A fictional story created and written by Damian Galvin, to capture the magic and beauty of Romania and its people.
Smaranda Creanga, was at first appearances a simple, hardworking grandmother, mother in fact to Ion Creanga & wife of Stefan. She outlived her beloved Stefan by some years and always tried to keep herself busy, in order not to dwell on her loneliness. Smaranda was adored by everyone, especially her grandchildren, for her warm heart, for the apple and plum pies she baked, and for the many things she knitted. She brought a lot of joy and wisdom to those around her and had a love for everyone. Whenever she walked through the villages, children would chase her, wishing to hold her hand, and pleading with her for a kiss on the forehead, a hug, or to hear a story from her.
By day, she would tend to her rose garden, clean her house, cook, knit, and write stories for children in the villages around the commune of Pipirig in the north of Romania, which comprised 7 villages (Boboiești, Dolhești, Leghin, Pâțâligeni, Pipirig, Pluton and Stânca). She would visit the lonely, the poor and the sick as often as she could, hitching a lift with a passing horsecart to reach those in need. Smaranda had a great capacity for remembering names and the stories of each person she met. Everyone knew her name, which was synonymous with kindness.
But Smaranda had a secret, for she was no ordinary granny. After dark, she would don her superhero suit, and fly off into the valleys and hills around Neamt county, with a mission. She would rescue lost pets and return them to their rightful owners. Very often there was a heartbroken child at the heart of these missions who had lost his/her pal, with no hope of reunion, only to wake up one morning, to find their lost pet in a basket at the foot of their bed.
Smaranda would search every street, path, alleyway and orchard, every forest, every ditch, and she would track down abandoned, orphaned or otherwise unwanted cats. She would gather them in her net, and fly them through the night sky. But she did not simply take these cats home. Instead, she deposited them to the homes of lonely old ladies and children who so badly wanted a cat. No one ever knew how this strange event kept repeating itself. Many believed it was due to magical powers rumoured to exist in the 7 villages, but none suspected Granny Smaranda, the super granny of abandoned cats was behind these acts.
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