Project Fairy Tale: The Elves and The Shoemaker by Brothers Grimm

The story of The Elves and the Shoemaker comes under a collection of 3 stories found in The Grimms Fairy Tale known as The Elves. The story of the Shoemakers encounter with the Elves is the first and longest of the three.

It tells us about how a good man who makes shoes finds himself poor and only able to make one more pair of shoes. He sets up his leather ready for the morning and then goes to bed after saying his prayers. When he wake up however the material he had left out has already been made into a beautiful pair of shoes and he manages to sell them for enough money to make another two pairs. This goes on for a while, each night he lays out his material and in the morning fantastic shoes have been made that he sells for enough money to make more each time. Eventually his wife and him decide to hide one night and see who is making the shoes. So after laying out the materials they hide and discover that is in fact two naked elves helping them out. The shoemakers wife decides that it being winter she should make some clothes as a thank you for the elves. On Christmas night instead of leaving out leather for shoes they leave the clothes and hide again to see them being received. When the elves turn up they are so delighted with they dance about and are never seen again. The shoemaker however continues to be very successful and never returns to being poor.

I remember this story from when I was young and I think it is a really nice one. They story stresses how they shoemaker was a good man and that it wasn’t his fault that he was now poor and I think that is why the elves turn up to help him. However the actions of him and his wife prove this goodness as they want to thanks the elves by clothing them and don’t try to trap them to work for them. I guess that the you could say this story shows how good things do happen to good people and that you will be rewarded for continuing to be good when you have the opportunity to hurt others for your benefit.


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