Once upon a time, there lived a poor shoemaker with his wife. He was an honest and a hardworking man. But still, he could not earn enough for himself and his wife.
At last, he had no money left to buy leather for new shoes. All that he was left with was a last piece of leather to make just one pair of shoes.
The shoemaker sat down as he daily did and cut the leather. He kept it on the workbench to sew it the next morning. Tired, he went to sleep.
The next morning, he woke up and went to his workshop. He was amazed to see a pair of beautiful shoes on his table instead of leather. He took the shoes and examined them closely. They were perfect!
A man, who was passing by, saw the shining shoes and bought them at a very high price. The shoemaker
was happy. He bought food and with the remaining money, he bought two pieces of leather.
At night, he cut out two pairs of shoes from the leather. He kept them on the workbench and went to sleep. The following morning, when the shoemaker and his wife went to the workshop, they were surprised to see two new pairs of shoes.
The shoemaker quickly put them on display. The buyers came and he sold them for excellent prices. This went on for days.
Soon he became a rich man. He paid off all the debts. He and his wife led a comfortable life.
On a night before Christmas, when the shoemaker and his wife sat by the fire, he said, “Why don’t we hide behind the cupboard tonight and see who is helping us?”
The wife agreed and they hid behind the cupboard. At midnight, they saw two elves entering through the window. They sat on the workbench and started sewing and stitching.
The elves were wearing old shirts. Though they were making shoes for the shoemaker, they had none for themselves. When the elves finished making shoes, they jumped out of the window and disappeared.
The shoemaker and his wife were filled with gratitude. “Poor chaps, they have no shoes or good clothes!
I will stitch some clothes for them,” suggested the shoemaker’s wife. “And I will make shoes for them,” the shoemaker said.
So, they got down to work. They made warm clothes and tiny shoes for the elves and placed them on the workbench. Then, they hid behind the cupboard.
At midnight, the elves came again. They were happy and dancing. When they saw the table, they were surprised. Instead of the leather, they found the charming little clothes and tiny shoes.
The elves wore their new clothes and shoes. Everything fitted! They started singing and dancing. The elves leapt out of the window and never returned.
The shoemaker and his wife remained grateful to the elves throughout their life. The couple lived wealthily and happily ever after.