The Elves and the Shoemaker

Harris-“And your brother, who was trying so hard to get a Government job, what is he doing now?”

Brown-“Nothing. He got the job.”

 

Happily, he cut them out, and then, as it was late, he left the pieces on the bench, ready to sew in the morning. But when morning came, two pairs of shoes lay on the bench, most beautifully made, and no sign of any one who had been there. The shoemaker and his wife were quite at a loss.

That day a customer came and bought both pairs, and paid so much for them that the shoemaker bought leather for four pairs, with the money.

Once more he cut out the shoes and left them on the bench. And in the morning all four pairs were made.

It went on like this until the shoemaker and his wife were prosperous people. But they could not be satisfied to have so much done for them and not know to whom they should be grateful. So one night, after the shoemaker had left the pieces of leather on the bench, he and his wife hid themselves behind a curtain, and left a light in the room.

Just as the clock struck twelve the door opened softly, and two tiny elves came dancing into the room, hopped on to the bench, and began to put the pieces together. They were quite naked, but they had wee little scissors and hammers and thread. Tap! Tap! Tap! Went the little hammers; stitch, stitch went the thread, and the little elves were hard at work. No one ever worked as fast as they. In almost no time all the shoes were stitched and finished. Then the tiny elves took hold of each other’s hands and danced round the shoes on the bench, till the shoemaker and his wife had hard work not to laugh out loud. But as the clock struck two, the little creatures whisked away out of the window, and left the room all as it was before.