Roddy's Ramblings

Thoughts and tales; some of them may even be true.

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Location: Australia

Hopefully whatever there is to know about me will come through whatever is written below - whatever that may bring...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Tale... The Elves and the Shoemaker

A Corporate Warning

Once upon a time there lived a shoemaker and his wife. They had fallen upon hard times and his stocks had fallen to the last items he needed to make his last pair of shoes. He laid out the items for the next morning before retiring to bed.

In the morning he found the leather made into the most exquisite shoes he had ever seen. His wife chattered excitedly, but the shoemaker knew better.

"You silly woman," he said, "this is terrible."

"But, why?" she asked.

"I have no market for these shoes." He shook his head sadly at his wife. "I cannot sell them in this part of town at their market value as no-one will be able to afford them. If I reduce the price to the market rate for the poor quarter then they would be too suspicious to buy. And although these shoes are pretty, they won’t have the expected life expectancy for a peasant’s requirements."

"But they’re a miracle..." his wife interrupted.

"And," he continued, "the upper town folk buy their fayre from the stalls of the market and would not buy a pair of such shoes from an old man from the poor quarter thinking I could only have stolen them...."

I need to think of a strategy for the selling of upmarket shoes, thought the shoemaker. He decided he needed someone who specialised in the upper town business methodologies and proceeded to a shoe consultancy. The man with whom he parlayed was very jolly and convivial and advised him to take the shoes to a wholesaler who could take the shoes at a reduced price to the market. The consultant also advised him that his fee would be a share of the remainder of the profits given to the shoemaker and the profits of the next subsequent pairs of shoes, in a jovial and well-mannered fashion. The shoemaker merrily signed the pretty document and thanked the consultant.

The shoemaker returned home and excitedly told his wife of the day’s events and she explained to him exactly what she thought of the dealings he had done and of the jolly and convivial consultant. Undeterred by his wife’s comments on his intellect he still had enough left to buy leather for two pairs of shoes. Following his newly conceived shoe-making process, he laid out the newly bought stock items on his workbench then went to bed.

In the morning, to his delight, there was two pairs of exquisite shoes on the workbench. His planned shoe schedule was culminating delightfully. The days continued onwards with the shoemaker making a gradual increase in his profits until he could afford his own stall. Unfortunately the agreement he had signed under the wholesaler disallowed this action.

Once the shoemaker had enough of a comfortable profit margin to enable risk-taking, he and his wife hid behind the curtains one night after preparing his part of the shoemaking process. Much to his surprise, at the stroke of midnight two tiny, naked elves ran in to the shoemaker’s workshop and proceeded to make the required thirty two pairs of shoes. The worked merrily until dawn (rushing the last six pairs, thought the shoemaker) then they danced out, slowly.

Feeling indebted to the elves, but reminding himself that he had provided a rent-free environment for them, he asked his wife to make them some clothes as the start of an Employee Care scheme.

When the night came, the elves saw the clothes and danced excitedly before putting them on. They laughed and danced in their new clothes then ran out into the night, never to be seen again.

"Bloody typical," said the shoemaker, looking at the unmade leather.

With the drop in output from that day forward, the shoemaker was found in breach of his contract with the wholesaler and was taken to court. When he told the judge of his shoemaking process and of the elves, they took him and locked him away forever in the dark town tower.

After giving a statement of his history of mental instability, his wife lived happily ever after making doll clothes.


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