The Merchant and The Shoemaker

There once lived a man,

who was born to make shoes.

It wasn’t something you pick,

or a path that you choose.

His house was quite small,

on a very short street,

and all night and day,

his hammer would beat.

The rest of the town,

thought he was blessed,

his work highly prized,

such was his finesse.

They wore his fine boots,

until they were none,

and about this man,

this here tale is spun.

Now one common day,

a merchant comes upon,

the town and its people,

no map it is on.

He thinks on his luck,

which hasn’t been great,

with strangers and places,

so ill was his fate.

Now he pushes on,

to further his trade,

hoping not to be robbed,

and at least to be paid.

When he enters the town,

and people come out,

he finds them all friendly,

and hope starts to sprout.

They welcome him in,

with offers to dwell,

all keen to see,

what he has to sell.

By the end of the night,

our merchant is grand,

with the choice he had made,

and out things have panned.    

But when he awakes,

he yells to the skies,

“Who dares?!” He screams.

“How could you?!” He cries.

“Someone has stolen!

My favourite pair!”

He shouts through the hall,

and all down the stair.

He charges head forth,

from his gifted room,

his head full of rage,

his heart full of gloom.

The first soul he meets,

the keeper of house,

who’s as old as time,

and small as a mouse.

He points and he shakes,

his nerves and his fist,

and demands to know,

all that is amiss.

Out of breath and of patience,

the merchant just stares,

the feeble old woman,

no concerns for his cares.

Finally her head turns,

she glares at him hard,

“Are you quite done?

You’d think you’d been scarred.

Your shoes are not stolen,

they’re with a dear friend.

A gifted man he is,

and your boots he will mend.”

By this very turn,

our merchant is sunk,

his anger misplaced,

his theory debunk.

He stands quite still,

and offers regret,

she has done him no wrong,

he is now in her debt.

She sighs away,

his misplaced approach,

she will accept his atonement,

and seek no reproach.

Gestures him gone,

down the street and some time,

he will find his “lost” items,

and discover no crime.

He bids her farewell,

with a deep solemn bow,

he will return shortly,

and amend things somehow.

Down the street and some time,

our merchant did go,

his attention was peaked,

his interest did grow.

At who or what kind,

of man would he meet,

down some of his time,

and at the end of the street.

Now the shoemaker’s home,

built with just him in mind,

with his earnings quite meagre,

and his tastes unrefined.

As our merchant approached,

his wasn’t quite sure,

if he’d found the right place,

or a home for the poor.

He stepped to the hearth,

and rapped on the frame,

up jumped the shoemaker,

and with all haste he came.

He swung the door wide,

expecting a friend,

but on sight of a stranger,

his warmth was pretend.

Astute in his dealings,

the merchant did note,

the cobbler’s dry hands,

and the frog in his throat.

He mustered his best,

to put him at ease,

he reached out his arm,

gave the tired hand a squeeze.

He quickly explained,

why he had arrived,

and pointed to his socks,

his feet now deprived.

Then all at once,

our shoemaker saw,

the last piece of the puzzle,

to the small town jigsaw.

He welcomed him in,

and then sat him down,

placed a stool for his feet,

and a beverage to drown.

He showed him his work,

and allowed him to see,

the quality of craft,

and at such a low fee.

The merchant’s mind,

then did quite a turn,

thoughts of great fame,

and money to earn.

The shoemaker’s work,

he knew he could sell,

to the high and the wealthy,

and live out quite well.

So he peddled his thoughts,

holding back on a few,

about the extra funds,

the cobbler would accrue.

There would be a fee,

for the expertise and the charge,

of the merchant’s connections,

and the effort at large.

Our shoemaker was wary,

before agreeing to deal,

he could see the allure,

the offer’s appeal.

Smelling his mark,

the merchant pressed on,

elucidating his bag,

before the moment was gone.

The seed of business,

the merchant did sow,

‘tween a trader of goods,

and who clads your toe.