The Shoemaker



cut out shoemaker sell/sold/sold
pray elf/elves see/saw/seen
candle customer find/found/found
join wealthy skill/skilled
price just then buy/bought/bought
middle handsome give/gave/given
triple workroom keep warm
single mystery wake/woke/woke
double amazed make/made/made
reply over time day after day
dry pattern hide/hid/hid
wet right (4) hang/hung/hung
wait leather middle of the night
socks it’s time quiet/quietly
shiny work hard soft/softer/softest
thin worn (2) wear/worn
cut wonderful





Once upon a time, there was a shoemaker who was very poor. He did not have enough leather to make shoes. But if he did not make shoes, he and his wife would not have food to eat.

“I only have enough leather to make one last pair of shoes,” said the shoemaker.
“What will we do? How will we live if the shoes are not sold soon?” asked his wife.
“We will pray that God will help us. Please go to bed, dear Wife. I will join you soon. I’m just going to cut out the pattern for the shoes and leave it on the table. I’ll make the shoes tomorrow morning.”

In the morning, the shoemaker woke to find a beautiful pair of shoes on his work table! He called his wife.

“Come here and see what has happened! Someone has made these shoes for me,” said the shoemaker.
“These shoes were made by a skilled shoemaker! Did you make them while I was sleeping?” asked his wife.
“No, I did not. I slept all through the night. But when I got up this morning, I found these shoes on the table. They are beautiful!”

Just then, a man came into their small shoes shop.

“I’m here to buy a pair of shoes,” he said.
“Sir, this is the last pair of shoes I have. And here is the price,” said the shoemaker.
“These shoes are perfect! You are a good shoemaker! I’ll buy them! And because they are such handsome shoes, I will give you more than what you are asking for them.”

And so the shoemaker made enough money that day to buy leather for two more pairs of shoes.

The shoemaker cut out the patterns for the shoes and left them on the table.

In the morning, the shoemaker walked into his small workroom. He was amazed at what he saw on the table.

“Here are two more pairs of shoes, just like the ones made yesterday!”
“How can this be? Who is making all these shoes?” asked his wife.
“It is a mystery.”

Later that day, the two pairs of shoes were sold.

“These are beautiful shoes! I’ll buy them. How much are they?” asked a customer.
“How about these pair? How much are you selling these shoes for? They are so handsome!” asked another customer.
“Here is the price,” said the shoemaker.
“We will pay DOUBLE the price!” replied the customers.

And so the shoemaker had enough money to buy leather for four more pairs of shoes!

And so it went day after day. Every morning there were more shoes.

The shoemaker became wealthy over time. The shoemaker became known all over for making the best shoes. And everyone came to him to buy shoes.

But the shoemaker and his wife wanted to know who was making all the shoes for them.

“We should hide tonight and see what happens at night,” said his wife.
“That is a great idea. Let’s light a candle and hide behind these clothes hanging here to dry,” said the shoemaker.

And so the shoemaker and his wife hid behind the hanging clothes that night.
As always, the shoemaker cut out patterns for the shoes and left them on the table. And they waited quietly.

In the middle of the night, when it was dark and quiet, two little elves came dancing into the shoemaker’s workshop!

“Here we are! It’s time to make some shoes tonight,” said the first elf.
“Brrr. I’m cold. I’m going to keep dancing while I make the shoes to keep warm,” said the second elf.
“Here is the leather for the shoes. What soft, shiny leather!”
“We will make beautiful shoes with these.”

The shoemaker and his wife were amazed at what they saw.

“Look at the elves working so hard!” said the shoemaker.
“But they have no warm clothes. Their clothes are worn and thin,” said his wife. “I will make them clothes. They will have pants and socks, a shirt and a cap.”
“And I will make them the best shoes they will ever wear!”

And so the shoemaker’s wife made handsome clothes for the elves. And the shoemaker made shoes for the elves from the softest leather he could find.

“I will lay the clothes out on the table,” said the shoemaker’s wife.
“And I will lay the shoes by their clothes,” said the shoemaker.
“I hope they will be happy when they see these gifts!”

The shoemaker and his wife hid themselves again and waited to see what would happen.

“Here we are again! It’s time to make some shoes!” said the first elf.
“What’s all this? Look! Here are coats for us! And pants and socks! How wonderful!” said the second elf.
“And we have hats! And look! The kind shoemaker has made shoes for us! Everything fits beautifully!”

The elves were so happy, they held hands and danced around.

“Wife, do you see how happy they are?” said the shoemaker to his wife.

“Now we have warm clothes to wear. Look how nice we look!” said the first elf.
“We don’t have to make shoes anymore. We have everything we need now,” said the second elf.

And then the elves were gone. And after that night, they did not come back to the shoemaker’s shop to make shoes.

But the shoemaker and his wife continued to make and sell many shoes. And the shoemaker and his wife were very happy that they could do something special for the elves.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *



1. In the beginning, the shoemaker was poor. True or false?

2. What happened one night?

3. What happened in the morning? Was the shoemaker amazed and surprised? Why was he amazed?

4. The shoemaker and his wife knew what had happened. Is this correct or wrong?

5. What did customer do? Did he pay the normal price?

6. Did the shoemaker buy meat, cake, and drinks?

7. What happened the next night and morning?

8. The shoemaker and his wife soon became wealthy. Yes or no?

9. What did the shoemaker and his wife do one night?

10. What did they see? They saw…

11. What did the shoemaker and his wife do the next day?

12. What happened in the end? In the end….
A. Have you heard this story before?

B. Would you like “elves” to do special work for you? If yes, what would you like elves to do?

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