Susanna Leonard Hill HO HO HO Anual Holiday Contest
Entry by Corine Timmer
Saint Nikolaos of Myra
Struggling downstairs, torch in hand, Emily was determined to find out if Santa had been. As she had not heard a noise on the roof she was surprised to discover the carrots had gone. She had wished for a new pair of snowy white ice skates as well as snow. She had even persuaded her mother to knit an extra large stocking so the skates would fit. Her accumulated excitement of the past weeks deflated into disappointment, followed by tears. There were no skates. But there was a small book, not gift wrapped. Curious and worn-out, Emily sat on the floor and started to read: The legend of Nikolaos of Myra and the three sisters.
Many centuries ago in a far away country called Anatolia, lived a rich saint. His name was Nikolaos. So grateful was he for his good fortune that he wanted to share it with others. His first gift however was returned. This made him realise that some people were too proud to accept his money. One day on the market he overheard a vendor retelling a story about a poor man who could not pay the dowry for his three daughters. The anguish had made him very ill. Sad to see their father suffering, the loving daughters decided to secretly sell their virtue in order to obtain their dowries. Nikolaos was so tormented by the story, that he devised a plan to help.
One night, during the following week, he climbed onto the roof of the poor man´s house and threw a pouch of gold coins down the chimney. He had spied on the eldest daughter washing her stockings, predicting she would be drying them above the hearth. The morning after, all the villagers were talking about the surprise in the stocking and how delighted the family was. Twice thereafter Nikolaos secretly did the same for each of the other two daughters. Thus the three sisters got their dowries, married and lived happily ever after.
The next morning, everything outside was white apart from a big red box with a gold ribbon.