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The Elves and the Horseshoe Maker

Once upon a time, there was a humble horseshoe maker named Shill and his wife, AJ. They were good, honest, and hardworking ponies who lived in a small village and owned a tiny horseshoe shop, but times grew hard. In fact, they couldn’t sell any horseshoes and over time, they became very poor. Finally, they had enough material to make one final set of horseshoes.

“Is this really all we have left?” AJ asked.

“I’m afraid so, dear.” Shill said, solemnly nodding his head. He held up the leather in his hooves. “These will probably be the last horseshoes I’ll ever make.”

By the time he finished cutting the leather into the proper shapes, it was already late into the night.

“It’s late. Ya’ll can finish them in the mornin’.” His wife said.

So the horseshoe maker and his wife went to bed, leaving the cut out leather on the worktable. But when they woke up the next morning, the two ponies were shocked by what they found. There on the worktable stood four horseshoes, neatly sewn, brightly polished, and not a stitch out of place.

“…But who? HOW?” Shill sputtered; AJ could only stare.

Just then, a rather rich customer entered the little shop. He was a unicorn stallion with a white coat, a blue mane and tail, and three crowns for a cutie mark.

“Pardon me, but those shoes you have are simply exquisite. I must try them on.” He said.

Shill nervously offered the customer the horseshoes and they fit him perfectly; it was as if they were mare just for him.

“They’re perfect! I’ll take them!” He exclaimed as he gave Shill a pouch of gold bits.

Shill used the money he earned to buy food and there was so much left over that he decided to buy some more materials, enough to make two more sets of horseshoes. That night, he cut it out and went to bed early. And in the morning, it happened again. Two more sets of beautifully made horseshoes were found. Customers weren’t lacking and just like before, they were so pleased that they paid double, triple, or even quadruple the price.

As time went by, whatever material Shill cut out in the evening was made into horseshoes and finished by morning. Soon, the news of their little shop spread throughout the town, and Shill and AJ were no longer poor.

One evening, not long before Hearth’s Warming Eve, as Shill cut out more leather for shoes, his wife approached him.

“Shill, this is more astoundin’ than anythin’ I’ve ever seen.” She said. “But I just want to know who’s been makin’ these horseshoes for us? They helped us so much now; I feel we have a right to know who they really are. Aren’t you the least bit curious?”

“Of course I am, AJ.” Shill replied before he thought of something. “Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t we stay up tonight and see who comes to our shop?”

AJ agreed. That very night, they lit a small lamp, hid behind their drapes, and waited. As the clock struck midnight, they heard a window creak open and quick, tiny hoofsteps heading towards Shill’s worktable. AJ and Shill peeked out from behind the curtain and to their surprise, they saw two elves! One was pink with a cotton candy like mane and bright blue eyes and the other was orange with a poofy brown mane and green eyes and they were making new horseshoes from the cut pieces of leather. They sewed, hammered, and polished, happily singing and humming to themselves all the while. Soon, the shoes were finished and the elves scampered off.

The moment they were gone, the two ponies could hardly believe it.

“Those elves were the ones helping us this whole time?” Shill asked in disbelief.

“Apparently so.” AJ replied. “They made us rich and did so many things for us, we oughta do something for them in return.”

“Like what?”

“Hmmm… Oh, I know! We could make them new clothes! Did you see the rags they were wearing? The poor little sugarcubes must be freezin’.”

“New clothes, huh? Let’s do it!”

The next day, Shill and AJ set to work. AJ tried her best to sew new clothes and Shill made them new sturdy shoes of their own. That night, instead of laying out leather, they laid out the gifts, hid behind the curtain and waited. At midnight, the elves slipped into the shop ready for another night’s work. But instead of finding leather or anything of the sort, they found the beautiful gifts.

At first, they were too astonished to move. Then they looked at each other and quickly put on their new clothes and shoes. When they were dressed, the elves leaped and bounced around the room in joy. They jumped over chairs, raced around the shop, and finally ran out the door. The click and clack of their new horse shoes echoed through the streets.

From that day on, the elves didn’t return and were never seen again. But the horseshoe maker and his wife still prospered and they lived happily ever after.