Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Heel to Toe"

This is today's freebie.  It was inspired by a prompt from moon_fox.

Heel to Toe

The fairy queen's daughter
was born with her feet on backwards,
marked as all the fey were marked
with some difference from mortal kind.

No one thought anything of it
until she grew old enough to walk
but could not learn.
They tried one thing and then another,
but nothing worked.

All the court despaired,
until two brownies said,
"Why not take the princess to our human?
He is very kind, and an accomplished cobbler."

"Will he not give you clothes and drive you away,
if he knows there are fairies about?" asked the queen.
The brownies only laughed.  "He already knows,"
they said.  "He leaves us bread and milk,
and on Sundays, a bit of honey."

So the fairy queen took her daughter
to the cobbler's shop.
The cobbler hummed over her peculiar feet,
and measured them three times
to make sure all his figures were right.
Then he worked out a pattern to support her ankles
while letting the sole flex properly.

The fairy queen waited,
toddler in her lap,
while the special shoes were made.
Then the princess was all laced up
and placed on the smooth wooden floor.

The cobbler held her chubby hands
and guided her through the first few steps
as she learned how to walk, heel to toe,
a little different from everyone else
but well enough to cover the distance.

Then the cobbler turned loose and said,
"Go to mummy!"
and the princess tottered three steps before
toppling forward to catch herself on the queen's skirt.

The fairy queen gave him a gold coin
and promised to return
when the princess needed new shoes.
The cobbler agreed,
and took himself off to bed.

The brownies looked at each other.
"Princess, nothing!" the first exclaimed.
"Once the court ladies see those shoes,
everyone will want a pair for the next ball."
"Yes," the second replied, "we had better
order more leather for our cobbler."
And so they did.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, writing

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