The Elves and the Shoemaker (1)
There was once a shoemaker who, through no fault of his own, had become poor.
Finally he had leather enough left to make only one more pair of shoes.
One night he cut out the shoes which he would sew the next morning.
Then he lay down, said his prayers, and fell asleep.
In the morning, after he had said his prayers and was ready to sit down to work, he found a fine pair of shoes standing finished on his table.
He was so astonished he did not know what to think !
He took the shoes in his hand to examine them closely.
They were beautifully polished, and so neatly sewn that not one stitch was out of place.
They were as good as the work of a master shoemaker.
Soon a customer came in.
He was so pleased with the shoes that he paid mouch more than the usual price for them.
Now the shoemaker had enough money to buy leather for two more pair of shoes.
The shoemaker cut these out that evening.
The next day, full of fresh courage, he was about to go to work.
But he did not need toーfor when he got to his table, he found the shoes finished !
Buyers were not lacking for these shoes, either.
The shoemaker received so much money that he was able to buy leather for four pairs of shoes this time.
The Elves and the Shoemaker (2)
Early next morning he found the four pairs finished, beautifully; and so it went on.
Whatever he cut out in the evening was finished by morning.
The Shoemaker was soon making a good living again, and became a well-to-do man.
One evening, not long before Christmas, when he had cut out some shoes as usual, the shoemaker said to his wife, "How would it be if we were to sit up tonight to see who it is that lends us such a good helping hand ? "
The wife agreed, and lighted a candle.
They hid themselves in the corner of the room, behind some clothes which were hanging there.
At midnight two little men came in through the window and sat down at the shoemaker's table.
They took up the work lying cut out before them and began to stitch, sew, and hammer with their tiny fingers and tiny toos.
They did this all so neatly and quickly that the shoemaker could not believe his eyes.
The elves did not stop working till everything stood finished on the table.
Then they ran quickly away.
Sorry for (1)
He was so please withHe was so pleased with
The Elves and the Shoemaker (3) 完
The next day the wife said,
" These little elves have made us rich. We are no longer hungry, and we ought to thank them.
They run about with so little onーthey must be freezing cold.
I'll make them little shirts, coats, and trousers.
I'll even knit each of them a cap and a pair of stockings, and you shall make them each a pair of shoes. "
The husband agreed.
By evening, they had all these presents ready.
They laid on the table two tiny green suits, finely knit red stockings and caps, and shining pair of little leather shoes.
Then they hid themselves, to see how the elves would receive these.
At midnight the elves came skipping in, and were about to set to work.
But, instead of finding leather ready, they found the beautiful little clothes.
At first they acted only surprised, but then greatly delighted.
As quickly as they could, they put on the little shirts, coats, and trousers, the stockings and caps, and the shoes.
They smoothed them down and neat.
" Now we're boys so fine and neat, Why cobble more for others' feet ? "
They hopped and danced about, and leaped over the chairs and table.
Then they ran away through the window.
From the time on, they were not seen again in the shoemaker's shop.
But the shoemaker did well as long as he lived, and was lucky in everything he undertook.