There was once a shoemaker that worked very hard and was very honest.
Then he cuts out leather, all ready to make up the next day, meaning to riseearly in the morning to his work.
As soon as it was midnight, there came two little elves,and they sat themselves upon the shoemaker’s bench,took up all the work that was cut out, and began to plywith their little fingers, stitching and rapping and tappingaway at such a rate that the shoemaker was all wonder,and could not take his eyes off them. And on they went,
In the morning after he had said his prayers, hesat himself down to his work, when to his great wonder, there stood the shoesall readymade, upon the table.
The same day a customer came in, and the shoes suited him so well that hewillingly paid a price higher than usual for them.
One evening, about Christmas-time, as he and his wife were sitting over the firechatting together, he said to her, “I should like to sit upand watch tonight, so that we may see who it is thatcomes and does my work for me.”