A therapeutic Fairy Tale given by Frau Felicia Balde in Scene 5 of ‘The Soul’s Probation’ , the Mystery Drama, which was first performed 100 years ago in August. Rudolf Steiner was 50 years old at that time.

There was a boy who lived

the only child of needy forest-folk

Deep in a woodland solitude.

Few people had he met besides his parents.

His build was slender,

his skin appeared almost transparent.

Within his eyes were hidden

the deepest wonders of the spirit;

and one could look into them long.

Although few human beings ever came

into the circle of his daily life,

the boy was well befriended nonetheless.

When golden sunshine bathed the mountain tops,

with thoughtful eye, he drew the spirit-gold

into his soul, until his heart became

much like, the morning glory of the sun.

But when the morning sunshine could not break

through banks of cloud, and dreariness

had covered all the heights,

his eye grew dull,

and sorrow filled his heart.

So he was given over to

the spirit-weaving of his world,

which seemed to be as much a part of him

as did his limbs and body. All the woods

the trees and flowers grew to be his friends;

From crown to calyx, and from tops of trees,

the spirit beings often spoke with him,

and all their sounding he could understand.

Of hidden secrets, wonders of the world,

they spoke to this young boy; thus he could talk

within his soul to certain things,

which people might think lifeless. Evening came,

and still the child would be away from home.

This caused his loving parents much concern.

Then he was found nearby:

A rock-born spring rose up among the rocks

to dance in misty spray upon the stones.

When moonbeams silver glance

enchanted colour-light,

which mirrored on the surface of the spray,

the boy could stay for hours beside the spring.

And spirit forms appeared before his sight,

resplendent in the moonlit waterdrops.

They grew into three women’s forms

who spoke to him about those things on which

his yearning soul had turned its sight.

And when, upon a gentle summer’s eve,

the boy was once more sitting by the spring,

one women of the three caught up

a myriad of sparkling drops

out of the rainbow spray,

and gave them to the second woman there.

She fashioned from the tiny drops

a chalice with a silver gleam ,

and passed it to the third.

She filled it with the moonlight’s silver shine,

And gave it to the boy.

who had beheld all this

with youthful inner sight.

Now in the night

that followed this event,

he dreamed a savage dragon

had robbed him of the chalice .

The boy beheld just three more times

the wonder of the rock-born spring.

Henceforth the women came no more,

although the boy sat musing

beside the spring in silver moonlight.

And when three hundred sixty weeks

had run their course,

the boy had since become a man

and left his parents’ home and forest land

to move and work in a strange town.

One night , exhausted from his toil,

he pondered on what life had left for him.

Then suddenly he felt he was a boy,

brought back to where the spring rose forth.

Again he could behold the water – women,

And, this time he could hear them speak

The first one said to him:

‘Think thou of me at any time

when thou dost feel alone in life.

I lure man’s yearning heart

to starry spaces and ethereal realms.

To whosoever wills to feel me,

I give the drink-of-living-hope

Out of my wonder chalice.’-

And then the second spoke:

‘Forget not me at any time

when thy life’s courage may be threatened.

I lead the yearning heart

to deepest grounds of soul, and heights of spirit.

And whosoever seeks his strength from me

For him I forge the steel-of-living-faith

Formed with my wonder hammer’.-

The third one could be heard:

‘To me lift up thy spirit-eye

when thy life’s riddles storm thysoul.

I spin the threads of thought that lead

Through labyrinths of life and depths of soul.

For whosoever harbours trust in me,

I weave the living-rays-of-love

Upon my wonder loom’.

And it befell the man

that in the night that followed,

he dreamed a dream:

A savage dragon prowled

in circles round about

and yet could not come near him.

He was protected from that dragon by

the beings he had seen beside the falls,

who had accompanied him from home

to this far distant place.

Rudolf Steiner

Translation by Katherine Rudolph

(with special attention given to the metre)