Valiant: Knock Knock…The Sandman…The Gift…Part 8…

In nights and days all through
The years the stars shine bright
And still…and always there is
Someone who sees at least one move
Somewhere out there…

1557 Nuremberg, Germany

The quiet life of the country village
Came back once again to Jon. But
That fall was even quieter. And when
Christmas came the greatest comfort
He found was in the comfortable simple
Traditions that soothe all things best.
His family had their usual meal of a
Roast goose with all the trimmings,
And his grandmother’s strudel and
Holiday cookies. The meals were the
Treat, gifts were always practical
Necessities…and they were grateful
For everything they had received.

But that year his mysterious Christmas
Eve visitor did not come at night. She
Didn’t always come at Christmas. He
Never really understood why, it just
Happened. So, the holidays came and
Went and Jon was left with his silent
World of thinking and remembering
How heavy the world was…and
Although he had seen a lot, he lost more
Than he could ever have imagined. And
From then on, the days became much
Longer than ever before.


In the spring after a long cold silent winter,
The first buds bloomed and brought
With them the sense of something new.
But in Jon’s family that meant a lot
More work to do. Because when the
Snows melted that meant it was time
To get the ground ready for planting…
To size up the livestock from what
They had to what they would need to
Make the year productive. Jon would
Be very busy, as all the farmers were.

Then word spread in late April the
Gypsies had come again. They did this
Every year, different caravans at
Different times. And each brought with
Them their charms and little treasures
To sell and trade for…and their

People held wide views about the
Gypsies, especially on their magic.
Some were amused by it, some just
Laughed and did not take it seriously
At all. And then there were those who
Saw it as evil, the touch of the devil…
It scared them, and because of this some
Chose to chase them out. But the braver
Farmers were not bothered by this at
All and just gave them simple respect
As travelling strangers offering
Entertainment to country life. But there
Were rumors, there were always rumors…
Every little word and whisper was
Measured this way.

But the winter had been so long, Jon
Took a chance on one of Saturday
Afternoons to seek out the gypsy
Caravan that he had heard had set up
Not far from his favorite spot by the
River. And by chance he encountered a
Caravan led by an elderly woman named
Raya and her family…It was custom that
Gypsies passed down their wagons by
Family, and this one was very old.

It should have been a familiar caravan to
Jon, but he was never told by his mother
That she sought them out one night before
She married his father so long ago for a
Fortune. When Jon found them, saw them,
He felt strangely drawn to them…for a
Reason he could not explain.

He approached them carefully…They were
Kind, they laughed a little. Gypsies tended
To be amused by simple villagers because
Such people never saw much. So, when they
Saw this quiet young man appear to them
They just assumed that he had come to
Satisfy his curiosity; even mystics assume.

A gray-haired elderly Raya was hanging
Blankets with her daughter Mira when
She saw Jon and froze. By the way he
Stood and moved she sensed that he was
Different. While her daughter was calling
To her toddlers trying to prevent them
From ruining the wash, Raya stepped
Weakly to the side squinting at him. This
Caught his attention as they studied
Each other. Raya had no idea that she
Had met his mother years ago, the
Details weren’t clear…what she felt
Was something else. This young one
Was different.

She waved to him gently and smiled
calling him closer. Jon was hesitant
but went. ‘I have never been to one of
your wagons up close,’ he told her,
‘I just had to see.’

She grinned. ‘That’s alright, don’t
Be shy. Say Hello.’

Jon laughed. ‘Shy no, just careful.
I didn’t want to bother you.’

‘It is no bother.’ Raya told him as
He came closer. Immediately he struck
Her as being so nice, such a pleasure
For her to see…Most people that came
To see her people tended to be a bit
Impatient or rude, especially if they
Were told something in a fortune that
They did not want to hear. ‘As you
Can see, we are just simple people…
Like everyone. Only different that’s all.’

He smiled. ‘Oh, I have seen different
Kinds of people, he told her. ‘I have
Been to the city. Different is not bad…
Believe me I understand different.’

‘Oh?’ Raya laughed a little. ‘So, what
Brings you here then? A question? A
Fortune? Or maybe something for
Someone special? My nephew makes
Some fine carvings…and my daughter
Makes wonderful teas that soothe

Jon just grinned and looked around
At their wagons…and how content their
Family seemed to be just resting. A
Life of wanderers…always moving,
That was something mysterious to him.
It didn’t seem to bother them at all.
But their horses looked very old and
Tired…the way they stood, they
Appeared worn out. ‘Your horses are
Old…but they seem happy.’ He said.

That struck her as an odd thing for
A young man to say. Happy? She
Glanced at the horses once then back
To Jon. ‘You notice interesting things.’
She said.

‘Animals say a lot,’ he told her. ‘They
May not talk, but they say a lot.’

