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KIDOONS™ Network presents

The Shoemaker

and the Elves

 

Once upon a time a shoemaker and his wife ran a small shoe store. They worked long hours to make each pair of finely crafted shoes. Unfortunately no matter how hard they worked they could never earn enough money to pay all the bills and buy supplies. Eventually there was nothing left in the store except a single scrap of leather - enough to make one last pair of shoes. Everything else was gone.

 

 The shoemaker was hungry and tired, but still proud of his work. He took his scissors and skillfully cut the leather into pieces and laid everything on the table ready to stitch together the following day. The next morning he woke up early and went downstairs to stitch the shoes. To his great astonishment on his table he saw a pair of magnificent shoes! He inspected them very closely and did not find one bad stitch. They were perfect.

 

As he was looking at them and wondering if his wife had finished his sewing so quickly, a customer entered his shop. She loved the shoes and tried them on. They were her size exactly. She walked around the shop twice, pronounced that they were the most comfortable shoes she had ever worn and bought them immediately. She thanked the shoemaker and gave him double the price.

 

The shoemaker was so happy. Now he had enough money to buy more leather to make more shoes. That evening he laid the leather pieces on the table and went to bed. The next morning at sunrise he and his wife came downstairs to start stitching the shoes. They were doubly thrilled and astonished to see two new pairs of finished shoes! These were even more fancy than the pair he had sold the
day before.

 

 While they were examining the magnificent embroidery, three customers entered. They had heard that this store's shoes were well made and extremely comfortable. The three customers argued over the two pairs of shoes, and two of them paid triple the price! The third customer placed an order with the shoemaker's wife for two more pairs. They bought supplies and that night four pairs of shoes were made while they slept.

 

Before long the shoe store was known throughout the kingdom, and even the palace ordered special shoes by appointment to the King. The shoemaker and his wife paid their bills, renovated their shop, and bought a comfortable bed and new clothes. For the first time they had more than enough money to spare. They donated shoes to charity. All the shoes they sold were made the same way, magically in the night.

 

 One winter's evening the shoemaker's wife said, "I am very curious to know who stitches together all our shoes. It must be a very generous person, and I would like to thank him." Her eyes gleamed, and she whispered her idea. "I'm going to sit up this evening and not go to bed." They lit a lantern and both hid behind the curtains. They didn't have long to wait.

 

 As the grandfather clock struck midnight, there was a glimmer and a hum in the air. Suddenly the window blew open. In through the window came a little man with pale skin and pointed ears, wearing nothing more than rags. It was an elf! A few more jumped though the window, almost knocking the first elf over. Soon there were elves dancing, leaping, and even flying, and all working very fast.

 

 

 They stitched the leather pieces together, cut trim and decorations, cobbled the soles and heels, attached eyelets, and laced laces. Before daybreak the elves had finished the work and had lined up the pairs of shoes on the shoemaker's worktable.

 

 The next morning over breakfast the shoemaker's wife looked quite concerned. "Dear husband," she said "I am quite thankful to these elves as they have made us rich. But did you notice that they do not wear any clothes? They only have old sacks as clothes. I would be very happy to stitch them each a fine shirt and pants. I am sure that they are quite cold. It is winter. You can be so kind as to make them each a pair of shoes."

 

The shoemaker and his wife got hard to work. They carefully watched the elves each night and specially designed clothes for each one. After 14 days they had clothes and shoes for each of the elves. One evening, instead of putting out the pieces of leather onto the worktable, the shoemaker and his wife placed the clothes and the tiny shoes on the table for the elves. They left a few candles burning and hid in the closet as they had done before.

 

As the grandfather clock struck midnight the elves began pouring in through the window. To their surprise and delight they found clothes and shoes on the table. They each dressed quickly and used the frosted windows as mirrors to check their new outfits. The elves danced around the room singing and laughing. All night long they danced and sang. Just before morning they threw open the door and ran, jumped, skipped or flew away into the dawn.

The shoemaker and his wife never saw the elves again. The business continued and the shoemaker now had enough money so that he could hire assistants, whom he trained with all his skill - plus a few elvish tricks of the trade. The shoemaker and his wife lived a very happy life without worry. Once in a while, when the wind blew in winter, they thought that they heard the elves singing but they never saw where the songs were coming from.

The End.

Next!

Lightfoot The Deer in "A Game Of Hide And Seek"
Lightfoot The Deer in "A Game Of Hide And Seek"

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