A poor and hard-working shoemaker called Bertie lives with his wife, Bettina. Winter is approaching and times are very hard for them. Bertie decides to give his final pair of shoes and his last slice of bread to a poor lady in need of help.
The Elves Arrive
While Bertie and Bettina are asleep two little elves, Tap and Stitch, secretly visit the shop. They use Bertie’s last piece of leather to make the most magnificent pair of shoes and add a sprinkle of magic dust.
A New Customer
The next morning Bertie wakes up and is amazed to find the readymade pair of shoes on display. A passerby spots the beautiful shoes and goes into the shop. When the customer tries the shoes on, his feet are magically moved to dance in a way he never thought he could. The man happily gives Bertie a bag of silver coins for the shoes. Bertie sets out to the market, through the woods, to buy some food and more leather with the coins.
The Second Visit
That night while Bertie and Bettina are in bed, the cheerful elves, Tap and Stitch, visit the shop once more. This time they create two pairs of shoes and sprinkle them with magic dust.
Once again Bertie wakes up to discover more beautiful shoes on display. Two new customers come into the shop to buy shoes. When they try them on they magically begin to waltz together. The couple give Bertie two bags of silver coins for the shoes and Bertie returns to the market with Bettina. This time they are able to afford colourful leather and fine silk for their shoes.
That night at home, Bertie and Bettina decide that they would like to stay awake to find out who’s the mysterious maker of these magical shoes. They hide behind the curtains and see the elves enter. The elves are shivering and dressed in rags. Bertie watches in wonder as Tap and Stitch skilfully make six pairs of shoes. The elves add a sprinkle of magic dust and sneak away.
A Royal Visit
The next morning Bertie and Bettina open the door to see Princess Pearl and Prince Edward. They can’t believe their eyes. The royal couple ask to try on a pair of the special shoes which are ballet shoes! When Princess Pearl tries on the ballet shoes and Prince Edward tries on the ballet boots something magical happens. They join together in a joyful dance and dance more gracefully than ever before. The Princess and Prince wave goodbye.
Bertie and Bettina are very thankful for the help that the little elves have given them and want to do a good deed for Tap and Stitch.
They decide to make each of them a set of clothes and a pair of boots to keep them warm. They lay out the clothes they have made for the elves and hide to surprise them. When Tap and Stitch arrive, they are delighted with their new clothes. Bertie, Bettina and the elves all join together to dance.
To their surprise the Prince and Princess return to the shop to give Bertie a generous bag of golden coins for their ballet shoes. In return for their clothes the elves also give the kind couple a gift – a bag of magic dust so that the couple can continue to make the magical dancing shoes. The elves dance out of the window.
Bertie and Bettina never see the little elves again but they are blessed with good luck and live happily ever after.
Photos taken by Brian Slater.