(5/21/01 7:07:13 am)
| Need help finding a fairy tale please|
I'm trying to find a fairy tale about a couple who made shoes, were down to their last bit of leather which they cut out ready to make their last few pair in the morning and some elves or similar came through the night and made the shoes. What is the title of that tale and what were the creatures called? Thanks. Hylas
(5/21/01 7:44:30 am)
| The elves and the shoemaker|
as far as I know the title of the English version is "The elves and the shoemaker" whereas in my native German it is called "Die Heinzelmännchen von Köln" (which would be something like "The little folk of Cologne"). I'm not so sure on the content of the English version, in the German version, the Heinzelmännchen or elves return every night to do the work, though no one knows who they are. The shoemakers wife puts peas on the stairs, so the elves trip over them and the shoemaker and his wife catch them, alerted by the noise. After that, the Heinzemännchen have never reappeared again in Cologne... A fact, that the traditional ending (sorry, can't remember the exact phrase) loudly laments...
Does that help?!
(5/21/01 2:11:39 pm)
| Shoemaker and the Elves|
The English version (at least, the one I remember from my childhood) is quite different. The shoemaker and his wife are down to their last scrap of leather. The shoemaker cuts out the material for his one last pair of shoes, and then goes to bed. In the night, along come some friendly elves to finish the shoes. Their craftsmanship is so beautiful, and their stitches so tiny, that when the shoemaker finds the finished shoes in the morning he is able to sell them for enough money to buy himself the leather for two more shoes. Again, he cuts out the patterns for the shoes the night before, and when he wakes up in the morning there are two beautiful pairs of shoes finished on the table.
This goes on for a while, with the shoemaker doubling his stock every night, until he is a very rich man, know throughout the country for his wonderful shoes. I guess he starts feeling grateful then, because he and his wife decide to try and find out who is making the shoes. The hide behind a curtain one night, and see several tiny and poorly dressed elves come in to sew the shoes.
In the morning, the shoemaker and his wife decide to do something to show their appreciation. The shoemaker's wife sews each of the elves a tiny outfit, and the shoemaker makes them each a pair of shoes. That night they lay the new clothes and shoes out on the table, and hide behind the curtain again to wait for the elves.
When the elves see the clothes and shoes, they immediately put them on, dance a little jig, and jump out the window, never to be seen again.
(5/21/01 11:17:41 pm)
| Elves and the shoemaker|
this is a lot nicer than the German one. Guess it just shows that the English are far more polite than we are! ;-)
Isn't that also something for the "Manners in fairy tales" question?!
(5/22/01 6:19:38 pm)
| Manners toward elves|
That _is_ a good point! Though it seems rather contradictory to the content of that thread -- here, when manners are displayed, the mystical help ceases! Sort of a backwards lesson! The German tale stays closer to that concept, in that the couple treat their helpers discourteously, and it costs them the magic. Perhaps this relates back to that "transformation of manners" idea? Too harried to think it all the way out right now ....