The Red Shoes
There was once a very poor girl. Her parents were both dead and she’d been forced to beg barefoot on the street. One day the cobbler’s wife took pity on the girl and gave her a pair of red shoes. At least now she wouldn’t have to beg in bare feet...
One cold day the girl was standing on the village square in her red shoes when a coach passed by. The woman in the coach felt so sorry for the girl, she took her home with her. The girl was given nice food to eat, a warm bed and was told that she could stay with the woman as long as she liked. The girl danced with happiness. She loved her new life so much and liked nothing better than to dance with herself in front of the mirror. Her shoes soon became worn from all this. “Go and buy some new shoes,” said the sweet old lady. “But make sure they’re smart shoes.” The girl didn’t listen. Instead of smart shoes that she could wear to school or church, she bought red shoes again for dancing.
One day the sweet old lady became sick, right on the day that there was due to be a big celebration in the village. The girl had been looking forward to dancing in the village. She waited until the sick old lady was asleep and crept out of the house in her red shoes. She danced and danced until the clock struck midnight. “Oh no, I’d better go home,” thought the girl. “The sweet old lady is probably still ill.” But however much she tried, she couldn’t go home. The shoes stuck to her feet and wouldn’t stop dancing... The girl kept dancing all across the country. Would the shoes ever lead her home again?