THE BALLAD OF NIKOLAUS
Word count: 317
Summary: Dedicated to St. Nicholas
A very long time ago
In a land very far away
All the heat had since departed
And winter was here to stay.
There lived a fine young family,
Good parents with children two,
But baby shivered from the cold
And they did not know what to do.
Father had lost his job as woodsman
To a very impressive machine;
It did the work of fifty men
And made the cuts so clean.
Father was collecting firewood
When seven-year-old Nikolaus thought
“I must find baby Krysta a blanket,”
And went looking for what he sought.
Since the path led through the forest
He knew he might have to face
Riesenbar, the fearsome bear
Who slayed creatures in that place.
He trudged into deep woodlands
The harsh wind at his back
When who should appear but a holy man
Carrying a mysterious sack.
“I was called to these woods by your pure heart,”
His patron St. Nicholas said,
“Here is some armour to help in your task
And keep you from falling dead.
“As you know from Riesenbar’s legend
He will fall only to the purest of hearts,
So call on Jesus to help you;
‘Tis on a dangerous quest you embark.”
Not long after the good saint left him
Nikolaus came upon the den
Of Riesenbar, the fearsome bear
Who had killed so many men.
Riesenbar roared a mighty roar,
“You shall be my Christmas feast!
For little boys taste very good
To this invincible beast!”
Then Riesenbar lunged, but Nikolaus
Stood and raised his patron’s bow
And prayed,”O Jesus, help me!
Sharpen and guide my arrow.”
The arrow sailed true and hit its mark
For Jesus loved the humble boy,
And Riesenbar became a feast
For all the family to enjoy!
And that very night little Krysta slept
Beneath a blanket warm,
Found by Nikolaus, from his kindly saint,
To keep her safe from harm.