The Shoemaker and the Elves

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NARRATOR: Once upon a time in a magical world there lived a poor shoemaker.  He was so poor that he didn’t have enough money to buy leather to make a pair of shoes.


SHOEMAKER: Ellen, I don’t know what are we going to do.  Leather is so expensive.  I could only afford leather to make a pair of shoes.


WIFE: Don’t worry.  We will solve our problem.  While you cut the pieces to make the shoes, I will prepare dinner.


NARRATOR: The shoemaker cut and prepared the leather to make the shoes, and he finished so tired that he decided to make the shoes next morning.


SHOEMAKER: My hands hurt.  This leather is so hard that I had trouble cutting it.  I am getting older every day, and it takes me too long to cut it.


WIFE: George, dinner is served.


SHOEMAKER: I will leave everything on the table, and tomorrow morning I will finish this pair of shoes.  I hope I can sell them soon.


NARRATOR: The shoemaker went to the kitchen to have dinner with his wife.


WIFE: You look tired and worried.  What are you thinking about?.


SHOEMAKER: I just hope to sell soon the pair of shoes.  I need to buy more leather to make more shoes, and buy some more food for us.


WIFE: They will be sold soon, you will see.  You are a good shoemaker.


NARRATOR: After dinner, the shoemaker and his wife went to bed.  Next day sunlight woke up the shoemaker.


SHOEMAKER: I have to get up and finish the shoes.  I hope to sell them soon.


WIFE: What’s wrong?.


SHOEMAKER: It’s nothing.  I’m dressing up to make the shoes.


NARRATOR: The shoemaker went downstairs and straight to his shop.  He was astonished by what he saw.


SHOEMAKER: What’s this?.  Who made these shoes?.  I just cut them and now they are completely finished.  They are perfect!. Ellen, Ellen, come quick!.


WIFE: Why are you yelling?.


SHOEMAKER: Do you remember that yesterday I just cut the leather to make the shoes?.


WIFE: Yes, I remember.  Why?.


SHOEMAKER:Look over the table?.  What do you see?.


WIFE: It’s a pair of shoes. You finished them really fast.


SHOEMAKER: I didn’t do them!. There were just like that when I came into the shop.


WIFE: It’s a miracle!.  They are perfect!.  You will get a lot of money.


SHOEMAKER: I will place them immediately in the window.


NARRATOR: As soon as he placed the shoes in the window, he waited for someone to come in and buy the shoes.  Five minutes later, a man entered the shop to buy the shoes.


CUSTOMER: Good morning.  I saw those shoes, and I really like them.


SHOEMAKER: Certainly, let me get them for you.


CUSTOMER: Let me try them on.


SHOEMAKER: Do they fit you?.


CUSTOMER: They are perfect for me.  They are just my size.  I’ll take them.


NARRATOR: Before the shoemaker could tell him the price of the shoes, which was two silver coins, the customer gave him four silver coins.


CUSTOMER: Congratulations!.  Your shoes are of very good quality. From now on, I will always buy my shoes here.


SHOEMAKER: Thank you.  Here are your shoes.


CUSTOMER: I am leaving now, but soon I will be back with my children.  Good-bye.


SHOEMAKER: Have a nice day.


NARRATOR: The shoemaker was very happy because he sold the shoes, and at a higher price.


SHOEMAKER: Ellen, come here!.  I already sold the pair of shoes!.  That man paid four silver coins!.


ELLEN: I told you that everything was going to be fine.


SHOEMAKER: Now, let’s go buy more leather for another two pairs of shoes.  And take this silver coins, so that you can buy more food for us.


NARRATOR: The shoemaker and his wife went out to buy what they needed. When they came back in the afternoon, the shoemaker started to work again.


SHOEMAKER: Ellen,  while I cut the leather for the two pairs of shoes, you prepare dinner.  It’s getting late, and I can’t see very well.  I have to hurry up.


WIFE: Yes, don’t worry.  I’ll go to the kitchen right away.


SHOEMAKER: With this leather, I will do a pair of shoes for a man, and a pair of shoes for a woman.


NARRATOR: The shoemaker work hard to cut the leather, and he didn’t notice that it was nighttime, until his wife called him.


SHOEMAKER: Oh, it’s late, and I can’t see very well with this candle light. I ´ll have dinner and then I’ll go to bed.


NARRATOR: After dinner his wife said.


WIFE: You look tired.  Go to bed now, you will finish the shoes tomorrow.


