They were world travelers. Many countries had seen.
Continents. Foreign cultures.
At a time when travel was still not nearly as convenient as today.
From each trip they brought home beautiful, especially and exotic things.
Their villa was filled with treasures like a museum.
In 1910 she traveled to China. Just this once.
And they experienced all the magic of the Middle Kingdom shortly before his demise.
Soon after, the 3-year emperor was overthrown, many were broke and changed.
Not a good country for more travels ...
The woman had brought a silk screen and on bright days she sat with it in the garden or walked a little around. She reminisced ...
Then the man returned heavy ill and wounded from the First World War and with the travels it was over.
But she had friends and celebrated together so many nights... talking in observation of all the wondrous things.
That was their life now.
But then came Germany's darkest period, and most of their friends emigrated or fled the very last possible moment.
The two remained, because it was their home.
Although they were still dreaming of the distance.
Lonely now and isolated.
In the last days of WW2 the town was destroyed by bombs.
But the silent Villa was spared like by a miracle, only the windows were cracked.
The city was liberated by the Americans, the people awakened from a nightmare, shook dust and ashes from their clothes.
But for a long time it was still not all good.
The Americans left the territory up to the Soviet power.
An agreement had intended it so.
The Russians rumbled through the rooms and ransacked the villa.
They took away everything that seemed to them valuable.
The woman was crying all nights long and did not consoled.
After that, the refugees came from the East, without possessions, without a roof over their heads.
The silent Villa awoke to new life.
A chaos and language tangle begun.
The two had only still two rooms, but they received the new inhabitants friendly.
Xenophobia them was never to own . For this purpose they had learned to much at young ages on their travels ...
All established themselves as best they could.
The hunger was terrible and overnight disappeared the last remaining items.
The man himself took the valuable jewels, what they had hidden from the Russians ... and drove through the villages. Exchanged gold for a loaf of bread, potatoes, a lean chicken.
So worked survival ...
The villa was filthy and decayed more and more, the garden had no more flowers, but cabbage and potatoes.
The both had only themselves and their memories in mind and soul.
But often the refugee childs listened gladly when the woman told stories from distant lands.
Which they themselves would never see.
In the early fifties died both in quick succession.
Life went on without them.
And over time, it returned to normality.
Houses were resurfaced and new ones built.
In 1963 the couple with the little girl got an allocation for the old Villa.
They shared the upper floor only still with an old woman from Russia.
The little girl enjoyed the new freedom, because they had previously all lived in one room.
Now, the high ceilings, the width of the corridor, the old porch, the neglected garden with apple trees, the darkness of the cellar with all its angles ... - like a fairytale castle seamed her the rotten building.
Most of it all she loved the attic and rummaged for hours up there around.
The stuff of several residents had stored there, worthless tattered stuff.
But you could find there children treasures, tattered textbooks, a piece of lace, a colorful paperscrap ...
The mother scolded because she rummaged in all the mess and finally she came to clean up there.
Most of the clutter came right into the fire.
In the far corner, not visible at the first, stood the old cabinet.
It was full of rubbish, moth-eaten, dirty stuff too....
When everything was cleared out, they saw an oblong object on the floor.
The mother opened it, the girl was transfixed: a parasol from Chinese silk! Hand painted.
She hardly dared it to touch.
Prayerful she stroked the struts of bamboo and the mother gave it to her hand.
Instantly, the little girl felt like a Chinese princess.
Everything came to life, what she had seen and get told in books.
The fairy tale "The Chinese Nightingale" by H. C. Andersen and the books of her grandfather.
The melody of a music box ... and much more...
They herded the parasol like a sanctuary. Never played with it in alldays life.
Only sometimes, when she was sad or life was very difficult, she sat down in a quiet corner and opened the shield.
Then it was the Chinese princess and all grief was far away ...
Decades passed, she became wife and life did not mean it always good with her.
But the silk umbrella she has always preserved
The silk got more and more cracks, but what does it matter?
Sometimes on bright days she goes to her favorite place.
She stretches her feet into the water of the small pelvis and imagines it would be the ocean.
Under the parasol she dreams of all the traveling that she could never do.
And will not even make.
And then she is a Chinese princess again.