The following story was beautifully told at the leaving ceremony my daughter had in her Kindergarten. It had been rehearsed for the week leading up to the ceremony and all the children were familiar with it. A Waldorf teacher tells the story from her heart without the need to read it. It was altered slightly by our Kindergarten teacher; changing the oldest prince to the oldest princess ( as my daughter is the oldest child in her class) and the number of children is changed according the the number of children leaving Kindergarten for Class 1.
So here it is: a beautiful story that reflects their journey:
Once upon a time there was a King and a Queen and they lived in a beautiful kingdom with all their children. The big palace they lived in was surrounded by the most beautiful garden you have ever seen. It was so big that there was enough space for all the King’s children to play happily together. There were trees, bushes and even a pond with swans and ducks. Around this garden, however was a high stone wall, too high for any of the children to look over. But they didn’t mind, for there was so much to do in the garden.
In the middle of the garden grew the biggest tree of the garden; an oak. This oak was so high that the lowest branches were still too high for the King’s children to touch. But every day the older ones came to see if they were big enough yet. They jumped up, but no, they were still too small. One day the oldest prince could touch one of the branches with the tips of his fingers. He was so excited that he ran off to tell all his brothers and sisters. From that day he tried every day. And seven weeks later he was able to touch the branches with the palms of his hands.
He kept coming back to the tree every day to see whether he was tall enough yet to pull himself up and climb the tree. After another seven long weeks the time had come that this prince could pull himself up and get up to the first branch. What a joy that was for his brothers and sisters, who had all gathered under the tree, for the King and Queen who were looking out of one of the windows of the place, but most of all for the prince himself.
First of all he felt a bit wobbly so high up, but he soon found his balance and started to look around. What a joy! He could see the grass and all his brothers and sisters playing and looking up at him. And then he thought”let’s see if I can climb up to the second branch”. He stood up, pulled himself up to the second branch and again had to find his balance. When he did, he found himself looking over the garden and seeing the pond with the beautiful swans swimming in it. And he enjoyed that view very much. Then he wanted to see more and he climbed up to the third branch. This time he could see the cook inside the palace preparing supper in the palace kitchens, with all his helpers walking around him. The fourth branch however enabled him to see the big blue sky. On this particular day, the sun was shining so brightly that the prince looked at its beams and how they made everything sparkle and shine. And that is when he noticed something else; he was high enough to look over the wall into a new world. He was so excited and he couldn’t get enough of looking wherever the sun beams were leading his eyes. All of a sudden, he noticed another palace, a beautiful place. He could even look inside. He saw a King walking towards a beautiful room with a throne, preparing the room, moving things and adding things.
Seeing the is King made the prince long to go there and as quickly as he could, he climbed down. Once in the garden, he ran to the high stone wall and he walked along the wall searching for a door. To his great disappointment, he could not find a door. From that day, the prince climbed into the tree every day to look to that beautiful palace to see if he could see the King again. Every day he wanted to be there more; he longed to be there.
Meanwhile there were more princes and princesses who tried every day to see if they were big enough to climb the oak tree. And the day came when there were five ( number of leaving children) children in the tree. They all climbed the branch and experienced the beauty around them; first they saw their brothers and sisters in the garden, then they saw the swans in the pond and climbing onto the third branch, they saw the cook in the kitchen. The joy of seeing the sky with the beautiful sun was indescribable. All four of them were to be found in that tree every day. They loved looking at the other palace searching for the King and they all so wanted to go there.
One morning, when all four of them were high up in the tree, they heard someone calling them down. And as quick as squirrels, they climbed down to find the King and the Queen at the bottom of the tree. With them were two servants. One was carrying a red cushion with a golden key and the other was carrying a golden tray with five treasure boxes with a golden sun on top. The children looked at the King expectantly, waiting for what was to come. When all had landed on the earth, the King said: ” My dear children, the time has come for you to go into the wide word, but before you go I want to give you something”. After these words he picked up the first box and gave it to one of them with the following words:
” May the treasure of the sunshine bright
Give you strength and warmth and light
In your adventures full of fun
Remember the light my beautiful sun/son”.
Then the second box and the third, fourth and the fifth until he had given them all a treasure. After that he asked them all to follow him. They followed him to the wall and the King waited for a moment until everyone was there. Then he pushed some rose branches away and there was the door. He took the key off the cushion and opened the door with it. When the door opened, their eyes met with a familiar face; on the other side was the King that they had seen in his palace from their tree. With a big smile on their faces the children stepped through the door, waved goodbye to their brothers and sister and to the King and Queen. They took the other King’s hand and off they went. The children that were left in the garden looked at them for a long time until they could hardly see them. Then the King locked the door again. They were sad to say goodbye to the their friends but they knew they would meet again.
Extract from the Kindling journal, written by Karen Bayens of Somerset Steiner school.