The English Gypsies, as is well-known, have an analogous custom, and imagine that the looks of a water-wagtail foretells a gathering with different Gypsies, kinsfolk or strangers, in accordance because it flies, or doesn’t fly away. They’ve variants, additionally, which don’t ring real, however sound a gadzho (Gentile) relatively than a Gypsy notice, borrowings, maybe, or superstitions misapplied. An authority on the topic data that the Gypsy lad who kills considered one of these birds, is claimed to be sure you have a woman for his sweetheart; and an outdated lady, a member of the Heron household, remarked to me reflectively, when a wagtail was fearlessly haunting the neighbourhood of her tent: “ Right here’s somebody a-thinking of me werry exhausting.”
Thus it was nice to search out that, on the reverse finish of Europe, the Gypsy chook was nonetheless held in respect by the Gypsies as a lucky omen, and I awaited with curiosity the luck which the wagtail ought to carry.
THE LUCK OF THE WAGTAIL
As we approached the village of Yasi-Tepe, close to which the comb-makers winter in homes, we noticed, out on the plain, an awesome horse- and cattle-fair in progress. Petrika quickened the tempo instinctively, passing with out comment a camp of spoon-makers (roiari). We had already met a tribe of comparable Gypsies on the street : I imagine they possessed donkeys, however the}?- travelled in lengthy waggons coated with matting and drawn by buffaloes ; and the ladies had been distinguished by nice brass clasps on the waist. I noticed them, nonetheless, however for a second as we handed, and had no time to review them fastidiously. The tribe is quite a few in northeastern Bulgaria, and I had examined at nearer quarters a poorer firm which visited Varna. On the plain to the north of the city, removed from Osman’s mahala, they’d turned their seven donkeys out to graze, and pitched three very small tents, which they moved steadily, in accordance with the path of the wind. The social gathering consisted of an outdated lady, three younger girls, an single lady, three males, a lad, about ten youngsters, and a child which was usually slung in a hammock-cradle in one of many tents. A soldier in khaki uniform usually labored with them ; however whether or not he belonged to the household or got here from the barracks, which had been fairly close to, I by no means ascertained. It was troublesome to speak with them, for, though they had been darkish and Gypsy-like, they denied their race and didn’t perceive Romani, utilizing Rumanian amongst themselves.