The Catt Box
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This is the last of her kind.
I won't be making more Gypsies. I'm retiring this design.
The autumn chill enveloped Chris as she walked towards the Carnival. The setting sun rendered the quaint town into a silhouette against an orange and yellow sky.
The immense harvest moon could be seen on the horizon.
It was almost translucent as wisps of dark clouds flitted across.
But it was merely a whisper of its promise to illuminate as the darkness filled the sky.
Fall was really here.
The smell of Funnel Cakes, pizza, and hot dogs from the Shriners were heavy in the air.
The rows of food-booths dispensed a thick, greasy warmth, and it was welcoming to the shivering guests.
In the background Fleetwood Mac's Sisters Of The Moon was playing and could be heard everywhere.....
As she walked in the room...
Her black robes trailing..
Sister of the moon
And a black widow spider makes
More sound than she...
And black moons in those eyes of hers
Made more sense to me..
It was hard to breathe...
She was dark at the top of the stairs
And she called to me.
A generous amount of hay had been scattered on the earth to absorb debris and to help level the knotty ground.
The smell always reminded her of autumn.
The season was replete with groupings of misshapen pumpkins, gourds, and bales of hay. And as usual, flickering amber lights were peeking from the curtains of every house on the block.
Chris loved to breathe in the air....there were always faint smells of someone's woodstove burning, and the impervious wafting of Cinnamon and Apple Cider was everywhere.
Small piles of raked leaves were smoldering in well-groomed front lawns. The last of their smoke rose lazily and hung in the air like a lingering ghost.
Autumn was alive with the scent and sights of 'home'.
She was near the entrance of the Carnival.
Just then a bustle of chatter, laughter, and the clomping of horse hooves disturbed the tranquility of the neighborhood. Giggling children held onto the wooden sides of the hay-filled wagon.
As the hayride rounded the corner and disappeared from sight the last audible laughter faded away like the spirit of Halloween Past.
Chris felt unusually alone on this night. Her friends were busy with their own plans for the evening and this was the last night of the Carnival.
It was Halloween night.
Normally the Carnival wouldn't coincide with Halloween, but the heavy rains prompted the Carnival to extend a few days longer.
And it just so happened that the last night of the Carnival fell on Halloween night.
'Samhain' was upon the Spiritual people of the earth.
This gave the evening an unusual eeriness. It was like being in a forbidden night...an 'extra' night....a night that was in-between nights.
It felt magical and frightening at the same time.
As Chris entered the Carnival and walked around she noticed that most of the people had left. She supposed that most of the children were trick or treating with their parents.
But this was okay....Chris liked having the Carnival to herself.
The evening wore on and Chris came to the end of the line of booths and rides and the endless variety of food, she saw a booth that sat off to itself. It looked as though it was from another Carnival...so out of place.
She was strangely drawn to the odd booth. And as she came closer she realized it wasn't a booth at all, but a very old Gypsy wagon.
She could see that many years ago it had been painted in bright greens and reds and blues.
However, the untold number of decades gave the ancient wagon a haunting patina.
Where did this old wagon come from?
Was it really part of this Carnival?
Chris slowly walked closer and gasped as she realized what she had stumbled upon...it was the wagon of a Gypsy. A Fortune Teller of sorts.
She was intrigued.
As she stood outside of the bohemian wagon she saw a wafting of bluish smoke emitting from inside. It smelled faintly of a cigar.
Could this wagon belong to a man?
Just then her eyes saw a small black folded card at the entrance of the wagon.
It told her all she needed to know.
Just then Chris heard a noise and she froze in her tracks. There at the entranceway was The Gypsy Witch.
She stood a good 29 inches tall, including her heavy wooden stand.
Chris was awestruck at the mysterious figure.
The Gypsy Witch introduced herself as Cafell Dukker.
The name Cafell is Welsh for 'oracle'...and Dukker is Gypsy for 'fortune teller'.
She wore a beautiful extremely full rayon paisley print skirt with double lace trim near the hem. She also wore a delicate rose print cotton blouse and an airy scarf tied around her waist.
And her garb was topped with a shawl adorned in white 'pearl' beads.
Her layers of clothing were as though they were straight out of the legends of Gypsies we've all heard about.
The lantern light in the wooden wagon cast a strange light upon Cafell Dukker. She wore a very long scarf atop her head and it spilled down her body. Her long curly hair was thick and gray hair had not yet graced her.
