Santa's Grand Tour  by  Marlies Klein

Translation completed on Dec 24, 2006 by Peter Czukor  ()




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Adaptação en Portugues de Angelo Barbosa Pereira:: 

 A Grande Viagem do Papai Noel

Original version in German: 

 Die grosse Reise des Nikolaus


 This story for printing (pdf, 8 MB)


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To my little Reinhard
on his sixth birthday
on December 5, 1957,
from his Mommy.
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It's December--feel the cold wind blow;
field and forest all covered with snow.
At the window, a boy looks out,
"Tonight's the night that Santa's about."
Such a thought should make him glad,
but instead his face turns sad.
Because his brothers say with a laugh,
"He's going to hit you with his staff,
stuff you in his bag of goods,
and drag you off into the woods."
Down his cheeks flow many a tear,
the boy feels anxious and full of fear.
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Snowflakes dance 'round in the air,
who comes so fast on the path out there?
It's just big sister, oh happy day!
She's coming back from school today.

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She takes little brother on her knees,
"You're crying, tell me, if you please,
what's wrong, you're afraid of Santa, right?
You think he'll drag you into the night?
Listen now to my heavenly story,
I'll tell you all, you won't be sorry.
Today good St. Nick sent out
his many helpers here and about,
from distant Heaven, to Earth far and wide,
because soon it will be Christmastide.
You can easily see that it would be tough,
and just one Santa wouldn't be enough.
Now in these pictures I will show
you how St. Nick's great tour does go."
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In the heavenly airport, balloon after balloon.
One right after another, and soon
you can see how far up in the clouds they go,
and the Earth fades away so far down below.

There goes a white balloon up in the sky,
and good ol' St Nick lets out a cry,
"Tell the children of Earth from everywhere
that they must be good, and grow up to be fair!"
Then dear old St. Nick looks back for a while
to the elves he sent out.  And then with a smile
thinks of all the trips he's made over 500 years,
in the coldest of Winter, he always appears
to bring children their gifts, all over the Earth
so that they'll ponder the Christ child's birth.

He lived, once, St. Nick, a long time ago,
as the Bishop of Myra on the Black Sea, you know.
He loves all the children and taught them to pray
and worship our Lord God in the right way.

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The big white balloon flies hither and yon
with the wind, through the clouds, and beyond;
In the basket is Santa, in his red suit,
his donkey peers over the edge and is mute.

Quite some time he peers into the depths below;
then he cries, and the donkey moves with a start,
"Look there, li'l donkey! We're over our land,
Our countryside, towns--our own Switzerland."

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There the mountaintops sparkle so white
under the rays of morning sunlight,
and quietly nestled among rocks, ice, and snow
lies the big pond, way down below.
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Old Santa looks out, and sometimes he reads
from his weighty Book of Bad Deeds.
That is surely a heavy old tome
he brings along as he visits each home.
"Hey, how did the wind propel us so fast?
I do believe, the hills we've surpassed!"


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Deep in the valley down below,
he sees the broad river's current flow.
And the Old One, with a delighted shiver,
bends out to look at bridge and river,
the whole valley's covered in snow everywhere
the waterfall sparkles like silvery hair.
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He spent a long time in his balloon in the sky,
watching from his basket as the clouds rolled on by.
O'er cities and hamlets our Santa flew,
castles and churches, he saw them all, too.
From on high, he lost track of time's rapid flight,
but looked down and said, "Soon the time will be right!"
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Misty-eyed, Santa bent down for a look
in the valley, "See donkey, our houses, the brook?
There's your stable, and the forest and fields. It's where
we've lived our whole lives on Earth down there."

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Full of joy, old St. Nick dumps out
a bag of chocolate coins all about
This bag of chocolate never goes bare,
how many coins can there possibly be in there?

From down below you can hear the kids squeal,
Such a rain of good things has great appeal.


In the distance, a lake seems to glow,
the meadows and rooftops all white with snow.
He looks at the compass, then the clock to be sure,
twenty minutes to go before Winterthur.

Finally their house in the wood becomes clear,
Santa stays in the house when he comes here each year.
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Here the balloon now comes in for a landing,
right near where the good forest woman is standing.
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The forest woman's made the place all nice and warm
and brought coffee, and bread which is fresh from the farm,
And she didn't forget to lay some oats at the feet
of the donkey who also needed something to eat.
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While Santa rested and put up his feet
the donkey stretched out close to the heat,

Outside it's becoming night,
The sky's adorned with brilliant starlight.
The forest woman knocks: "It's time to go.
Hurry now, there's no time to be slow!"


