Once there was a very poor shoemaker. He and his wife lived in a little house on the edge of a wood. There were not many people who would buy shoes from the shoemaker. Each day his store of leather became less and less. He did not have money to buy more leather. Day by day the shoemaker and his wife grew poorer. At last there was leather for only one pair of shoes. The shoemaker cut out the last ” pair of shoes. He said to his wife, “Tomorrow I will sew them.”
What are the problems that the shoemaker faced?
Next morning the shoemaker got up and went into his shop. He was surprised at what he saw. There he saw a pair of shoes. He had never seen a better pair of shoes… The shoes were perfect; the stitches were fine. They were so very well made that they were sold at once.
Who, do you think, kept the shoes in the shop?
The shoemaker went to the market with the money. He bought leather for two pairs of shoes. The shoemaker cut out the two pairs of shoes and said to his wife. “Tomorrow I will sew them.”
Next day when the shoemaker went into his shop he was again surprised to see two pairs of shoes beautifully finished. The shoes were very well made with very fine stitches. He was surprised. He showed them to his wife who was also surprised to see such fine pairs of shoes. She said, “These shoes are very fine and the stitches are excellent; they will bring good money.”
The shoemaker went to the market at once and sold the two pairs of shoes for a good price. With the money he bought leather for four pairs of shoes. He cut out the leather and said to his wife. “Tomorrow I will sew them.”
The shoemaker got up the next morning and went to his shop. What did he find? Once again he found that his work had already been done. Four pairs of beautiful shoes were lying ready-made on the table. They were perfectly made with very fine stitches and were sold very quickly in the market. Every day the shoemaker would get up and go into his shop. There he would find his work already done for him. The shoes were always very nicely made. The shoemaker became very famous. Soon everybody wanted to buy shoes from him. His shoes were so very well made that even the queen of the country wore them. She was very pleased with the shoes. She called the shoemaker and gave him one hundred gold pieces.
The shoemaker no more poor. ‘Give your opinion.
The shoemaker grew very rich. One day he and his wife made up their minds to find out who made the shoes. They said to each other, “We must find out who makes the shoes.” So, when night came, they went into the shop. There they hid themselves behind the curtains. From there they could watch the bench on which the leather for shoes was kept.
What, do you think, they saw?
They waited for a long time. Nothing happened. They got very tired of waiting for something to happen. Just then the clock struck twelve. What do you think happened next? Two little elves jumped into the shop from the window. The elves wore pointed caps and wore only rags.
They went dancing and skipping up to the table. With a hop and a skip they jumped on to the table.
The elves sat cross legged and took up the leather left there by the shoemaker. They began to work. Their needles flew in and out, in and out of the leather. Their little hammers went rap-a-tap, rap-a-tap on the leather. The elves worked very fast. Almost in no time the work was complete.
Then the two elves started dancing. They jumped up and down, up and down.
They raced in and out and around the shoes. Before the shoemaker and his wife had
time to think, they were gone.
Next morning the husband and wife made up their minds to do something for the little elves. The shoemaker said to his wife, “What can we do for the nice little elves ?” His wife said, “The elves did not have good clothes. They wore only rags. I shall make them little coats and trousers to wear.” “That will be very nice,” said the shoemaker, “I will make tiny shoes for the good elves. Their little feet were bare.”
So the shoemaker and his wife worked and worked. When the clothes and shoes were ready they were put on the table. The shoemaker and his wife again hid behind the curtains. They waited silently. Once again when the clock struck twelve the elves jumped into the shop from the window.
They danced and jumped on to the table to do their work. There they saw little coats, trousers and neat little shoes left for them by the shoemaker and his wife. The elves were very happy. They clapped and laughed with joy. What do you think the elves did next? They put on their little clothes and skipping and dancing went out of the window.
The little elves never came back again. But the shoemaker and his wife always had good luck. They grew richer and richer and lived happily ever after.
Answer the following questions:
1. Where did the shoemaker live?
2. Why was the shoemaker poor? 3. What did the shoemaker do when he saw a better pair of shoes?
4. How did the shoemaker become rich?
5. What did the shoemaker and his wife give the little elves?
6. Why did the little elves never come back?