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Hey! There you are! Hey, Tofu! Wait up! What’s wrong with you? I have been waiting for you for so long and here you are just walking past me without even saying hi. I’m sorry Tia. I didn’t mean to be rude to you. Sometimes I just can’t understand my friends! Okay calm down and tell me what happened. You know my friend Megan? Yes, the shy one with the curly hair, right? The one who is always helping you out with class notes and assignments? Yes! Isn’t she wonderful? I think you should also help her out sometimes. Well, that’s just what I did Tia and she is so upset with me now. She forgot her English assignment at home So I did some of it for her and asked her to complete it and submit it. That’s it! She got so offended. She hasn’t said a word to me since then. And she won’t answer me if I say something to her. Oh! That’s strange. But I don’t think she is the only one
who is uncomfortable with people try to help. What do you mean? Let me tell you the story of the shoemaker and the elves. Once upon a time there lived an old shoemaker. He was an honest man but with very limited money. He made really nice shoes but could not earn enough for himself and his wife. One night he was in his workshop when his wife came to him. What are you doing dear? I have this last piece of leather left. I am just cutting it out. Will make a pair of shoes out of it tomorrow. Is it the last piece? What will we do? There are no grains in the cupboard no wood for the fire and now no more leather. Don’t worry my darling. Something will work out. The old couple finished their housework and before they went to sleep the shoemaker put the leather on his workbench. The next morning he got up early to make a pair of shoes out of the leather he had kept. To his surprise instead of the leather there lay a beautiful pair of shoes He picked them up and observed them closely They were made out of the same leather that he had put out the night before! He called his wife. Dear! Dear! Come see this What a lovely pair of shoes! They are just perfect! Yes look at the stiches… they are so tiny and spaced so perfectly. But I didn’t make them! You didn’t? Then who did? I don’t know. Why would someone help us like this? I can’t even think of anyone who can make such good shoes. You make the best shoes I have ever seen and these are better than yours too. I agree. Anyway, let us not get carried away. Let us put them in the display window and hope that we can get some money for them. Just a few minutes after the shoemaker had put the shoes on display a wealthy merchant stopped outside his door. He paid a good sum for the shoes and bought them. The shoemaker was very happy. He went and bought food for the house. With the remaining money he bought two pieces of leather. When it was night, his wife called out to him. What are you doing? It’s time for us to sleep. Yes, dear. I am just cutting out these leather pieces so I can stich them into shoes tomorrow. The next morning when the shoemaker and his wife came down to the workshop they were surprised to see two new pairs of shoes on the table where he had kept the leather pieces. Would you look at that! These shoes are even more beautiful than the first pair. Let me put them up for sale and thank whoever’s helping us out. Soon after the shoemaker had put up the two pairs of shoes for sale other wealthy men of the town came and bought them. They paid a hefty price for them. The shoemaker bought more food supplies and leather from the money he got. Again that night he cut the leather and kept it to stitch it in the morning. The next morning he saw that the leather had been made into shoes again! And as soon as he put them up for sale they were bought in exchange of good money. This went on for many days. The shoemaker started doing well. His business prospered
and his shop would always be full with customers. One night, as they were closing the shop the shoemaker had an idea. I cannot stop thinking about those who help us. Why don’t we hide behind the cupboard tonight and see who it is? yes That’s a brilliant idea. Let’s hide. and check out After some time they saw two elves enter the workshop through the crack in the window. They headed to the workbench and started making shoes from the leather kept there. Although they were making these lovely shoes for the shoemaker they had no shoes on. They wore torn shirts and very thin tights. They did their work carefully and left through the window again. Oh dear goodness! Such kind elves they are! We must repay them. Yes! When you go to the market tomorrow get me some nice cloth. I will make clothes for our little helpers. The next day, the shoemaker got many fancy cloths and good leather. While his wife made beautiful clothes for the elves he made soft shoes for them. When night fell they placed the gifts for the elves on the table. They also laid out delicious food and treats for them. Then they hid behind the cupboard again and waited for the elves to return. When the elves came, they were overjoyed to see the gifts and the delicious foods. They wore their new clothes ate stomach full and went on to make shoes for the shoemaker. Once they were done they slipped out of the window. I am so happy to see our little helpers happy! Yes! And they looked so wonderful in their new clothes. didn’t they Tonight, let’s keep some more dinner ready for them. what you think Yes, dear. That night the shoemaker and his wife again kept dinner for the elves. But tonight they did not hide behind the cupboard. Instead they went to sleep. The next morning when they came to the workshop the shoemaker and his wife were disappointed to see that the dinner plates remained untouched. Even the leather that the shoemaker had cut out and put on the table remained as it is. I wonder what happened to them? Maybe they will come tonight. Yes, let’s hope so. The shoemaker and his wife again kept the food for the elves but were disappointed in the morning as the elves did not show up in the night. They waited for the elves many nights but they never returned. Do you think they overheard us? Perhaps they did. Elves are very shy creatures. They usually like to be left alone. What will happen to the shop now? Oh, it will be fine. I will miss my little helpers but I will manage. The shoemaker went back to making the shoes himself. His shop continued to prosper but he and his wife always remember the elves and remained thankful to them for their help. So you see Tofu some people are willing to help
but are too shy to take help from others. Yes, Tia. I understand now. Also, it doesn’t mean that you have to be angry with them. You can be thankful to them in your heart. Thank you Tia. If you wouldn’t have shared this with me I think I would have lost a very good friend. Now when Megan tells me she doesn’t want my help I will respect that more. Good to know that! Now let’s go home I am very hungry!


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