By Les Bohem
Once, a young Romani boy from Maribor set out down the River Drava. All of the People travelled then, but this young man was looking for something. He wanted to find the meaning of life. As he drifted, he saw Sara e Kali sitting by the bank. “Saint Sarah, I wonder if you could explain life to me, and tell me what its meaning is.”
“An easy task,” Sara e Kali said, “but my throat is dry and I need water. Down the road, you’ll find a farmhouse. Go bring me back my water, and I will explain this simple mystery.”
The young man quickly found the farmhouse. He knocked upon the door, and his knock was answered by a beautiful young woman. Her olive eyes were gentle and full of understanding. When he saw her, all thought of Saint Sarah’s water was gone, and all time was lost. They fell in love and soon they were married. The young man moved into the house with the young woman and her family. They farmed and prospered, and in time had children of their own.
One year, the Drava flooded badly. It washed away the young man’s crops, his animals. He and his wife and family took refuge on the roof of their house. In no time, the rising river reached them, carrying off the young woman’s father and mother, her brothers and sisters. Then the couple lost their children to the flood. Finally, the young woman herself was washed away. The young man too would have drowned, but he grabbed hold of a rafter, and he held on very tightly. He was washed across the flooded farmland and to the Drava and then washed down along the swollen river. He drifted, heartbroken, until finally he looked up to see Sara e Kali sitting by the bank, where he had left her so long ago. And Sara e Kali looked up at the young man, and she said,
“Where’s my water?”