Her eyes were blue and her lips were red. Chris could tell that in Cafell's youth she was a very beautiful woman.
Cafell Dukker beckoned Chris to take a seat at her small wooden table. Without a word Chris knew that the Gypsy Witch wanted to do a reading. Chris was facing a few life-changing situations and she didn't think it would do any harm to hear what the old woman had to say.
Chris continued to look around at the inside of this enchanting wagon. There were lots of small green wooden shelves with beautiful scrolled designs and gold trim.
Many colorful scarves were used as tablecloths and curtains. The small bed was covered with what appeared to be an old quilt made with dark fabric patches.
The smell of dust was thick in the enraptured wagon. Stacks of leather books were in every direction. Beads hung from nails in the walls and odd bottles held baubles, coins, artificial flowers, and herbs.
Cafell Dukker took a maroon bag from her belt and placed the Rider-Waite cards tiny Tarot cards on the table in a Celtic Cross.
There were six Circle / Cross cards placed on the left, and four Staff cards were placed on the right.
Chris studied the 'wares' of Cafell Dukker's sash. She had such interesting things, like glass vials of special herbs...no doubt used in potions....and a Raku hand, a very nice beaded change-purse, a beautiful metal Wolf's head, a sword, and an interesting chain of sorts.
And with every motion of the Gypsy Witch Chris could hear her big chunky necklace, as well as the gentle jingle of her hoop bracelets.
Then Cafell Dukker offered Chris some wonderful Blueberry Tea. Chris guessed that this was for tea leaf reading.
While the Gypsy Witch was busy with the Tarot cards Chris also saw a 'crystal ball'...or what appeared to be a crystal ball. It was actually an amber colored glass orb and it sat on a real crystal holder.
The old woman began to speak softly to Chris. She examined the six cards and told her about what's going on in her life at the moment....
"Perhaps you feel that everything as you have known it is falling apart. Unexpected changes and turmoil, end of a job, end of a career, divorce or end of a relationship, recovering from a bereavement or fear of bereavement. Try not to worry too much, this time of absolute endings heralds a brand new beginning, a period of great transformation. "
Then the Gypsy Witch said, "The cards suggest, Chris, that what you most want at this time is to have someone around you that you can trust and confide in, knowing that they won’t let you down. There are moral issues here, knowing right from wrong, and you may feel that you need some advice or wise counsel from a teacher, priest, parent or someone you have a lot of respect for, in order to help you make the right decision."
Cafell Dukker continued with the reading. She explained Chris' fears and the things going for her, as well as against her.
Chris began to feel more at ease with the woman's soothing voice
Then the Gypsy Witch handed Chris a small scroll. It was tied with black Raffia and sealed with black sealing wax. She explained to Chris that it was an extra personal reading.
Next, Cafell Dukker looked under the table and retrieved a small wooden suitcase. She opened the suitcase and Chris immediately saw that it was filled with fascinating items.
Inside the suitcase was a brand new deck of Gypsy Witch cards, a small handmade leather book, vials of special herbs, a small black bag filled with tiny treasures, papers and diagrams, a Palm Reader's diagram greeting card, incense, and other things that will be discovered later.
Just then the Gypsy Witch reached across the table, looked Chris in the eyes, and said, "Sometimes sudden disruptive change is inevitable, and as painful as it may seem, we come through it a stronger and better person. No matter how disruptive things are at the moment, or if you feel life is really against you, re-evaluate and move on - often a new direction can bring new opportunities you never dreamed of."
The Gypsy Witch gave Chris her magical wooden suitcase. She said that the small leather book would be instructional and helpful. Between the sealed scroll, the suitcase, and the gentle words of Cafell Dukker, Chris was going to be just fine going in her new direction.
Chris thanked the Gypsy Witch and left the wagon. She walked a few paces, smiled, and turned to look at the wagon once more, but it was gone.
All that was left was the wafting of bluish cigar smoke.
Copyright © November 3, 2005 Cathy Palmer-Scruggs / Catt Alexander
A big thanks and huge hugs to Chris, Whisper, Amy, and Kristina.
And a super special thanks to eBay seller imosh for the Wolf pendant and the sword.
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My dolls are not for everyone, they are my art. If you are offended, I suggest you hit the back button. It will not do you any good to write me 'hate mail'.
In spite of the dolls I create and the stories I write, I do not use recreational drugs, I don't smoke cigarettes, and I don't even drink alcoholic beverages.