St. Nicholas and the Star Children

by U. de Haes

This traditional Waldorf story shows St. Nicholas care for children; it is best used to supplement other material as basic information about the saint isn't included.

St Nicholas with bag of fruit
Bishop Saint Nicholas
Artist: Susan Havens-Morris
St. Charles, Illinois
St Nicholas Center Collection

Once St. Nicholas rode across the clouds from a country where the sun rises in the morning to a country where the sun says goodnight in the evening. Up in the heavens he met Mother Mary who was carrying the Christ Child in her arms and Mother Mary said to St. Nicholas: "Once again it is time that I take the Child down to earth for a while so that he can play with the children." When she had said this, many little stars came along from all sides of the heavens and asked whether they could go with them down to the earth.

"Yes," said Mother Mary, "but only if the moon will show you the way, for I cannot carry you all under my cloak."

When St. Nicholas heard this he rode off to the moon: "Good evening, dear Moon."

"Good evening, St. Nicholas."

"Dear Moon, will you please show these little stars the way to the earth."

"Yes, willingly, if the sun comes along too."

St. Nicholas rode to the sun. "Good morning, dear Sun."

"Good morning, St. Nicholas."

"Dear Sun, will you please help to take these little stars down to the earth?"

"What do they want to do there?"

"They want to play with the Child of Light and the children of the earth."

"That is how it should be," said the Sun.

And now the sun placed himself on one side of Mother Mary and the moon on her other side. The moon took the little stars in her lap, and the sun held the hand of the Child of Light who was sitting in his mother's arms. Thus they went together down to the earth, but St. Nicholas rode on in front of them. He rode so fast across the clouds that he arrived on the earth much earlier than the others. On earth he went from house to house and told everyone that the Child of Light would soon arrive, and he gave the children on the earth presents so that they could play with the Child of Light.

Then the Child of Light arrived on the earth accompanied by sun and moon. He jumped out of Mother Mary's arms and showed the little stars the path to the children on the earth, but when the little stars leapt out of the lap of the moon onto the earth, they had all become human children and played with the Child of Light and the other children on the earth. It was a happy game, for the children of the earth play more beautifully and happily when the Child of Light plays with them. Mother Mary looked on and smiled.

Many stars who had become children of the earth stayed with the human children; and when Mother Mary took the Child of Light back into the heavens, many children of the earth were allowed to go with her and the Child of Light, to live with the stars.

Book cover

From Winter: A collection of Poems, Songs and Stories for young children, Jennifer Aulie and Margaret Meyerkort, eds, copyright © 1978, 1983, 1999, reprinted 2005 Wynstones Press. Used by permission.
Purchase from Steiner Books in the US or from Wynstones Press in the UK.

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