Once upon a time there was a shoemaker who worked very hard and was very honest. Despite his industry however, he could not earn enough to live upon. One day he returned form the pawnbrokers to his waiting wife,
“Well I have pawned nearly everything we have save some leather and my tools. We can at least pay the rent this month so we will have a roof over our head come Christmas,” he said.
“It is the rent that is the problem, dear husband,” answered the wife, “if it was not so extortionate we would not be in this pickle. Every month the landlord’s agent, that horrible Mr Leff Tennent comes round here and tells us that the landlord has increased the rent, again.”
“I know dear wife, I do not know why he does not evict us?”
“It is because you keep trying ever harder to please him, that is why and look at us now. Nothing to eat and Christmas on the horizon. What are we to do?”
“Well I have enough leather for one pair of shoes which I shall make tomorrow and hopefully a well-to-do customer will purchase them from me and all will be well. Worry not dear wife, we have one another and our honesty, our decency and our compassion.”
So the husband and wife headed upstairs to lie on the straw mattress, their bed having earlier been sold.
In the morning the shoemaker rose, said his prayers with a rumbling empty stomach and went downstairs to the workshop. There on the work bench was a beautiful pair of leather shoes fashioned to the highest quality. The shoemaker knew not what to say at such an odd thing happening. He examined the workmanship and there was not one false stitch in the whole job.
Later that day a Somatic Narcissist arrived at the shoemakers and with doting Empath in tow, the Somatic wanted to show off and he bought the shoes and with no regard for his already straining overdraft, paid over the odds for the marvellous shoes and departed with a flourish. The shoemaker was elated. The money paid enabled him to buy enough leather for two pairs of shoes and food to last for him and his wife for a week.
In the evening, the shoemaker cut out the leather and went to bed early so that he might get up and commence work on the shoes in the morning. He was saved the trouble however as when he came downstairs to the workshop he found that two pairs of magnificent shoes with red soles had been fashioned.
As soon as the shoemaker opened the shop an Elite Narcissist appeared and purchased both pairs of shoes for a dirty little secret he needed to keep sweet. The Elite Narcissist in keeping with his status and grandeur paid handsomely for the shoes to the extent that there was sufficient money for the shoemaker to purchase leather for four shoes and for him to pawn back his Ephone from the pawnbrokers.
Once again the shoemaker cut out the leather and in the morning came down and found the work had been done once again and he found four pair of boots polished and buffed ready for sale.
So it went on with the shoemaker buying more and more leather and his wife splurging on the Rainforest internet store as she stocked up with essential goods such as a text messaging chandelier, an epod toilet speaker, a head massager and a noodle fan. Happy days indeed! Every night the shoemaker would cut out the leather and in the morning a number of immaculate shoes and boots would be waiting for him to sell.
One evening, about Christmas time, the shoemaker and his wife were sitting over the fire chatting together and he said to her,
“We have been most blessed by whoever it is that is making these shoes and boots for us. I should like to sit up and watch tonight to see who comes and does my work for me. The wife liked the thought so they left a light burning and hid themselves in a corner of the workshop behind a curtain that was hung up there and watched would happen.
As soon as it was midnight there came in seven naked dwarfs and they sat themselves at the shoemaker’s bench and all the work that was cut out. Just then a tall sinewy figure entered. It was Mr Leff Tennent.
“Right you miserable vertically challenged reprobates my boss, Nicholas Ark wants his money worth,” hissed Tennent at the dwarves, “so tonight we need product for Noke, Udidas, James Choo Choo Train and Miaow Miaow so get those made first and then the rejects can be left for the loser who runs this place,” ordered Tennent.
“Begging your pardon Mr Tennent but when might we get our clothes back?” asked one of the dwarves, “it is rather chilly around the old willy in here.”
“Suck it up buttercup,” announced Tennent, “Mr Ark did not want you wandering around town in orange jumpsuits with Community Payback plastered on the back, drawing attention to this place, not when using your labour he can undercut the Chinese orphans and Indian slumkids.”
The dwarves lowered their heads and cracked on with their shoemaking skills.
“That is terrible, fancy making them work naked,” whispered the wife to the shoemaker
“Really?” muttered the empathic shoemaker
“Yes the poor chaps must be rather cold, no wonder they work so quickly.”
“But the fact they are undercutting the Chinese orphans and the Indian slum kids whilst diverting my product to Western Icons of Capitalist Exploitation does not concern you?” asked the shoemaker.
“Well now you come to mention it, yes, how come you didn’t think of it?” asked the wife.
The next day the shoemaker said to his wife.
“Those naked dwarves have made us a good living and we ought to be thankful to them, so we should do them a good turn. I am sorry to seem them run about naked, well all save the bald one ooh, my, he is buffed and ripped, ahem, anyway I shall make them a shirt and a coat a pair of shoes, a waistcoat and a pair of pantaloons.”
“Bollocks to that laughing boy, run them up a onesie each and be done with it.”
Ever eager to please the shoemaker prepared seven onesies all labelled with the names of the Sins of the Empath for he had heard their names used by Mr Tennant the previous night.
“These onesies are so comfortable and warm that they will be mightily pleased with them, “ smiled the kind shoemaker.
The cobbler made the clothing and shoes and instead of laying out the cut leather he placed the clothing ready for the dwarves before he and his wife hid once again and waited for their arrival.
Around midnight the dwarves appeared and shuffled into place, morose looks on their faces. Yet when they saw the onesies they smiled and laughed and put them on in the twinkle of an eye, happiness radiating from each and every one.
“What in the name of Satan’s pitchfork is going on here?” shouted Leff Tennent when he entered the store.
The dwarves stopped their jigging and jubilation.
“Where’s the raw product?” asked Tennent. The dwarves shrugged.
“There is none,” said the shoemaker as he emerged from behind the curtain.
“What do you want loser?” asked Tennent.
“This sweatshop is closed and you are to release these fine fellows from their indentured servitude. I shall look after them now as proper employees with attendant benefits and health insurance.”
“Oh no you won’t,” snarled Tennent, “by interrupting this order you are in breach of contract and liquidated ascertained damages are er massive, so pursuant to the clauses in this contract,” said Tennent plucking what looked like a chocolate bar wrapper from his pocket, “Mr Ark is entitled to all your money, seizure of all chattels and equipment and your immediate eviction. Now piss off.”
“I am not standing for that!” declared the shoemaker. “In the name of light and all that is good, we shall rise up against you, who is with me boys?” cried the shoemaker looking to rally the seven dwarves yet when he turned to them he found that they were all sound asleep, a combination of their fatigue and the new found warmth and comfort of their onesies.
“Come on dear wife, we can take him!” said the shoemaker.
“I am afraid not Cobbler Balls, Mr Ark has made me a once in a lifetime offer to supervise his Golden Period Shoppe on Illusion Lane so I am with him now. Smeared you good and proper he did, you loon!”
And with that the sinewy Leff Tennent booted the shoemaker out into the cold of the night, slammed the door shut and bolted it.
As he sat on the icy cobbles mulling over his fate the shoemaker heard the slap of a hand on backside and the fruity giggle of Mrs Shoemaker as he heard the dwarves chanting,
“Triangulate! Triangulate! Triangulate!”
The shoemaker sighed and felt the first tear of dejection trickle down his cheek as penury and misery beckoned.
And Mr N Ark, Mr Leff Tennent and Mrs Shoemaker had an enjoyable and fuel filled menage a trois ever after.