We all slept under houses built by various people, and some of them spoke strange languages and sometimes we imitated them.
Houses raised from the ground because the water sometimes knew how to flood the settlement and the mud to swallow every trace made. Mud, dirty, but it used to keep us warm in hard winters. When people with strange speech would allow us, we slept on the steps so as not to get wet. Sometimes we dreamed about some new shoes or warm bread while the screams of ladies were heard in the settlements, who were constantly laughing with some new gentlemen.
I don’t know why, but the gendarmes sometimes knew how to take them away very rudely, but even then they laughed or said some ugly words. They used to be nice sometimes and make the men they were with give us some silver money to buy something or take off some of their clothes, when men used to walk strangely, and give it to us.
Strange people who were my family in a way, but not the one I, as they told me, lost.
The Children’s Day** passed by and I kept watching that lady and gentleman shopping every day. I was looking to feel the warmth of her embrace in my mind again, when I said that word to myself. The days passed and I waited for Mother’s Day * as well as my friends who were already imagining what they would get from the tied ladies.
All my friends were looking for any lady to tie their leg or arm to and I was watching her. The one who always knew how to smile at me, and the gentleman next to her knew how to lift me high. Sometimes I was afraid of heights and that I would fall, I knew in their smile that I should have liked it and what was important made them happy.
The evening came and I was in my place, in front of the house of the lady and the gentleman, so that someone wouldn’t tie her up in front of me, so that someone wouldn’t steal my lady’s look, so that someone wouldn’t steal the moment where I would replace the smell of mud from her clothes .
She peered behind the curtain. She saw me! I felt ashamed and I just wanted to leave when she ran with a scarf in her hand in front of me. The lady stopped, and I was afraid to lift her scarf because my hands were dirty, so I lifted her scarf with two fingers. I wanted to say “Yes” to her, but she bent down and stuck her leg out. He smiles briefly and says:
“It’s a cold evening. “
He looked at his leg and looked down the street. I am ashamed because the lady saw me waiting for her, and now she is giving me a scarf to tie her up. I tremble with cold and fear, but I tied her leg. Embarrassed and with a trembling voice I said:
My hands are shaking with which I am trying to cover up the buttons I am missing. She bent down again, smiled and told me in a soft voice that there was a present for her in the house. He grabbed my hand, which stopped shaking, but my cheeks were warm.
She asked me for my name and I told her Miloš proudly, because I had a name like our prince. She looked at me and squeezed my hand a little tighter and nailed it to her.
“Milos. Great name for a big boy. ”
She said my name for the first time. And it sounded even better when she said it. I used the moment of walking to her house to fall asleep again.
A dream in which I will tell her mom, a dream in which my legs will not be weak from hunger but will jump, a dream in which cold will not overwhelm my body, a dream in which she will not call me by name, a dream in which she will call me SON on Mother’s Day .
Author: Alexander of Belgrade
*Orthodox believers celebrate Mother’s Day (custom name in English) the second Sunday before Christmas. This is the greatest Christian holiday for mothers and wives. On that day, the children tied their mother to their feet early and in advance with a prepared rope, thread, scarf, scarf or belt, in the same way as their mothers tied them to the children. The mother pretends not to know why she is tied up. The children congratulate her on the holiday, and the mother then gives the children presents, and in that way she dresses.
**Orthodox believers celebrate Children’s Day (custom name in English) the third week before Christmas. Early that morning, or after arriving from the church from worship, adults tie their own or other people’s children. A strap, cord or plain twine, or plain thicker thread is usually used for tying. Usually the legs or arms are tied, so one part of the rope is tied to a table or chair.