Raya nodded gracefully, but immediately
Began studying him up and down.
‘Would you like to come sit with me
Over here at my wagon?’ She asked
Gesturing for him to follow her to these
Little stools and a table nearby. ‘Forgive
Me…I need to sit more and more these
Days.’ He nodded and followed her
Humbly, then sat down as she smiled
Casually and pretended to eye their camp
While she studied him through the corner
Of her eye. He intrigued her…normally
Her senses worked very fast, but this time
She couldn’t receive anything about him.

‘Do you enjoy this?’ He asked her. “I’ve
Heard how gypsies travel so much. Does
It bother you?’

She sighed a little. ‘Yes and No. It’s a
Custom…some say a curse of our people.
It depends on how you see it. But I see it
As a path some have to follow.’

‘A path?’ Jon asked.

‘To everyone is a different path.’ Raya
Explained still studying him closely.
‘The road you have to follow…The quest
Your spirit takes you on to become what
You have to become.’

‘Do you think it’s a quest for everyone?’
He asked.

‘Some settle for less, some need more,’
She told him. ‘It all depends on you and
What you can live with.’

He nodded. The live with part, at least,
That he understood. ‘I’ve found that
Peace is better with simple things. But
My head is not so simple.’

She laughed, then he did too. ‘I like
That.’ Very quickly this young man
Struck her as someone more interesting
Than most…and she had seen A LOT
Of people. The way people communicate
Says a lot. ‘So, what brought you to

‘You tell fortunes?’ Jon asked carefully.

‘Yes, sometimes.’ Raya answered. ‘Is that
What you seek…a fortune?’

Jon looked down hesitating for the right
Words. ‘No…advice.’

He was very hard to read for her…she
Winced a little at that because she read
People so well all the time; her senses
Never failed her. She was intrigued even
More. ‘Advice on what?’

‘I have dreams,’ Jon began, ‘That I do
Not understand…. A kind of knowing…
That’s different. It just happens, I can’t
Control it.’

Then she understood, so that’s why
He was so hard to read. Many found her
This way. ‘You know things?’ She asked

‘There are things about me that make no
Sense.’ He told her.

‘Oh?’ Raya asked. Her eyebrows raised
A little in surprise, yet not.

‘My eyes…’

‘Your eyes?’ She squinted at him curiously.

‘My eyes are Hazel…green, sometimes a
Shade of blue.’ He told her. ‘They look
Brown during the day mostly, but they
Change color at night. But everyone…
EVERYONE in my family has blue eyes?’

‘That is…different.’ She nodded. Her eyes
Were dark brown, it never bothered her.
Yet eye color did fascinate people so…and
Some colors were known for special things;
Like the color he described. But the details
He described struck her as unusual. ‘Those
Are very special eyes you have.’

‘How is that possible?’ Jon asked her a
Little nervously. ‘When everyone in my
Family has blue eyes? It’s always bothered
Me…at least a little.’

‘I don’t know how that’s possible.’ Raya
Told him grinning kindly. Inside she was
Even more fascinated now. ‘People
With eyes like yours are known to have
Special gifts…’

‘Gifts?’ Jon laughed. ‘It sure doesn’t
Feel that way.’ To him it felt more like
A curse. Normal was best, normal was

‘Yes.’ She smiled as she reached into the
Pocket of her apron to pull out a handful
Of carved stones with small symbols on
Them. Then Jon watched as she rolled
Them around in her hands then on the
Table before them…finally resting her
Hand flat over them. Then she pulled her
Hand away looked at the stones. Her eyes
Widened. Then she stared wild and wide-
Eyed at Jon. ‘Did something happen to
You when you were younger?’

He swallowed nervously. Many things
Happened to him when he was younger,
Many many things; so many it would be
Impossible to explain at all. ‘What do
You mean? Something bad?’

Her senses began frothing inside, and
Her mind started working fast.
She had never encountered anything
Like this before. She had literally
No idea what to say. She could
Not read him…the runic stones
That she used, which never ever
Failed her before…told her something
Impossible. Then she shook her
Head dismissing it, and took
The stones back in her hands
And rolled them again and
Repeated it…placing them on the
Little table to rest once again.
Then she closed her eyes to clear
Her mind and opened them to
Read them again. She stared with
Shock this time.

‘What is it?’ Jon asked. ‘What
Did you see?’

Raya thought slowly then spoke
Very carefully. ‘The first time
The stones said…No one was
There, that no one was sitting
There but me…It was like a mirror,
A reading for me…The second time…
It said that you…were touched,
Marked for something great. But
I am not allowed to see what that
Is…that’s why the first time did
Not work, it was a mirror and
Bounced off a reflection…it would
Not let me see, anything but me.’
She took a deep breath. ‘I don’t
Think I can read you…I don’t
Think anyone is allowed to.’

Jon’s eyes raised at her words. That
Was something he was afraid to hear.
‘Not allowed?”

Raya thought carefully. She had
Never experienced anything like
This, it was a true test of her own
Talents. She had to speak carefully.
‘Some gifts are a mystery…in
Themselves they are protected…that
Is something that can only be
Answered over time. You can not rush
That…When the time comes, when
You are ready…things will align
And reveal themselves.’

