Childhood Adventures

Ana Aslan

Life History - Part 3



Little Ana with family
Little Ana with family

The Aslans lived in the tradition of the nobility, in which Sofia had her roots. They lived in a reasonably large house with 12 rooms. These included a lounge with a white marble fireplace, a small salon with a piano, a room furnished in the Turkish fashion with soft sofas and oriental hookahs, as well as a guest room, a large dining room and the four bedrooms for the children. The parents lived in the upper storey together with an old aunt who had a nervous illness and had the fairytale name of “Nénufura”. In winter, everyone gathered in front of the crackling fire in the fireplace in the lounge. Margarit read the children fairy tales by Ileana Cosinzeana, while Sofia, who spoke fluent German,read the children tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. Ana and Angela played the piano together, and sometimes Sergiu joined them on the violin.


One day a fire broke out in the Aslan home. A candle had fallen from the piano and set the curtains alight. The oldest son, Sergiu, woke the neighbours and called the fire brigade. Everyone fled the house, except Ana who couldn't dream of abandoning her beloved home to the fire. After the excitement had subsided, they found her in the kitchen where she was calmly filling a pot with water to fight the flames with courage and determination.


The family home had no garden, but in Spring and Summer, when Braila became a sea of flowers, the children went to the nearby city park to play. Ana preferred running to the harbour, fascinated by the busy comings and goings. She could listen to the bargaining of the merchants for hours, and observe the to-and-fro's of the wares as well as the arrival and departure of the laden ships.


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