Classic Stories for Kids

The Shoemaker and the Elves English Story for Kids | Creation Story for Kids

Adaptation of the story by the Brothers Grimm

Once upon a time there was a shoemaker whose things were not going very well and he no longer knew what to do to get out of poverty.



One night the situation became desperate and he told his wife:

– My dear, I have nothing left but a little leather to make a pair of shoes. Tomorrow I’ll get to work and try to sell it to see if we can buy some food with what they give us.

– It’s okay, darling, don’t worry… You know I trust you!

He placed the piece of leather on the work table and went to bed.

He got up very early, before dawn, to get down to work, but when he entered the workshop he was in for an incredible surprise. Someone, during the night, had made the pair of shoes.

Amazed, he picked them up and looked at them carefully. They were very well finished, the sole was incredibly supple and the leather had a nice looking sheen to it. They were indeed perfect shoes, fit for a minister or some other important gentleman!

– Who would have made this wonder?… They are the best shoes I have ever seen in my life! I’m going to put them in the shop window to see if anyone buys them.



Fortunately, as soon as he put them on display, a very distinguished gentleman walked past the glass and immediately took a fancy to them. He liked them so much that he not only paid the cobbler the asking price, but also gave him a few more coins as a tip.

The cobbler couldn’t contain himself with joy! With that money he was able to buy food and leather to make not one, but two pairs of shoes.

That night, he did the exact same thing as the night before. He entered the workshop and left the leather prepared next to the scissors, the needles and the threads, so as soon as he got up, he began to work.

He woke up in the morning wanting to sew, but his surprise was great when again, on the table, he found two pairs of shoes that someone had made while he slept. He didn’t know if it was a matter of magic or what, but the fact is that he felt tremendously lucky.

Without wasting a minute, he put them up for sale. They were so well finished and looked so pretty in the window that they were taken from her hands in less than ten minutes.

With what he earned he bought leather to make four pairs and like every night, he left it on the workshop table. Once again, in the morning, the four pairs appeared well placed and perfectly made.

And so day after day, night after night, to the point that the shoemaker began to get out of misery and earn a lot of money. At home there were no longer any needs and both he and his wife began to feel that luck was on their side. At last, life had given them an opportunity!



Weeks passed and Christmas came. The marriage was enjoying the delicious and abundant Christmas Eve dinner when the woman said to the shoemaker:

– Dear, look at everything we have now! We have gone from being very poor to living comfortably without lacking anything, but we still don’t know who helps us every night. What do you think if we stay spying today to find out?

– You are right! I am also very intrigued and above all, grateful. Tonight we will hide inside the closet that I have in the workshop to see what happens.

So they did. They waited for a long time, crouching in the darkness of the wardrobe, leaving the door ajar a crack. When the clock struck twelve, they saw two completely naked little goblins arrive who, jumping agilely, climbed onto the table where all the material was.

In a jiffy they shared the task and began to sew without stopping. When the shoes were finished, they greased a rag and rubbed them briskly until they shone.

Through the crack the married couple watched the scene with their mouths open. How could they imagine that their benefactors were two cute elves!

They waited for them to leave and the shoemaker’s wife exclaimed:

– What kind beings! Thanks to their effort and dedication we have raised the business and live with dignity. I think we have to reward them in some way and more so being Christmas.

– I agree, but… how can we do it?

– It’s snowing and they’re naked. Surely the poor things are very cold! I could make them some clothes to keep them warm. Remember that I am a magnificent seamstress!

– What a good idea! I’m sure they will love it.

The good lady spent the next morning cutting small pieces of colored fabric, basting and sewing, until the last garment was finished. The result was fantastic: two pants, two shirts and two cute vests for the magical elves to spend the winter warm.

When night came, she left all the new clothes on the workshop table, well ironed, and then ran to hide in the closet with her husband. This time they wanted to see their little faces when they discovered the gift!

The goblins arrived punctually, as always at twelve o’clock at night. They jumped around the workshop, climbed on the cobbler’s table, and how happy they were when they saw such beautiful and colorful clothes!

Overjoyed and without stopping laughing, they dressed in a flash and looked at themselves in a mirror that was hanging on the wall. They found themselves so handsome that they began to dance and hug each other, crazy with happiness!

Then, seeing that there was no leather on the table that night and therefore no more shoes to make, they went out the window, never to return.



The shoemaker and his wife were very happy for the rest of their lives, but they never forgot that they owed everything to two nosy elves who one day decided to sneak into their workshop to make a pair of beautiful shoes.

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