NARRATOR: Once they finished dinner, they went to bed immediately.  Next day, as soon as the shoemaker woke up, he dressed up and went to work.  As soon as he entered his shop he was again surprised when he saw the two pairs of shoes completely finished.


SHOEMAKER: Oh, once again the shoes are completely finished.  Who is doing this?.


NARRATOR: But this time he didn’t tell his wife.  He just placed by them by the window.  A few hours later, a young couple entered the shop.


MAN: Good afternoon, Sir.  As I was passing by, I saw those beautiful shoes you have over there.  They are just exactly what we are looking for to wear on our wedding day.


WOMAN: Can we try them on?.


SHOEMAKER: Certainly.  Let me get them for you.


NARRATOR: While the shoemaker was getting the shoes, the couple sat in a chair.


SHOEMAKER: Here you have, and I hope you like them.


WOMAN: They are so soft!.  I really like them.  They are perfect for my wedding dress.


MAN:  I am glad you like them.  Mine are just perfect!.  We will take them.


NARRATOR: And once again, before the shoemaker could even say the price of the shoes, the man took out a gold coin, and gave it to the shoemaker.


SHOEMAKER: Oh thank you!  But….


MAN: I will not pay more for the shoes!.


SHOEMAKER: No, that’s fine.  Whatever you say.  Let me wrap them for you.


WOMAN: Thank you very much.  Your shoes are of excellent quality. I will tell all my friends about your shoes.


MAN: We have to go, thank you.


NARRATOR: Once again the shoemaker went to buy more leather to make more shoes.  And from that day on, the shoemaker had time only to cut the leather.  And next day the shoes were always finished.  This happened for several months.  The shoemaker and his wife got richer and richer.  One night when they were having dinner they wondered who was making the shoes.


WIFE: I would like to know who is making the shoes.


SHOEMAKER: Me too, I would like to know who is helping us.  How about if tonight we hide in the shop to see what is happening.


WIFE: Good idea.


NARRATOR: This time instead of going up to bed, the shoemaker and his wife hid behind a closet.  They sat without making noise to see who or what was making the shoes.


NARRATOR: After midnight, suddenly the small candle was lit, and the shoemaker and his wife saw some elves coming in from the window, and started making shoes.   It was winter and the elves, dressed in ragged clothes, shivered while they worked.   The shoemaker and his wife stayed in the closet watching them work, until they fell asleep.  Next morning when they woke up, the shoemaker said.


SHOEMAKER: Ellen, wake up!. Look at all the shoes the elves did!.


WIFE: Poor little elves!.  Their clothes were so old.


SHOEMAKER: Today we will buy some fabric to make clothes for them.  Ellen, do you think you can make them?.


WIFE: Sure, I can.


NARRATOR: After having breakfast, they went out looking for fabric and leather to make clothes and shoes for their little friends.


WIFE: They will be so happy when they see the clothes we will make for them.


SHOEMAKER: Yes, that way we will show our gratitude for what they have done for us.


NARRATOR: As soon as they bought the fabric and the leather, they went home and started to work on the clothes and on the shoes.


SHOEMAKER: Ellen, do you think you will finish sewing the clothes before midnight?.


WIFE: Sure, I will.  Those little creatures need their new clothes.


SHOEMAKER: I just finished cutting the leather.  I’ll start sewing the shoes right now.


NARRATOR: It was 10 minutes before midnight when they finished sewing.


SHOEMAKER: Let’s leave everything over the table, and let’s hid in the closet.


WIFE: I want to see their little faces.


NARRATOR: Then, they turn off the candle, hid in the closet and waited to see their little friends.  After midnight, the elves came into shop once again.


ELF 1: There´s no leather to work with.


ELF 2: Look!.  There are two jackets here.


ELF 1: And there are two small shoes.


ELF 2: Let’s try them on.  They are our size.


ELF 1: I think they saw us.


NARRATOR: They put on the jackets and were very happy.  And they danced until next morning when they left.  Some days later the shoemaker hired someone to help him in the shop, that way the elves would not have so much work to do.  The shoemaker’s wife started leaving beside the leather, some candies and chocolates for the little elves, who kept coming to help George once in a while, and sometimes they came when he had a lot of shoes to do.


ELF 1: I think we should stop eating so many candies.


WIFE: I know, my clothes don’t fit.


ELF 1:  We have to work more and eat less.


NARRATOR: And the shoemaker and his wife were never poor again, and they were happy forever.




Author:  Brothers Grimm


Adapted by: K I D S I N C O


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