Wednesday 17 February 2016

Following An Unknown Star (The 28th) - The Archive Backlog 25

the one on the right

Moscow is a long way from where I live.

At this time of year, as Christmas gathers, the temperatures should be below zero, snow should have fallen and the talk would be of deep winter not early spring.

Putin is in power, steadfastly dictatorial - but there is an opposition. 11 per cent. Some of those are in jail, others will be.

Elena lives in Moscow. She is one of the 11 per cent. Dima who, lives with her, is another. What is happening in Russia breaks their hearts.

And they have big hearts.

They set out from Moscow as December moved in and they drove through Russia, Poland and Germany.

They came with their trapeze as they had to work in the North of France, in a circus.

With elephants.

Some circus’s still have elephants.

Bruno is a dog .

Bruno travelled with them from Moscow. He didn’t mind.

He would bark at the elephants and show them who is boss.

Gipsy and Basia were also in the car.

Basia is a cat, rescued from the streets of Moscow where it lay abandoned and unloved. She has come to live with me.

I don’t speak Russian.

She is teaching me.

And Gipsy is a dog.

Gipsy is frightened of people.

Very frightened. Some were going to eat her until Elena saved her.

Elena is not an activist. She just acts.

Then she tries to find a loving home.

Someone said yes, here in France, a neighbour.

Gipsy travelled thousands of miles.

France is a big place.

Germany bigger.

Poland and Russia I can only imagine.

Gipsy was taken to her new home and the trapeze artists drove back across this country a second time to swing high in a circus tent in near Paris.

When Christmas was done, they would start the long drive home.

Only Bruno would return.

The Elephants would be happy to see him go.

A day later someone left a door open and Gipsy ran to the only place she knew as home.

The forest.

No one dared to tell Elena, they knew her heart would break.

Gipsy survived in the forest for two weeks, no one found her.

The circus finished for the season and the tent was packed. Bruno jumped in the back of the car next to the trapeze rig ready for Moscow.

Elena’s phone rang.

She cried.

She could not sleep.

Dima turned the car south and they came back.

The next day was Christmas Eve.

We went to the forest.

We walked, we called; we climbed. We might stop for food, but we would not give up.

We found her.

She was lying in the sunshine behind a pile of wood.

We took her home.

We she hid in a corner.

Someone, his name will remain unsaid as long as it is mud, said he would no longer take her.

We called him a douche- bag.

We were kind.

Everyone stayed for Christmas.

We taught Gipsy to smile again.

I’ve never seen a dog smile.

Gipsy does.

When she is loved.

This morning they packed the car.

Gipsy and Bruno jumped into the back.

We cried.

Then they set off, once again to the north and then the east.

Following an unknown star.

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