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Now Santa and donkey go out into
the winter forest's lovely view
Thick flakes fall gently in the night
Coat, beard and fur all turning white,
squirrels run about and can be seen,
darting through the evergreen.
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All the animals that Santa sees
line the route among the trees,
and the little fawns all came too,
they also want to have a good view
of pious St. Nick, who searches his sack
and offers the creatures a little snack.
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Above the fir trees from afar glow
twinkling stars upon the snow.

From each house there shines a light
where boys and girls in rapt delight
wait in every village and town
for Santa Claus to come around.

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Looking out at the forest,
from his room
Peter says to his sister:
"Hark, he's coming soon."

Underfoot from outside comes a crunching sound,
Mother hears the steps, too, and with a bound
hurries to the window and cries with great cheer,
"Look, look, everyone: Santa Claus is here!"
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As sister hurries towards the gate,
Santa and donkey stand and wait.
"Good evening,", says sis, "My dear
Santa Claus, we've been waiting for you.
Today at noon I was able to see
your white balloon come sailing through.
Please come inside and meet my mother
while I go bring your donkey some fodder."
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Inside the house, in the warm sitting room
the little boy trembles in his gloom
back against the wall he tries to stand
but Santa goes and takes his hand
and with smiling face and full of joy
asks him if he's been a good boy?

"Oh no, Santa Claus will surely find out,"
thinks little Peter, full of doubt,
"all the bad things that I have done",
"they're all in his book, it lists every one."

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And old St. Nick says, "No, I cannot
say that you were good--no, not a lot,"
And then Santa began to recount the list
of all the boy's mischief, nothing was missed:
"You yell, you slam doors, you never obey,
your brothers can't study in the house the whole day
because you make such a terrible racket."
And he takes the rod from out of his jacket.
"You don't wash your hands, to sleep you refuse,
always snacking on sweets, but no toothbrush will you use,
This kind of behavior, I just cannot embrace,"
says Santa to the boy, anger all over his face.

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Now Santa observes how the tears of the child
stream down his cheeks, "Well, he may have been wild,"
thinks Santa, "but no boy is really all bad
perhaps I should look once again at this lad,
check a little farther back than before
perhaps there's some good things to even the score."

Then his face lit up. "You know," said he,
"I hear that once you saved a bee
which was drowning in a cup.
Snails in the road, you always pick up
and bring them safe to a grassy spot.
You tend the neighbor's cow a lot,
you scatter seed for the poor little birds
and in the kitchen heed your mother's words.
You treat your picture books with care
and iron handkerchiefs without compare."

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Now they both can smile and relax.
Then Santa shakes his bag of sweet snacks
and pours them out in the middle of the floor
for the dear, bad boy to collect goodies galore.
Gingerbread, apples, and nuts quite a few;
chocolate coins, and round almond cakes too
rolling under bench and cabinet
under the chair and table set.
And then Peter, thinking of the Advent Book,
recites a poem with a cheerful look.

Mother smiles, filled with joy,
"Dearest Claus, on behalf of me and my boy,
we're so grateful you have come today
and that you didn't take my son away.


"But now I must move on again
around the world to other children;
be good, be kind, to the Spirit stay true,
until next year, when I'll come back to you!"

Mother closes the shutters up tight,
the children lie down in their beds for the night,
it's late, the clock strikes nine, and there
is Peter saying his evening prayer:
"Oh dear Lord, hold out Your hand
above our city and our fair land,
comfort those who are sad or feeling ill
don't let children go hungry or catch a chill
and help ensure that all over the Earth
peace takes hold and has a new birth."

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Three days later, it seemed to come too soon,
Santa climbs up into the white balloon,
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Before the cabin is lit by first light of day
Santa leaves the valley behind and flies away
Upon the city the mists still lie,
as old St Nick flies into the sky
far away from this earthly orb of ours
up to the heavens and on to the stars.
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And he writes in his report:
"No bad children of any sort."
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His helpers fly up from every land,
to sit at holy St Nick's right hand,
so ends the Grand Tour for everyone
and now our story is over and done.
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This picture book has been viewed times since November 21, 2006, by people .

PS. I still have many pictures painted by Marlies Klein. If you would like to buy one, please come and visit me in Maur, Switzerland. Reinhard