At the Store

The next morning when Jan and Antje came downstairs - very early! - they found the carrots gone, and instead there was a chocolate frog in each shoe.

"That's not a big present," said Antje disappointedly.

"It's not December 5th yet," said Jan, who was happy enough that they had gotten anything at all.

"How long is it till December 5th?" asked Antje.

"About two weeks and in that time Saint and Pete have to look for gifts for everybody. They're very busy."

Antje tried to understand how busy St. Nicholas must be with choosing presents for all the children in the country, wrapping them, and delivering them too!

In school, Jan talked to the others about the chocolate frog. Hank had gotten a crane and Linda a doll carriage. These were real big gifts. Back at home, he asked his mother about it.

"There must be a good reason for that," she said. "After all, Hank doesn't have a father, and Linda has been sick a long time. St. Nicholas probably wants to be extra good to them.

Yes, Jan thought, Saint must know what he is doing and why.

A couple of days later, they went to the gym in school to rehearse St. Nicholas songs so the whole school would be prepared for a visit by the Good Bishop.

The next Saturday the children went shopping with mother at the big department store.

"Stay close to me," Mother said. "I don't want to lose you." But while leaving a crowded elevator it happened again: they couldn't see Mother and they were pushed ahead by the crowd.

"Which way?" asked Antje.

"Let's turn right," said Jan.

No Mother. They turned left. No Mother. They could hardly see anything for all the people. Antje began to cry. Jan put his arm around her while they wandered on, pushed by people with shopping bags.

"Listen to the music," Jan said.

St.Nicholas songs came from the loudspeakers, but it did not make the children happy. Then suddenly, they came to an open space.....

Home Page| The Arrival | The Letter | When Father Was Little | In the Night | At the Store | A Visit to St. Nicholas | The Visit | St. Nicholas Eve | The Farewell Song