• A Michaelmas story for bedtime

    by  • 20 September 2017 • Children's Books, Parenting, Steiner-Waldorf Education • 0 Comments

    The Michaelmas story is one of bravery, acceptance and, of course, dragons.

    You can celebrate Michaelmas by reading this tale aloud from Bedtime Storytelling. This Michaelmas story is particularly suited to children aged six and seven, but can be enjoyed by the whole family.


    A Michaelmas story

    Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a small town with a wall all around it. The people lived happily there. At evening they closed the gates and in the morning they opened them again.

    Imagine their surprise when they woke up one morning, looked over the wall, and what did they see? A dragon outside their gates! It wasn’t a small dragon, no! It was a big dragon; it was a huge dragon.

    Have you ever seen a dragon?

    Well, I’ll tell you what this one looked like: it had scales all over its body like a fish but very, very hard. It had a long swishy tail and from its mouth came fire and smoke.

    “Don’t open the gate this morning,” said the people behind the wall. “We don’t want a dragon in our town!” But they watched him over the wall, for they were curious what he would do.

    Well, first he started to eat the grass but, of course, that was not enough for a dragon, so he started on the flowers and bushes.

    At night-time he found a hole in the mountain and went to sleep there. The people of the town kept their eye on him. They could see he was still there, for there was fire and smoke coming out of the hole in the mountain.

    Next morning out came the dragon again, looking as fierce as ever. As he had already eaten all the grass, the flowers and the bushes, he started on the trees. How awful it began to look outside the town. It was all bare! Then he got thirsty and he drank and drank until the river was empty.

    When there was nothing left to eat or drink, he began to crawl towards the town. The people, who had never stopped watching him, became quite anxious. What was he going to eat next? Would he like the taste of people perhaps?

    Well, when he got to the gate he started to make a terrible din. He swished his tail, he ground his teeth, he stamped his four big feet and he blew lots of fire and smoke into the air. It was very frightening and the people did not know what to do. All that day the dragon went round and round the town making more and more noise. At night he went back to his hole in the mountain, but he couldn’t sleep as he was so hungry.

    That night the people held a meeting. They asked the wisest man in the town for advice. His name was St Michael because he was a holy man. The people begged St Michael, who was not afraid of anything, to go out and slay the dragon with his sword. St Michael said that he would go out and meet the dragon the next morning.

    And he DID!! All the people in the town, young and old, rich and poor, were standing or sitting on the wall watching him. On he went, St Michael with his shining sword. They could see that he had reached the mountain now.

    Oh, out came the dragon. St Michael held his sword up high and the dragon did not harm him. No, he lay down and looked up at St Michael sadly. St Michael spoke: “Do you know, dear dragon, that you are frightening the people of this town?” “Frightening?” answered the dragon. “Why?”

    “Well, your noise, your swishing of tail, your stamping of feet, but most of all your smoke and fire.”

    “But,” said the dragon, “all dragons breathe smoke and fire. That is how they breathe and, you see. I am terribly lonely and I would so like to play with the children.”

    St Michael was astonished. “Is this really true? Play with the children? They think you’re going to eat them!”

    “Yes,” said the dragon, “it is really true, I promise you,” and he licked St Michael’s hand to show he was telling the truth.

    “Well,” said St Michael, “we’ll see if the people will let their children play with you, and if the children want to play with you.” And so St Michael and the dragon walked towards the town together, St Michael in front and the dragon behind.

    The people who were watching could hardly believe their eyes! But when they heard what St Michael had to tell them they could not believe their ears!

    Now, there was a small girl who was always very brave, and she said, “I’ll come and play with you”.

    “No! No!” shouted her parents, but she had already slipped through the gate, and the small, brave girl went out to meet the dragon. When she came near, she gave him a great big smile.

    “Come here,” she said. He came.

    “Why don’t you climb on my back and I’ll give you a ride?”

    St Michael lifted her up. How hard and sore the scales were. “Here,” said St Michael, “take my cloak to sit on.” And off she went, hanging on to his ears. It was great fun.

    Soon a second child came out then a third, all wanting rides.

    “Me next …”

    “Can I …?”

    “My turn …”

    In the end, almost all the children, except the shyest and the smallest, had a ride, and the poor dragon got so tired that he had to lie down.

    Then the same little girl who had been so brave said, “Let’s give him something to eat.” And they all ran home and soon came back with leftover porridge, apples, old rolls, herrings and pancakes, and the dragon ate everything, even some old boots. And he felt so happy that he cried big dragon tears, and from that time onwards he became the pet of the town and everybody just loved him

    But do you know who the dragon loved most? St Michael, of course.


    About the book

    A Michaelmas Story - Bedtime Storytelling coverIf your family enjoyed this Michaelmas story, discover more stories for special occasions in Bedtime Storytelling. Beatrys Lockie’s inspiring collection contains stories for all ages, plus advice on how to perfect your storytelling.

    Find more Michaelmas activities on our Steiner-Waldorf teachers hub.

    Let us know what you think of our Michaelmas story and activities on Facebook or Twitter.

    Dragon image taken from The Dragon Stoorworm, illustrated by Matthew Land.

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