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 the environment offers 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 the 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 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 in 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 found 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 abandon 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 in winter. It was a natural barrier from any possible incursion from the state police patrols that would not risk venturing over those high peaks in the dangerous winter 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, important cultural heritage and had integrated with the locals, 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 themselves and their animals and they easily converted one of the barns into an art and craft laboratory, where they manufactured wooden utensils and jewelry 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, Andalusia’s Gitanos in Spain, and there we will be safe. Remember it is a long journey and there will be a 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.”
End Part 1