At last ...The Gypsy Camp
At Last … The Gypsy Camp
"I wasn't afraid of Baba Yaga," Augustus said. "Not at all."
Moonbeam responded with a donkey laugh. "Don't give me that, you were shaking like an aspen in a gale."
"Well, I just wasn't, that's all."
"You were the one who said she was a shape changer and that we were in trouble."
"I just wanted to warn you that we were in uncharted territory and that you should be careful."
"Well I'm not afraid to admit I was scared," Moonbeam said. "Sometimes fear is a good thing."
"Come on, you two, stop your squabbling," I said. "The gypsy camp is right over there, at the base of the hill beyond those trees."
We all three quickened our pace. It had been a hard journey with one or two unexpected challenges. But, now were here and ready for the celebrations.
I stopped at the edge of the camp. "Oh, my goodness, just look at this." The scene before us was as a live painting. The colorful caravans looked like they had been polished up for a special occasion.
"Wow!" Moonbeams eyes were as wide as saucers.
"Gee Haw," was all that Augustus managed, and he was usually such a talker.
The gypsies were all dressed up, the men mostly in colorful shirts and jeans, the women in beautifully embroidered dresses. Their guests, too, our fellow travelers, those who had taken different routes, mingled in groups excitedly chatting about their experiences. "We'll have a thing or two to tell them, won't we?"
The donkeys nodded. "Wait until the Secretary hears about the dragon and Baba Yaga," Augustus said, shaking his bristly mane and expanding his chest until he looked more shire than donkey.
"Just don't exaggerate," Moonbeam warned him.
"Me, exaggerate … never."
We were interrupted by the beautiful young gypsy woman. "I am Sandina," she said. "I am to take you to Queen Ravenna's caravan where you are to stay while you are here."
"Queen Ravenna … oh my goodness … I expected to sleep outside … beneath the stars." I turned to Moonbeam and Augustus. "Where can I bed them down?"
"Right over there," Sandina pointed to a paddock near the stream. "I will have a young boy take them over there and see that they are taken care of, if that's all right."
"Of course, that will be nice." I could see they would have lots of food, treats, and shelter if they needed it. They would also have a clear view of the any festivities, which I assumed would take place in the center clearing where a huge fire was already blazing.
Sandina led me to Queen Ravenna's caravan. It was brightly painted and decorated in all the colors of the rainbow with designs of the constellations, with new moons and full ones, of owls and ravens, of sunsets and sunrises.
Sandina motioned to two handsome young men to unload my baggage. They were dark of skin like Sandina. Their hair was black as night and curly.
I climbed the steps into the caravan. It was furnished with a single bed covered with colorful woolen blankets. There were plenty of pillows and cushions all gaily decorated, and on the two side walls, flanking the small windows, tapestries hung … each depicting a scene of natural beauty. One was of a stag whose eyes were so life-like that they immediately arrested mine. The floor was coved with woven rugs of amazing colors and designs. . There were candles, too, of assorted scents. I felt like I was indeed in a queen's palace.
When, I wondered, will I meet the queen?
©October 31, 2005