The Stars of St. Nikolaus Eve ~ a children’s Christmas Book manuscript that I wrote 22 years ago

~ The Stars of St. Nikolaus Eve ~ a children’s Christmas Book manuscript that I wrote 22 years ago…

I recently re-discovered a children’s Christmas Book manuscript that I wrote 22 years ago. My own 4 children were not nearly young enough for Santa Claus anymore and I quite missed those days of wide-eyed belief in the magic of “the man in red” — who could see you when you were sleeping, awake, bad or good and all that jazz.

Would Christmas ever be the same?

I was inspired to write my story when I read that in Northern Germany, there’s a legend about Sankt Nikolaus, a Santa-type fellow who visits the homes of children on the night of December 5th ~ the Eve of December 6th ~ The Feast of Saint Nicholas, who is also known as Saint Nicholas of Winter. This feast focuses on the beginning of Advent, neighborly meals and celebration. St. Nicholas himself rides a fine horse and visits the homes of children with candies and goodies on the evening of December 5th, leaving such sweet treats in children’s shoes or stockings.  Accompanying St. Nikolaus is Black Piet, a man or spirit, who leaves birch branch switches to children who are misbehaved.

Ah, ha!

Maybe my family could commence Christmas and Advent with a little fun involving a spunky little girl named Eve, a girl who lit up the sky on the Eve of December the 6th.

Well, my manuscript sat for 22 years. I think it’s high-time I resurrect it for my 11, going on 12, grandkids. I’ve divided it into 6 parts, each one leading up to the Feast of St. Nikolaus on December 6th.

If you have the time, I’d love you to read it. I hope you like it.

Now, to find an illustrator!

***************************************************************

The Stars of Saint Nikolaus Eve ~ Part 1

stars-shooting

Evening star,
Falling star,
Shooting star, too –
One of these stars could come to you.

Sit back and Listen…

‘Twas years and years and years ago,
on a night of softly falling snow
That St. Nikolaus paced worriedly, to and fro,
gently rubbing his mustachio –
Pondering the news he had just received,
concerning his Candle-Maker, Augustine,
Whom amid coughs and snuffles
and sniffles and sneezes,
Graciously explained
that she must take leave –
For awhile.

“But all is done,
as always is done
on the Eve of December the sixth,”
St. Nik whispered
as he studied his list,
“Except for the candles.
The children’s candles.
The candles from me, St. Nik!”

“Look,” he pointed.
“White Horse is groomed,
his shoes are shining.
His bridle is polished,
and his mane’s intertwined –
with holly and ivy and mistletoe berries,
and his reins are aglow with tinkling bells,
so merry.”

“And there!
Red Robe, my tailor,
has prepared my cloak,
adorned with colors
from his kaleidoscope –
embroidered with yarns of red, gold and blue,
and lined with the softest, the softest lamb’s wool.”

“And Mrs. High Hat,
may I inquire?
Is my headdress ready
with plumes and jewels and threads?
Ready, ready to warm my head?”

Seconds and moments and minutes then passed
As Time sifted softly through the hour glass –
As St. Nikolaus twisted his white mustache,
Listening to steeple bells of brass
Ringing in the hour of 9
Under the palest –
The palest of moon-shine.

“Peter Pink Peter!” he finally called,
‘Tis time. ‘Tis time.
We mustn’t forestall.
We gallop o’er the world this night!
You must find me a Candle-Maker –
A maker of light!”

St. Nikolaus then turned
where the yule log burned bright,
and accepted from Gold Smith
a staff of crystal light…

But the saddle of ruby leather
lay waiting on the cot –
its bags unfastened,
its locks unlocked..
As Saddler, the Master of clamping the clamps,
beheld empty candle pouches
beneath his work lamp.

Now Peter Pink Peter
stopped gathering his switches,
Grabbed his pink cap
and candy-cane britches –
He slipped on his slippers
and dashed from the door,
Shouting, “Come hither. Come forth. Come now, I implore.
For St. Nikolaus needs a Candle-Maker.”

But the village streets were empty,
The bells did not toll.
Only lamp lights flickered
Through a blanket of snow.

For the smallest children slept,
dreaming St. Nik
Would deliver a candle –
most specially mixed.

The next biggest children bustled,
spreading white sheets so fair
Over doorsteps, thresholds,
front halls and stairs…

While the biggest of children
offered silent wishes
That they would receive candles –
Not a handful of switches.

But quite unexpectedly
came a rustling sound,
And Peter Pink Peter
turned quickly around
To find a small girl
with very bright eyes
Plop down from a fir tree
with a glimmer of surprise…
Her very fair hair
peeked out of her cap,
And she hid something straw-like
behind her small back.

Now Peter Pink Peter
narrowed his eyes –
For he began to recognize
This girl,
This small girl
in the snowy mist –
The girl who was hiding
a straw-like switch.

He murmured, “You must be Eve.
Yes. Yes, indeed.
Certainly Eve
is whom you must be –
For the switch you hide
is from last St. Nikolaus Eve.”

But Eve just tugged on her pajamas,
brushed snow from her sleeves,
And announced,
“I can make candles.
My Grandpa taught me.”

At precisely that instant,
the steeple bells rang 10 –
While Peter Pink Peter glanced
up and down the avenues again –
Not one whisper whispered,
Not one peep peeped,
Not one lantern still burned –
Only the snow still steeped higher
And higher
And higher.

While at the very edge of town,
St. Nikolaus rubbed his mustache
and frowned –
Worriedly pacing to and fro,
Sipping his hot cocoa –
When tumultuously,
Uproariously,
The door opened wide,
Sending St. Nik
on his broad backside –
spilling his cocoa,
scattering dust,
tipping beeswax, cheeks all a-flush…

But Eve just tugged on her pajamas,
brushed dust from her sleeves –
And announced,
“I can make candles.
My Grandpa taught me.”

************************************************************

If you so wish, stayed tuned for Parts 2 – 6, coming each of the next 5 days leading up to The Feast of St. Nikolaus on December 6th!

Eve really, really IS a spunky little girl!

The Stars of St. Nikolaus Eve ~ a children’s Christmas Book manuscript that I wrote 22 years ago was last modified: December 2nd, 2015 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (5)
The Stars of St. Nikolaus Eve ~ a children’s Christmas Book manuscript that I wrote 22 years ago was last modified: December 2nd, 2015 by Sharon Couto