St. Nicholas

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The Little Boy Nicholas
December 1

by Christine Natale

Gentle stories in the Waldorf tradition for the days before St. Nicholas Day, December 6

December 1 – The Little Boy Nicholas
December 2 – Bishop Nicholas
December 3 – Bishop Nicholas and the Family
December 4 – The Girl and the Wolf
December 5 – Bishop Nicholas and Rupert
December 6 – Saint Nicholas and Knecht Rupert
Young Nicholas
Illus. by Elisabeth Jvanovsky from Saint Nicholas by Henri Gheon, Sheed and Ward, 1936
St Nicholas Center Collection

Once, long, long ago, there was a land far across the ocean by the Mediterranean Sea. In this land was a city and in this city was a grand house. A family lived in this grand house and one day a little boy was born to them. They decided to call him Nicholas.

Nicholas' mother and father were very wealthy and little Nicholas had every sort of toy and plaything that you could imagine. He had tops and balls, wagons and carts. He had dear little farms and villages made of wood. And of course, he had fine clothes and lots of wonderful things to eat as well. But little Nicholas did not care so very much for all of these things. He took good care of them, but none of his beautiful toys were as lovely as the things that he could remember. You see, Nicholas had a special gift. He could remember the time when he was in Heaven with the angels, playing hide and go seek among the stars. And he could remember the wonderful songs that the angels sang, especially at Christmas tide, when the Christ Child came to play with them. And because he could remember how the angels were so happy when they were giving their love away, he was much more interested in what he could give to other people than what he was given himself. When he was just a very wee baby, he could only give kisses and pretty little sing-songs to his mother and father. But when he grew old enough to walk, he sometimes toddled out the door to give his biscuit to some little beggar child crying outside.

One day, when it was winter time and there was snow on the ground and little Nicholas was six years old, he was walking home. He saw ahead of him a big boy, several years older than himself. This big boy was a bully, a mean boy who did hurtful things to children younger and smaller than himself. Just now, he was hitting a little boy and saying "Give it to me!" Nicholas could see that he was trying to take away the littler boy's jacket. Nicholas could also see that the big boy was very thin and weak and cold, and he had no coat or jacket of his own.

Now Nicholas had on a beautiful warm wool cloak that his mother had made for him and also a fine fur hat and fur mittens. He knew what he would do. He marched right up to the bully and said, "What are you doing?" The bully turned around to say something rude like, "Get out of here!" or "What business is it of yours?" But the look in Nicholas' eyes stopped him. He could see the light of Heaven burning in them and he lost his strength. He just told the truth. "I am cold." he said.

Then Nicholas took off his warm cloak and put it around the boy's shoulders. He put his fur hat on the boy's head and his lovely mittens on his hands. Then he said, "Now that you are warm, you must learn to be kind."

The big boy did learn to be kind. When he grew up, he became a great doctor and people came from all over the world to he healed by him. And he never forgot what Nicholas had done for him.

When Nicolas came home without his fine cloak and hat and mittens, his mother was about to scold him for losing them. But she saw the light of Heaven that still filled his eyes and she knew that he hadn't been careless. Although she didn't know what he had done with them, she knew in her heart that it was the right thing.

*  *  *  *  *

When a year had passed and Nicholas was seven years old, he found a little girl sitting in the snow, crying as though her heart was breaking. She looked warm enough and well-fed, too, so he asked her what was the matter. She told him that her mother and father were dead and that she was all alone in the world.

"A kind old woman takes care of me and other orphan children. She gives us food to eat and a warm place to sleep. But I do miss my own mother and father." And she began to cry again.

Flute

"Hush," said Nicholas kindly. "See here." He pulled out of his pocket a lovely silver flute that his father had just given him for this birthday. Then he told the little girt that her mother and father were angels now. They were in Heaven, which was not very far away at all. And that whenever she wanted them to come closer to her, she only had to play on her flute or sing a lovely song and she would feel them standing close by.

The little girl gave Nicholas a kiss and thanked him. She learned to play the silver flute, note by note, and whenever she played it, she could feel her Angel Mother and Angel Father very close by. She was never lonely again. When this little girl grew up, she became a wonderful musician. She played and sang for people all over the world and, wherever she went, people always felt happy and comforted when they heard her. And she never forgot what little Nicholas had given her.

*  *  *  *  *


When Nicholas was eight years old, he was returning home from visiting a friend. He turned the street corner and there, sitting in the street was a little lame boy. This little boy could not use his legs. He had to beg for food and small coins from passers by. He had been left, when just a baby, with a family of beggars who gave him shelter at night in a tumbledown shack at the edge of town. When Nicolas found him, it was very cold and looked as if it might start to snow. The little boy looked very unhappy. Nicholas came to him and asked him why he looked so sad. The little boy answered, "I cannot use my legs and I can never go where I want to go. I can never see all of the things that I want to see and it makes me sad."

Flute

So Nicholas ran home as fast as he could. The lame boy thought that he was just running away. But soon, he was back. He brought with him a fine, big red wagon that he had just received as a birthday present. He lifted the little lame boy into the wagon and pulled him to a busy street. He called together all of the big and little boys that lived close by and he gave them each a coin and a cookie. (His mother was always putting good things like that into his pockets!) Then he made the boys promise to pull the little lame boy wherever he wanted to go and to take turns. He promised to bring them coins and cookies whenever he could.

They all promised and took turns pulling the lame boy wherever he wanted to go. They always took him with them when they went somewhere interesting. The little boy saw and heard many things and asked many questions of the people he met. Sometimes a kind person would take him in for a while and teach him from books. The lame boy learned a great deal and when he was grown up, he became a teacher. People journeyed from all over the world to study with him, for he was very wise. And he never forgot what dear Nicholas had given to him.


The other stories in this series

December 2 – Bishop Nicholas
December 3 – Bishop Nicholas and the Family
December 4 – The Girl and the Wolf
December 5 – Bishop Nicholas and Rupert
December 6 – Saint Nicholas and Knecht Rupert

By Christine Natale, who used them in her Waldorf kindergarten   Used by permission.

 Musings on Saint Nicholas or How to Play Saint Nicholas
by Christine Natale


Fairy Tales by Christine Natale, Straw Into Gold Press, 2010. A collection of fifteen original fairy tales, 3-4 for each season, gentle stories created for Waldorf kindergarten.

Purchase from amazon.com or amazon.uk.


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