Those were heavy words, this was
Definitely unexpected, mysterious…and
Yet somehow exactly what had to be
Said and heard. ‘Timing,’ was the only
Word he found that he could say.

‘What’s that?’ She asked.

‘My timing of things…has always been
Strange.; He told her. ‘So many things
Have happened. It’s hard to measure.
I have been mute, I have been blind
And deaf…It’s affected me somehow.
I don’t know why, why it has to be
That way. Why couldn’t I be like
Everyone else?’

Raya just smiled and shook her
Head kindly. ‘Something,’ she gestured
All around…suggesting the air, the
Sky, the trees, everything, ‘Has a
Plan for you. You cannot fight that.
The more you do, the harder your life
Will be. I think the important thing
Is to not let anyone push you in a

He laughed.. ‘And if they do?’

She looked a bit more sternly at him.
‘Protect yourself. People like us,’ She
Said holding her hand to her chest,
Inferring that her talents and his
Were alike, ‘You shield yourself and learn
To connect to your inner voice.’

‘And how do I do that?’ He asked.
‘Do you have some potion or magic
Charm for that?’

Raya laughed. ‘I will tell you a
Secret. There is no potion, no magic
Charm for that…That comes from
You, from inside you. You can not buy or
Sell magic…We sell herbal medicines
Not potions…and charms, that is a
Matter of belief, and still that comes
From within…and some have a much
Stronger inner power than others. Yet
There are old ways, old knowledge…
Ancient art forms…that can NOT
Be bought, only learned. And they must
Be respected. You can not copy that.’

‘How?’ He asked, spellbound by her words…
The meaning, and the value in them
Was sincere and true, he just knew.

She pointed to all the members of her
Family around. ‘All of us here have some
Knowledge, some talent…and we
Share and contribute that to
Each other. Secrets that we respect.’
She held her head back eyeing
Him with a smile confidently.
’You need this. That I am sure of.
We will help teach you that…but
You must absolutely agree to
The conditions that you never ever
Share that with anyone else, the
Knowledge, I mean…and how.’

He thought quickly. ‘I understand’
It is something that can not be sold.’

‘It will help strengthen your gifts.’
She told him. ‘And then you can
Apply that to whatever work that
You do…And then, you can only share
What you feel comfortable with.’

And then Jon found some solution
To the questions and agony he had
Inside him. Raya introduced him to
Her family and they welcomed
Him kindly and quickly. They found
Him very likable and sincere, as
He did them. They began sharing
The secrets they knew…in symbols,
In colors and in the techniques of
Doing things. Traditional methods
That worked well for them and
Improved upon with each generation
And unique person…Every individuals’
Habits and personality added their
Own special magic. Some were
Stronger than others, and some
Were just consistent. It was a
Process that could not be learned
So fast…only over time. So, it
Became a secret thing that Jon
Did in his spare time…to visit
And learn, but most of all to
Apply his own manner to what
He learned to develop his own

Still Raya and her family kindly
Reminded and encouraged Jon,
‘Remember now…You can not
Learn a gift…only skills. No
One can take that from you.’

Slowly Jon found more confidence
This way. Something he never
Knew before as others were always
Trying to break this through conformity.
But it did help bring peace.

Spring became something really
New to him then, and for Raya’s
Family too with such a new
Discovery…as they were far too
Accustomed to nervous and skeptical
Villagers who tended to lash out
With small minded attacks when
They saw the gypsies and didn’t
Like the fortunes they received. But
The broader minded people, those
Kinder and willing to learn always
Remained quiet and respectful.

Then the dreams that riddled
And haunted Jon by night became
More interesting for him
To confront…as well many other
Strange things that happened around
Him. He found that the aspect
Of dreaming varied so much in
People…for some it was symbolic,
For others it was like a mirror
Of problems or needs or desires. But
For a very rare few it was more.

On some nights, the stars were
Alive and seemed to speak, on
Others they said nothing. Everything
Affected the senses…Timing most
Of all was the strangest chord
Challenged or out of tune. At times
There was rhythm or pulse in the
Air that was undeniable, but so
Few seemed to feel it or interpreted
It simply. Everything strikes everyone
Differently, that much is clear. But
Jon felt a rhythm few others did…
It was frustrating at times
And overwhelming at others…A
Pulse was building within, a surge
So unstoppable it could only be
Dealt with alone. He knew that
Something was coming, a very
Familiar sensation or something
Elusive within that only visited
Him on then rarest nights in his
Life. Then all at once he knew,
Only when the time came close…
That those mysterious visitors
Which came to him in the
Night…were coming back again.





  1. Thanks so much for the wit and wisdom that Valiant & Lida brought in this story. The last weeks feel so GERMAN-NORSE even besides this story.

    There are some other sychronicity with this. I guess there might be some of you who are experiencing something related, too. Anyhow…have great journeys/adventures, my dear ones !!!

    This picture soon caught my attention while I was replying Nando’s precious message in last week’s thread. I once hesitated sharing it, but now I’m afraid that I’ll regret if I don’t post it here right now.

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