Die blaue Weihnachtskugel

The blue Christmas ball

Dec 03, 2023Heike Felber

It was just before Christmas and Sophie was enjoying the first snowfall. On the way home she hopped from one foot to the other, sticking her tongue out to catch as many snowflakes as possible.
When she got to the big bridge, she heard a soft clapping.
Sophie stopped and looked around. She saw an old, somewhat unkempt man with long hair and a beard. He was wearing torn trousers and a coat riddled with holes.

"Hello, I'm Sophie and who are you?" she asked the man strangely.
“My name is Viktor,” the man answered in surprise and offered her his hand in greeting.
She reached for his clammy fingers: “You’re cold. Why don't you go home?" the girl wanted to know and didn't take her eyes off him.
Viktor bent down to her: “Look, my home is there under the bridge,” pointing to the underpass.

Sophie looked intently in that direction and finally replied: “All I see is something dark that looks like a blanket and a shopping cart. Mom uses one of these when she shops at the discount store.”
“Yes, that’s right, this is my home.” The man smiled embarrassedly and patted her head awkwardly.
“Don’t you have any family?” she asked further.
“Yes, yes,” said Viktor sadly. “But they don’t want me to live with them.” He lowered his head.
“But they’re mean!” Sophie stamped her red boots energetically on the snow-covered ground. "I think you're nice," she replied, smiling at him.
Shortly afterwards Sophie said goodbye and headed home.

To Sophie's delight, they now met every day. As soon as she saw her friend, she raised her hand and waved happily at him. Sometimes she gave Viktor her lunch, which she had saved especially for him. He thanked us for the edible gift with a little song.

Christmas was just around the corner and there was a lot of snow on the streets.
Sophie enjoyed making snow globes and building a snowman with Viktor. To do this, Viktor took his battered hat off his head and placed it on the top ball. The snowman got his arms from a broken branch that had fallen victim to the weight of the snow. Viktor pulled out of his pocket two beautiful, speckled stones that he had recently found down by the stream. They breathed some life into the white snow person. Viktor beamed: "If you bring a carrot tomorrow, our Snow King will even get a nose."
Sophie laughed heartily: “I’ll bring them with me, I promise.
“Do you celebrate Christmas too, Viktor?” she observed him very closely.
Viktor was silent. His gaze stared into space and the corners of his mouth trembled slightly. Finally he said embarrassed: “I'm meeting people like me. We'll tell each other stories from the past, listen to music on the radio and sing along to Christmas carols if the old batteries last that long. Maybe Rosa, the kiosk lady, will come by and bring us a homemade cake. That would be nice." Viktor sighed deeply. Sophie saw his eyes watering.

At dinner, Sophie talked for the first time about her special friendship with the man who lived under the bridge without a family.
The mother was anything but enthusiastic and was very worried that he might do something bad to her daughter. The father saw this more relaxed. He was even happy that Sophie was able to have this experience.

«Mom, Dad, I want to give Viktor something for Christmas. But I need your help to do that.” Without waiting for the reaction, she continued: “There is a thick coat from my big brother Jonas hanging in the attic. He definitely won't miss it and I would like to give it to Viktor because his is full of holes. In my room under the bed I have Aunt Lotti's big blue Christmas ball in a box. I would like to give that to him too.”

"Oh yes, that's a very good idea, my child," replied the mother. «I bought fir branches this afternoon. Take one of them and decorate the branch with a few Christmas candles. The man will definitely be happy.”
«I have one more wish: the batteries in his little radio will soon be empty. I would like to give him new ones so that he can sing along with his friends to the Christmas songs that are playing on the radio. Viktor has such a beautiful voice. His device looks almost like mine.” Sophie had her arms crossed and was rocking her upper body gently back and forth as she waited for her parents' reaction.
“This is really a meaningful gift,” replied the father happily.

On the afternoon before Christmas Eve, Sophie packed the presents in a large bag and went to her friend's house.
Viktor sat huddled in his sleeping bag because it was bitterly cold. When he saw the girl, he quickly peeled himself out of his shell.

Sophie had now reached the bridge. “Hello Viktor, here, this is for you,” she greeted him proudly and held out the beautifully decorated branch to him.

"I'm giving you this decorated branch so that you can also have a little Christmas spirit."
Viktor looked at the arrangement with the four red candles and the blue ball in the middle, a few emotional tears rolling down his cheeks.
“This coat is designed to protect you from the cold and the batteries are designed to help you sing along to Christmas carols on the radio with your friends.” Sophie smiled.
“There is a surprise from my dad in my coat pocket.”
Viktor listened, then reached in carefully. Tears of joy rolled down his cold face when he saw the chocolate and the bottle of schnapps. «Let me send my greetings to your parents and thank you kindly for the big surprise. “Dear Sophie, this is my best Christmas,” as he warmly hugged the girl. “But now you have to go home, sweet mouse, otherwise you’ll freeze to death.”
“I’ll do it, Viktor.” Sophie happily jumped away and waved at him until she could no longer see him.

Written by: Marianna Vogt


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