The Ballad of Nikolaus


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.

By Manuaelmelwie