The Little Elves :
There was once a shoemaker who, from no fault of his own, had become so poor that at last he had nothing left, but a piece of leather just sufficient for one pair of shoes. In the evening he cut out the leather intending to make it up in the morning and as he had a good conscience, he lay quietly down to sleep first commending himself to God. In the morning he said his prayers and then sat down to work… but, behold, the pair of shoes
was already made and there they stood upon his board. The poor man was amazed and knew not what to think… but he took the shoes into his hand to look at them more closely and they were so neatly worked that not a stitch was wrong just as if they had been made for a prize. Presently a customer came in and as the shoes pleased him very much, he paid down more than usual so much that the shoemaker was able to buy with it leather for two pairs.
By the evening he had got his leather shaped out and when he arose the next morning, he
prepared to work with fresh spirit…but there was no need - for the shoes stood all perfect on his board. He did not wait either for customers for two came who paid him so liberally for the shoes that he bought with the money material for four pairs more. These also -when he awoke - he found all ready-made and so it continued…what he cut out overnight was in the morning turned into the neatest shoe possible. This went on until he had regained his former appearance. And until he had become a prosperous man.
One evening - not long before Christmas - as he had cut out the usual quantity, he said to
his wife before going to bed, "Let us be awake this night to see who it is that helps us so
kindly." His wife agreed and fastened up a light and then they hid themselves in the corner of the room where hung some clothes which concealed them. As soon as it was midnight in came two little mannikins who squatted down on the boards and taking up the prepared work, set to work with their little fingers, stitching and sewing and hammering so swiftly and lightly that the shoemaker could not take his eyes off them for astonishment. They did not cease until all was brought to an end and the shoes stood
ready on the table and then they sprang quickly away.
The following morning the wife said, "The little men have made us rich and we must show our gratitude to them for although they run about they must be cold for they have nothing on their bodies. I will make a little shirt, coat, waistcoat, trousers and stockings for each and will you make a pair of shoes for each?"
The husband assented and one evening, when all was ready, they laid presents, instead of the usual work, on the board and hid themselves to see the result.
At midnight in came the elves, jumping about and soon prepared to work but when they saw no leather, but the natty little clothes, they were at first astonished, but soon showed
their rapturous glee. They drew on their coats and smoothing them down, sang –
‘Smart and naughty boys are we
cobblers we'll no longer be," - The Little Elves
and so they went on hopping and jumping over the stools and chairs and at last out of the door. After that evening they did not come again, but the shoemaker prospered in all that
he undertook and lived happily to the end of his days.
MORAL : God will shower his blessings on good people.
The Little Elves :
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