The Elves and the Shoemaker


Once upon a time, there lived a shoemaker and his wife. The shoemaker used to earn his daily bread by making new shoes and selling them in the market. In spite of all his hard work, he couldn’t manage to earn enough Money through his business. They were stuggling to keep a roof over their heads. At last, the day came when the shoemaker had no Money left to buy leather for new shoes. All he was left with was one last piece of leather in his entire shop.
-This might be the last chance to work on the shoe. I will sew the best shoe with this leather.
He sat down as he dide every day for many years, and he carefully cut the leather. By the time it was sunset, he had finished the cutting and began to sew the shoes. It was night time; he set the shoes down on the table.
-I will stop for today. Tomorrow i will complete the pair.
He closed the workshop door and left for home. The next day, he got ready early in the morning.
-See you dear. Today is the last day in the workshop. It’s all going to be over soon.
-Don’t worry, darling. We will come out of it soon. Don’t ever lose hope.
The shoemaker knew that her encouragement was of no use. He smiled at her and left for work. When he opened the workshop, he found something unbelievable. There was a pair of nicely coloured shoes with delicate embroidery sitting in the spot where he had left his work.
-Ahhaaa.. How is this possible? Anyway, i must not waste any time. I should sell this masterpiece in the market.
He rushed to the market and sold the shoes. With the Money he earned, he bought more leather. For the rest of the day, he sat in his workshop cutting the new leather to make more shoes. As day ended he left for home leaving the unfinished shoes behind. At diner time, he told his wife about the incident.
-I told you. Don’t lose hope. You are a hardworking man. Sooner or later we get what we deserve.
The next morning when he returned to the shop, to his astonishment he found several pairs of beautiful shoes kept on the table where he had left pieces of leather.
-This is a miracle. Throughout these years, I was struggling to earn through my hard work but i didn’t manage to do so. I think someone is trying to help me.
Again, he rushed to market and bought more leather, carefully cut out leather for several pairs of shoes and left those on his work-table. In the morning, once again, he found more shoes awaiting him. There were sandals, boots, balet shoes, clogs, brogues and moccasins with different colours.
-Ohh what stunning shoes!! Some stranger is helping me with pure intentions. If this keeps going on, I will never run out of Money. We will live happily.
The shoemaker began to leave pieces out, ready for the stranger’s beautiful handiwork. This went on for weeks. Every morning the shoemaker found more shoes waiting for him. Soon he became known for making the most beautiful shoes in his village. They built a splendid mansion to live.
-See how our life has changed? It’s just a matter of time.

-Yes, my dear. You have always encouraged me and here we are.
-Yes. We should not forget the stranger who is helping us. We must find out who that is? So we can do something to thank them.
-But they leave the place before morning. How will we meet them?
-Tomorrow we can hide in the workshop to see them.
-Yesss… that will work. I want to thank them for their help.
The next day, as usual, the shoemaker cut the leather in the day time. In the evening, his wife came to the workshop as planned.
-Let’s hide somewhere?
-Yes. We can hide behind that closet.
So they hid in the little closet behind the worktable and waited. At midnight, the shoemaker and his wife heard voices humming a pretty little tune. They peered out of the closet and were amazed to see two cute little elves wearing torn, old clothes climbing through the window. They jumped inside. The  elves were humming and dancing, leaping into the air the happiest fellows the shoemaker had ever seen. After they had danced around, the elves sat down at the table and began to make the shoes. They cut, sew, coloured and decorated the shoes one by one. The shoemaker and his wife were watching them cheerfully. The shoemaker was astonished at their shoemaking skills. Finally there was another set of shoes ready to wear. The elves jumped out of the window and disappeared.
-They were elves. Every day they come to help us. We must find a way to thank them.
-Yes, sure. But what can we do for them?
-They were wearing very old and torn clothes. We can give them some clothes!
-That’s a brilliant idea. I will sew new shoes for them. I will sew new shoes for them.
-I will sew nice, warm clothes for them.
The couple worked to make elve’s gifts. After a week, the shoemaker sewed two tiny pairs of beautiful boots lined with fur. The shoemaker’s wife stitched up two little fleece jackets with matching shirts and warm woollen trousers.
-These shoes and clothes will look adorable on little elves. I’m really excited to see them wearing these clothes.

-Tomorrow is christmas eve. We will decorate our shop for Christmas and keep these gifts at my worktable.
The couple decorated the shop for Christmas and kept the gifts near the worktable. At midnight, sure enough, they heard the elve’s voices. The elves made a dramatic entry like before. They were happy and dancing. But when they saw the table they were surprised.
-Where is today’s work?
-Look brother. How beautiful these clothes and boots are!!!
-He he he… they are colourful too.
-The shoemaker must have given this to us for gratitude.
-He must be happy with our work.
-Let’s try this.
The elves wore the clothes and boots. They were a perfect fit.
-You look handsome.
-And you look awesome. This are amazing clothes.
-And these are lovely shoes. I feels like dancing.
-Let’s dance brother.
Once again, they danced, happy as always.
The shoemaker and his wife were very happy to know that the elves liked their new clothes. After a while, the elves leaped out of the window and vanished in the moonlight. The shoemaker and his wife came out of the hiding place.
-Ohh dear, i’m really glad that they liked our gifts.
-Oh yes. It’s time for a celebration. Let’s go home.
It was Christmas morning; the shoemaker cut his leather and left it out on the table for the elves. But when he returned to the workshop the next day,  he found no shoes. He went home to tell his wife.
-Our elves have not returned. There were no shoes.
-That’s ok…  they have helped us enough. You shall work again, just as you always have.
-Yes… i will work on my own. Throughout these days,  i have learned what people want and what they like. I will make the best shoes.
Once again, he set to work just like he had done for all those years before the elves came. And just as the elves used to make, the shoes he made were as beauriful as ever.

- Mustafa Yakut

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