We came to the cobbler’s house and found his last pieces of leather, cut exquisitely! So we set to work. We stitched, sewed, and hammered them into a pair of perfect shoes.

The next night, there were two sets of shoes to finish, and the work doubled, and after that, it doubled and doubled. We worked hard for the cobbler, but we enjoyed finishing his perfect soles. Then one night, we came in and found, not work to do, but clothes! Shirts and coats and vests and trousers and stockings, and yes, even little shoes! We danced with delight and dressed ourselves for the first time.

Then we sang,

Now we are boys so fine to see
Why should we longer cobblers be?

We danced all the way out the door, and that was the end of work for us. And for the cobbler, too, for he had made a fortune!

The Naked Elves in The Elves, First Story, Grimms. Illustration by Charles Folkard

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