Longer Narrative Poems
By Josie Whitehead
THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER
A Grimm's Fairy Tale/Narrative Poem
in anapaestic heptameter
Adapted By Josie Whitehead
A shoemaker worked hard by day and by night,
But make money? Oh no, he did not!
If he earned any money it seemed that he spent
Every penny that he ever got.
He looked in his fridge - there was nothing to eat -
And he looked in his cupboards as well.
So when everyone else started cooking their meals,
From his kitchen there came not one smell.
He checked in the freezer - not one frozen pea -
And his poor dog was ravenous too,
For he stared at his dish and then sat up and begged,
But had nothing! So what could they do?
'Oh, the problem,' he said, 'is that children today
Can buy all of their shoes in shoe shops.
In the winter they love to choose nice cosy boots,
But in summer prefer their flip flops.'
He looked at his bench and there what did he see?
Only one piece of leather, that’s all.
'That’s all that I have and I’ll make my last pair,
But for certain they’ll only be small.'
His doggy was famished and so very sad
And he followed his master upstairs.
From his bed in the corner of master’s bedroom,
He watched him kneel down and say prayers:
'Oh God,' prayed the shoemaker, 'please hear my prayer
And do help me, I beg you,' he cried.
He then climbed into bed and he switched out the light
And both he and his doggy then sighed.