So I was putting my new boots away in our closet-alcove today.
We have such tiny little closets that they really don’t deserve the name. The house was built in 1949 when Americans didn’t believe in closets. Wanting closets was immoral. Only sissies had closets in 1949.
So, I was putting my new boots away in the alcove, see:
…and as I did, my hand brushed against some suede. Suede? I don’t own suede boots. But lo and behold! I do own suede boots! Look:
How did they get there? Did the elves from the Shoemaker and the Elves leave them for me? Maybe I bought them on sale at the end of the year last year and forgot about them? But no, look:
Dirt in the heel. I must have worn these boots. But I have no memory of it, and I would remember wearing such lovely boots as these. I must be more sleep deprived than I realize.
This morning I was so tired that I ended up winking at the pastor during the entire church service. My eyes were burning from fatigue, but I was afraid to close them both at the same time, for fear I’d fall instantly asleep. But the burning! So, I closed them one at a time for relief.
Anyway, the idea that elves came and made my boots for me reminded me of my The Elves and the Shoemaker picture that I did last year, so I pulled it out to look at it.
If you never read the story of the Elves and the Shoemaker, here’s a quick recap:
Sometime in the middle ages, there was a shoemaker who was really, really bad at making shoes. I mean, really bad. It was so bad, that finally he only had enough money to buy enough leather for one more pair of shoes and then he and his wife would starve…to death! That’s pretty bad.
He put the leather on his workbench and went to bed.
When he woke up in the morning, the leather was gone and instead there was a beautiful pair of shoes in its place. (Buccaneer boots.)
Without asking a lot of questions, he put the shoes in the shop window, they sold right away, and he had enough money for leather for two pairs of shoes and dinner. He set out the leather and went to bed.
Next morning; more shoes. He sold them for a lot of money, bought more leather and went to bed. Next morning; more shoes. He sold them for a lot of money…and so on and so on.
Who made the shoes? The shoemaker didn’t know and didn’t care. Too much curiosity can jinx a good thing. But finally, after lazing around for years and never making any shoes himself, he raked in enough money to retire. And now that they were swimming in cash, he and his wife wanted to see who was making the shoes. One night, they hid behind a curtain to wait.
At midnight, when creepy things happen, in snuck two little elves. Naked elves. Buck naked elves creeping around in the workroom! They looked a lot like gollum. They sewed a bunch of shoes and snuck away again.
The shoemaker and his wife were nice enough people, as well they could afford to be, now that they’d amassed a fortune exploiting the creepy, naked elves. They decided to make some shoes and clothes for the elves.
And here’s where the story gets illogical, sort of like a Doctor Who episode written by Russel T. Davies.
We’ve already established that the shoemaker is bad at making shoes, but he sets to work making shoes for the elves. This doesn’t make sense. If he can’t stitch regular sized shoes, imagine how badly stitched elf-sized shoes would be. And how would the wife know how big to make the clothes? It would be impossible.
But they forge ahead making the shoes and clothes and set them out for the elves to find them.
That night, the elves find the clothes and are delighted. They put them on and dance around and leave.
And never come back.
What?? Never come back?
Obviously, they liked the clothes, or they wouldn’t have danced around. BUt why would they come for years making those shoes for the exploitative shoemaker, but as soon as the shoemaker gives them some sort of wages, they run away?
It’s a mystery.
I think that the original ending had the elves hating the clothes. And why wouldn’t they? The craftsmanship was bound to be shoddy. The odds of anything fitting were slim. If they elves wanted clothes, they could make their own, much better than the lazy shoemaker.
I think they left because they felt judged for being naked.
So, last year, I took this picture and wrote the following caption:
How “The Elves and the Shoemaker” really ended:
The elf stood in all his naked splendor, sneering at the pitiful attempts at tailoring made by the shoemaker and his wife. Their presumption was astounding. If elves wanted clothes, they were more than capable of making their own, thank you very much. In a huff of offense the elf left, determined never to return.
And he never did.
The End. –November 1, 2011
Why did I tell you this story? Look at the black area behind the elf. That black area is the suede boots that I found in my closet today! I’ve had those boots for a year and wore them all last winter, but just didn’t remember! Sleep deprivation will do that to a person!
So why am I still up at almost midnight?
I’m going to bed.
Picture of the Day:
Mom took us to Li’s buffet. Ooo! Twice in one weekend! What decadence.