As he did every year, Ludwig dressed up as Saint Nicolaus and visited the school children to bring them sweets, fruit and idle threats. For the idle threats his neighbour Markus had dressed up as Nicolaus’ sidekick, Krampus, with scary horns, thick black fur and birch rods to whip the naughty children. They were more excited than scared, but it was all good fun.
When the show was over, Ludwig asked the teacher if she could help them out for the Christmas party, whilst Krampus was shamelessly trying to flirt with her. Madeleine promised Ludwig that she would make all the decorations with the kids, under one special condition.
After Ludwig had left, Madeleine found it very hard to concentrate on her work. She was happy about her cunning plan to get Ludwig to come back into the school and of course she would see him at the Christmas fete, too. It had always seemed unfortunate to her that he was something of a recluse and, even though seen around town, always kept a friendly distance. The young teacher could only hope he didn’t have anyone in his life, although if he did, the village gossips would surely already have spread the word around. All that was left for her to do was make certain that there would be plenty mistletoe at the barn.