Any teacher or parent who is using Waldorf as school opens this September knows that it’s all about St. Michael/George and the Dragon, meteors in the sky, fire and flame. For those of us who are not familiar with this story, it’s basically a good one for this time of year- girding up our loins, stepping out on new journeys with nothing but our knapsacks and a pocket full of courage. It’s new beginnings, and conquering our inner fears- the dragons inside of us.
It has been a bit difficult for me to find a version of the story that really works for me (if you’ve found a good one, do share!) I have rewritten the story in my own way to share with SunBee Circle kids. First of all, I made it a bit more personal and George more vulnerable. Because my program is secular, I have changed Saint George to Sir George and taken out the Christian references to make it accessible to all kids… but the cool thing about stories is, you can always tweak them to suit your needs! I will share my version with you but encourage you to adapt it til it feels just right for your child.
The first time I heard this story, and learned about how you’re supposed to tell it in September and stuff, I was somewhat hesitant. It’s about, well, killing- and I am nonviolent. Usually in SunBee Circle I try very hard to find stories with an alternative message to Good Guy defeats Bad Guy.
But sometimes… even I go for the classics. First of all, it makes me EXTREMELY popular as a storyteller, because children love clearly defined villains and justice doled out!
Secondly, I think the human spirit needs this David-and-Goliath archetype of little guy defeats the invincible. Why else would we have such a rich history of hero stories? Why else would my little five year old nephew crave Batman stories? Haven’t you ever had a dragon in your life? Some situation or person that you had to face, and it took every bit of your courage and strength and you came out okay? That is the message I want to focus on in this classic knight and dragon story.
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” -Neil Gaiman
That said, I will also be telling the story of Martha and the Dragon.
Martha dealt with a French dragon, a creature so monstrous and infamous it had a name: La Tarasque. Head of a lion, body of an ox, feet like a bear, tail like a scorpion, something like that. Martha’s way of dealing with the creature is different- with kindness and spells, she tames the beast.
Here are the stories:
Check back next week to hear about SunBee Circle’s puppet show for our littlest friends! And whether you are going back to school or homeschooling, have a great first week and may all your dragons be tamed.