“This legend is of the old wren,” started Ben. “The wren is a very small bird, sometimes unnoticed by common people. It is humble and straight forward as it goes about its daily work—much like the Roma’ folk. But there is also a mystery in this small bird, as known by the gypsies and forest people.
“The Roma could see this wren as an elf-life creature, easily moving in and out of dark spaces, shadows and small openings in tree trunks. As soon as it walked into a shaded spot, it disappeared. No one could tell where.
“They knew it to be a mysterious being and sometimes showed up as a human to perform a special deed. Usually something important that needed to be did. Some Euro-people believe that Gypsies can slip in and out of dimensions that way. They are sometimes fearful of us because they do not understand. People always fear what they do not understand. They believe we can become invisible.”
Joseph was fascinated with Ben’s story. But one thing captured is thoughts after he had a moment to digest the words along with the food.
“Ben mentioned the elders, the celestial elders. Are these the same beings that I dream about, I wonder?”
The flames from the camp fire began to smolder and glow. Joseph could hear small cracks and pops. The sunset seemed to creep on them so quickly and leave a heavy crimson and burgundy glow on the camp. The shadows moved in a strange and eerie way, stealing visions and taking thoughts. All seemed protected in this valley encampment, but it was unusual to see this strange movement. Being in Ben’s presence made him feel sure things were fine.
Ben had moved behind the tented area and was taking care of something that needed to be tended to. Joseph had been thinking of how beautiful that time of the day was. His mind floated for a moment to the story Ben had just told him about the wren.
He looked around and did not see Ben anywhere. Then he showed up in a different part of the camp. It seemed unusual and normal at the same time. Joseph decided his eyes must be tired and blinked a couple of times.
It all reminded him that it was getting late. His eyes began to droop and he shook his head in such a way trying to wake himself and be attentive. He wanted so badly to stay awake and listen all night to Ben tell of his experiences.
Ben knew Joseph was sleepy. He took out a blanket from his tent and handed it to the boy. There was plenty of time to talk and get to know each other later. As Ben went into the tent again, Joseph wrapped himself in the blanket and stretched out on the bench he had been sitting on. He knew it was an invitation to stay the night and he was very thankful to the new friend for his kindness.
Ben took a few minutes to clear the table, wash out the plates and pot and prep the camp for night. After smoking from a pipe for a few minutes, he fell asleep in the big wooden chair nearest the fire.
Taken from Chapter 10 – Meeting Ben Garran
Copyright 2019, Melissa Leath