Barbara Dawson Betteridge
Barbara Dawson Betteridge was someone whose friendship Bob and I were grateful to have, and who offered that same warm generousity to Highland Hall and the all of Waldorf education. Since 1953 she was one of those amazing souls without whom no Waldorf school could survive for long — her warmth, insight, and creativity were always at the disposal of any teacher who needed them, any parent with a question. And, it was over the ensuing 50 years that Barbara wrote the songs, poems, and plays that you’ll find in this book which were gifts from her to Highland Hall and are now gifts to the entire Waldorf Movement. Just a glance through the book, and you’ll know you’re in the hands of a master. Be prepared to discover some of the best material for children that has ever been set to paper.
As an example, here are the plays you’ll find:
- “Mont Saint Michel” – a Norman legend;
- “Our Favorite Star” for Grade Three;
- “Grammar’s Garden” for Grade Four;
- “The Magic Pitcher” for Grade Five;
- “The Golden Fleece” for Grade Five;
- “The Castle of the Kingdom of the Stones” for Grade Six – extracted and extended from The Bind Brethern by Friedrich Hiebel;
- “The Sacred Flame” – a story from Christ Legends by Selma Lagerlof ;
- “Columbus” by Georg Starke, translated by Barbara Betteridge;
- “The Other Wise Man” by Henry van Dyke, dramatized by Barbara Betteridge
And here’s a poem, chosen at random:
Not by the thunder
The boulder was riven
That lies there asunder,
Not any mortal,
Of chisel though master,
Marked this for portal
Nor chose for pilaster.
Not any giant,
For gold or for gain,
Maimed the defiant
And clove it in twain.
Might, them denied,
To an acorn was given,
To spring the stone wide
And thrust upward to heaven.