Samichlaus and Schmutzli
I want to tell you about Samichlaus and Schmutzli. You see, in my homeland of Switzerland yesterday was the day that Samichlaus and Schmutzli would have called at all the houses in Switzerland to leave gifts of fruit, nuts and gingerbread for the good children. In that way he is very like Father Christmas. However, he goes with Schmutzli and if children haven’t been good they are bundled into Schmutzli’s sack and taken off into the forest. Father Christmas here is far too nice to do things like that.
Samichlaus doesn’t have Rudolph as his companion but goes round from house to house with a donkey. I have seen Samichlaus myself a couple of years ago when he came to our house in Switzerland. I was just going out of the door as he arrived and I think we were both a bit surprised to see each other. Thankfully I had been a good girl and he left me with gifts of nuts and fruit. I would not like to have been taken away in the sack.
Yesterday Mamma’s human sent us the English translation of a lovely poem about Samichlaus coming to all good dogs. It is called Samichlaus-Versli. Here it is:
A little light is burning in the forest
What does it mean?
Is Samichlaus coming soon?
I can hear his little bell.
It’s Samichlaus tramping
Come quickly and look
He is carrying a bag full of cookies
for all good dogs.
I’m a very lucky dog, being Swiss but living in Switzerland I can enjoy the best of both traditions. I shan’t be seeing Father Christmas quite so close up this years, but I’m still hoping he will call.