These stories are from a blog called http://waldorfjourney.typepad.com
The Story of Martin and the Poor Man
Long ago, there lived a good young man named Martin. Even as a boy, he knew that one day he would be expected to serve in the military. His father was an important military officer. And, though he desired a peaceful life outside of the military, he knew that it would be his duty to follow the life of his father. So, Martin joined the military, became an officer, and was eventually assigned to garrison duty in the town of Amiens
One bitterly cold winter evening, the young Martin rode through the gates of Amiens
But then, as he approached the gates of the town, he saw a poor man, a beggar, dressed with clothes so ragged that he was practically bare. The man was shaking and blue with cold, but no one reached out to help him. People would pass through the gates, looking straight ahead, so their eyes would not meet with those of the poor, desperate man.
Martin, seeing this, was overcome with compassion. He rode straight to the poor man and took off his white cloak. And with one stroke of his sword he tore the lovely mantle in two. He wrapped half of the cloak around the freezing man and the other half around his own shoulders.
The people nearby watched in amazement. To see a fine military officer do such a lowly thing was a ridiculous sight to many, but others were touched by the goodness that Martin showed.
That night, as Martin slept, he had a dream. A man appeared to him who looked so familiar, and he was wearing the half of the cloak Martin had given to the poor beggar. And then, Martin saw in the eyes of this man, and the light of the Divine which we carry within us.
From that day on, Martin’s life was changed forever. He knew that he could no longer be part of the military, for his true desire was to live a life of goodness.
There was once a boy called George who had been outside in the garden all through the Summer running after the butterflies, jumping like a grasshopper, singing like a bird, and trying to catch the sunlight. One day when he was lying on his back in the meadow gazing up into the sun-filled sky, he said, “Dear Brother Sun, soon the Autumn winds will blow and wail, and Jack Frost will come and make us all freeze, and the nights will be long and cold.”
Brother Sun pushed the clouds aside and said, “Yes, it will be dark and cold. In the deep midwinter, warmth and light live deep within, hidden from sight. In the time of dark and cold, you will tend the Light Within.”
“But,” said George, “How will I tend this Light when it’s dark everywhere around me?”
“I will give you a spark of my last Autumn rays once you have made a little house for it, for this spark must be guarded well. It will light the way for you to tend the Light Within throughout the time of dark and cold.”
And then Brother Sun once hid again behind a cloud.
George went home and wondered how best he could make a little house for the spark of the sun. He took a thick piece of paper and painted a beautiful blue and yellow watercolor upon it. When it was dry, he cut windows into his painting. Then he placed colored tissue paper on the back of his watercolor - and - he formed it into a lantern. He took a candle and put it into the middle of his lantern. And, as it was growing dark, he went outside with it.
George held the lantern up above him and said, “Brother Sun, I have made a little home for one of your golden sparks. Please may I have one? I will guard it well.”
Then Brother Sun looked out from behind a cloud and said, “You have made a beautiful home. I shall give you one of my golden sparks.”
And suddenly, George saw how the windows of his lantern were lit up, and as he looked into the lantern, he saw a spark happily dancing on top of the candle. Oh, how happy the light was in his lovely lantern! It shone and shone so brightly.
“Thank you, Brother Sun,” George called out, “Thank you.” And he took his lantern and carried it carefully home singing:
The sunlight fast is dwindling,
My little lamp needs kindling.
Its beam shines far in darkest night,Dear Lantern, guard me with your light
~ from Autumn, Wynstones Press, originally by M Meyerkort and revised by L Sutter.