This is a story I wrote for my then 4 year old son. At that time my son was, through and through, a worker. He was interested in machines, and all the activities of what are sometimes called "The Professions"; things like the butcher, the baker, the candle stick maker. You can see where I dwelt on the specifics of how the sword was made.
As I was looking into how a sword is made, and whether a sword could be made from a meteorite, I stumbled on a video of the whole process, set to German thrash metal music. For several days, after putting my son to bed, I would lay down to nurse the baby to sleep, and watch (using headphones!) that video to learn the whole process.
We have loved this story for many years now, and I hope others can find some use in it. Enjoy!
A Sword for Saint Michael.
Once upon a time, it may even be here and now, there was a man who went by the name "Smith". He worked the forge down at the smithy. On any ordinary day he made ordinary things like horse shoes and nails, forks and knives, and hooks to hang things up.
One one evening, after working at the forge all day, Smith was making his way home. He looked up at the deep night sky. It was as deep and dark as velvet and across the sky's face we're scattered hundreds on tiny silver stars.
As he watched, one of the stars shot across the sky and went behind a hill to the side of the road. Smith followed it with his eyes, and, wondering what he would find, he left the road and climbed up the hill through the trees, and brush, and bracken. There on the other side was a furrow in the earth, and in the furrow was a large lump of iron. The iron was glowing hot, too hot to touch, so the Smith decided to come see it again in the morning.
The next morning, Smith found the furrow and the iron, and this time it wasn't hot, so he picked up the heavy lump and brought it back to the smithy.
He didn't know quite what to do with it, so he placed it on the work table and went about finishing up his ordinary work. He finished some horse shoes and nails and a ladle for the cook. Then he turned back to the lump of iron and now he knew, he would make a sword.
First he used his tongs to pick up the iron and thrust it into the fire of the furnace. He used the bellows to blow the fire high and hot. Then he took the iron from the fire and placed it on the anvil. Using his hammer, he beat the iron well. He beat it long, and he beat it narrow, and he beat it thin. At one end he formed a point, and at the other he formed a cross shaped hilt and handle. It took him many days and when he was done forming the sword, he quenched it in oil to give it flexibility. He thrust the hot sword into the barrel of oil and the flames and Sparks shot up into the air.
Next Smith polished the sword. He used a stone wheel which he spun with a little peddle. He used grit to sharpen the edge of the sword, and he used grit to polish the sword until it shone.
When the sword was done, Smith took it to the carpenter. "Will you help me make a handle for this sword?" Asked Smith. "I will," said the carpenter. He found a beautiful piece of rosewood from which to make the handle. He shaped it so that it fit and used tiny little nails to hold it in place. Then he wrapped the handle in leather, so that it would be comfortable to hold.
Then Smith took the sword back to the smithy and laid it on the work table because he did not quite know who the sword was for. Then he went back to making ordinary things.
When evening came, the Smith began to tidy his shop for the night, when a stranger came to the smithy door. He was tall and he wore a red Cloak, and his face shone like the sun.
"I am Saint Michael." Said the stranger. "You have made a sword for me."
The Smith smiled and nodded. "Yes," he said, "I knew I made it for some special." He handed the sword to St. Michael, who bowed, and took it with him back to heaven.