Once upon a time two little girls arrived in the Netherlands. They were from England and had moved to the Netherlands with their parents. The oldest girl had blond hair and blue eyes and was called Freya. She loved singing and dancing and could spend every day, dancing to beautiful music. Her little sister was called Sophie, Sophie liked running and climbing and also had blond hair and blue eyes like her sister
On one of the first days that the two girls arrived in the Netherlands, it was a grey afternoon and the sun was trying to peek through the clouds. The girls were playing in the street in front of their new house. They both had new blue bicycles and were racing up and down on them, when suddenly Freya stopped by a window. In the window were colourful flags and dolls. One doll looked a bit like Father Christmas, the other dolls had colourful clothes on and black brown faces.
Freya stood and stared so long at the dolls that eventually an old man came out of the house and said to Freya, “Mooi hoor? ” Freya who understood a bit of Dutch nodded.
The man asked her if she knew who they were and what they were for. Freya shook her head.
The old man went inside and came back out with a book.
In the book there was a story about a man dressed in red who came from Spain and he brought with him his helpers. He rode a beautiful white horse called Amerigo. The old man in the book was a very nice man and he wanted to give gifts to all the children in the Netherlands who were good.
He arrived always from Spain on his big boat called Pakjesboot 12. With him, he bought sweets, presents and little spiced.biscuits called pepernoten. He would arrive in the middle of November and he would always choose one town in the Netherlands to arrive in first, and then during that weekend he would travel around the Netherlands visiting all the other towns and cities.
Freya began to get excited, she asked the old man if this Sinterklaas would visit her town. The old man assured her that he would and that she should watch the television channel number 3 next Tuesday.Tuesday came round very slowly and at 6 o clock Freya and her sister sat down to watch the television. There was a show on with a lovely lady who could contact the Sinterklaas boat and speak to everyone on board and she told them that the boat was on its way.
The next day they watched the programme again but there was bad news, the lady said there were some problems and that maybe Sinterklaas would not be able to come.
Freya and Sophie ran to the old mans house to tell him. He told them not to worry as Sinterklaas always comes.
Finally the day of Sinterklaas’ arrival arrived and Freya and Sophie dressed up in Piet costumes that their Mummy had bought from the Hema. They went down to the harbour where there were lots and lots of children also wearing colourful costumes. There was music playing and everyone looked very excited.At last a loud toot from a fog horn was heard and a boat sailed into the harbour followed by lots of little boats. Sinterklaas and the Pieten were waving at the children from the boats. Freya and Sophie waved back excitedly.
Sinterklaas came off the boat and got onto his beautiful white horse Amerigo and together with the Pieten they walked round the town. The Pieten had lots of the lovely spiced biscuits and sweets with them. Freya and Sophie filled up their pockets and raced back to their house to show the old man.
The old man told them that now that Sinterklaas had arrived, they could put out their shoe by the fireplace and that in the night the Pieten would sneak in through the chimney if they had one and if not then they would use a magic key. They would fill up the shoes with the pepernoten, the spiced biscuits and sweets
The old man told them that sometimes they would bring biscuits with people on them called Tai Tais and sometimes he would bring them a small present like some crayons or finger puppets.
The two girls were so excited to put out their shoes that they went to bed especially early, they put out their shoes and also left Sinterklaas a picture and a carrot for Amerigo the horse.
Freya and Sophie hardly slept that night and they woke early the next morning. They rushed downstairs and the pictures and carrot had gone from their shoes. In their place were pepernoten and two small presents, a Colouring book each.
Freya and Sophie were so pleased that, that night they put out their shoes again but they were very disappointed the next morning to find nothing in their shoes. They ran round to the old man’s house to ask him what was wrong.He explained the Pieten couldn’t come every night as there were so many children in the Netherlands. The old man told them that on the Internet on the Sinterklaasjournaal website there was a special picture with boots on and a calendar. He told them that if they printed it out and left it in their shoes that night, the Pieten would colour in the shoes on the days they would visit. Now Freya and Sophie knew when they could put out their shoes.
Every so often until the 5th December Freya and Sophie put out their shoes according to the calendar. The pieten always came sometimes leaving pepernoten and sometimes a small present.
One day somebody told the Sinterklaasjournaal that the Pieten had spelt their name in Pepernoten the next day, Sophie and Freya came downstairs and found their names were also written in Pepernoten too.Freya was a little disappointed because her name wasn’t as long as Sophies.
Strange things happened on other nights too, and stories kept appearing on the Sinterklaas journaal, like the horse went missing so Sinterklaas couldn’t deliver the bigger presents later on pakjesavond. Freya, Sophie and their parents kept a close eye on what was happening.
Pieter appeared everywhere the girls went, they came to school, they were in the supermarket and they were even at Freya’s dance school and Sinterklaas visited their mother’s work.
Finally everything had been sorted in the Piet house and the evening of the 5th December came round. Freya and Sophie went to school as normal, they were so excited because at school they had been practicing songs for weeks. Finally tonight was pakjesavond.
Freya and Sophie’s dad picked them up after school and they went to the market to buy nice things for for dinner that evening. They were going to have dinner with the old man in his house. When they arrived the old man had bowls of pepernoten and tai tais on the table. They sat round the piano and sang songs for Sinterklaas. Suddenly there was a loud bang at the door, the girls rushed to see who it was, they opened the door but nobody was there. Then Freya spotted two brown sacks on the path, they ran over to them and dragged them in. Excitedly they opened them and found they were full of presents both big and small, with chocolate coins and mandarins.
Once they had opened every present and nearly eaten every chocolate coin, the old man said they ought to sing thank you and good bye to Sinterklaas so together they sang, thinking about the lovely first weeks they had had in the Netherlands. The next day was just another normal day and the girls would be going to school and share their present tales with their friends. Sinterklaas would be going back to Spain with his Pieter until the next year.