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Published on 17 May 2011 | over 6 years ago

Retold by BookBox

Although Peter Schumaker worked hard and was kind to everyone in the village, he could never earn enough money making shoes. On this particularly cold and snowy day, all he had left in his workroom was enough leather to make one last pair of shoes.

That evening, Peter carefully cut up his precious leather and laid it aside for the morning, when he would sew them together. The sun rose the next morning and Peter was ready to start work, but to his great surprise an exquisitely crafted pair of shoes sat on his worktable. “What magic!” said Cecilia, his wife. They quickly put the shoes in the shop window, for the holiday shopping season had just begun.

As luck would have it, the shoes fitted the finicky Mrs. Sniggins perfectly, and she paid a generous sum for the fine fit. With the money, Peter went to buy more leather, enough for two more pairs. That evening, he once again set to work cutting his leather, and he left the pieces on the table when he went to bed. Hoping for a good design, he fell asleep dreaming of shoes. When he awoke early the next morning, he again found two finely crafted pairs of shoes before his eyes. Customers bought these up quickly, for they were masterpieces.

Now Peter could buy enough leather for four pairs of shoes. This magical business went on for some time, and Schumaker’s name became well-known for the finest shoes in town. These days, life was much better for Peter and Cecilia. One day Cecilia said, “I wonder who has been helping us so much?” Peter announced: “Tonight, we will hide in the workshop and see what goes on there!” And so they did.

At exactly midnight, two tiny elves tiptoed in and began to work, swiftly making the fine shoes. They were shabbily dressed and weren’t even wearing shoes themselves. Before daybreak, they had already dashed off, leaving several pairs of shoes ready for sale that day.

Peter and Cecilia were grateful to these little elves, and worried about them working so hard in such cold weather. So Peter set to work making two tiny pairs of shoes, and Cecilia stitched two warm sets of clothing for each of them. On Christmas Eve, instead of leather pieces, they set the little shoes and clothes out and hid themselves again. At midnight, the elves popped in and saw the new clothes. In a flash, they had them on their little bodies! They were so happy that they laughed and chuckled, and danced right out the window, never to be seen again.

Peter continued making shoes everyday, and he and Cecilia lived a very happy and contented life for many years. As did the elves!

Narration : Maurice E.Lamb
Music : Holger Jetter
Illustration : Charudatta Prabhu Desai
Animation : BookBox

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