power, Joko was able to understand the needs of his people.

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