178 THE INDUSTRIOUS MANNIKINS.
which he had cut out, and set to work so nimbly, stitching, sewing, and hammering with such swiftness, that the shoemaker became quite bewildered, although he could not take his eyes off them. They did not stop work for a moment till all the shoes were completed and placed on the table; then they skipped off the table and vanished.
The next morning the wife said to her husband, " These little men have made us so rich, that we ought to do something fol them in return for their kindness. I will tell you what I have thought of. I am sure they must be almost frozen, running about naked, as they do. So I mean to make them little shirts, trousers, waistcoats, and coats; and if you will get a pair of little shoes ready for each of them, I will knit some stockings, and then these good little men will be comfortably clothed from head to foot"
" I shall only be too glad to help you," said the husband.
So they set to work busily, and in a very few days the clothes were quite ready. In the evening, instead of cutting out any more shoes, the man"and woman laid out their gifts on the table in the workshop, and hid themselves, as before, in a corner, to see what the little men would do. At midnight they came bounding in, and jumped on the table, expecting to see the leather cut out for them to begin work. But nothing was to be seen excepting these beautiful little clothes. At first they were much surprised, but as soon as they understood that the shirts, and stockings, and coats were for themselves, they began to dress themselves in eager haste, and were so delighted that they danced and jumped about the room, over stools and chairs, singing,
"Happy little men are we, Smardy dressed, as you can see, No more shoemakers to be."
And at last danced out of the room through the door, and never came back to work any more.
But after this, the shoemaker, who had been kind to those who nelped him, prospered in everything he did, and neither he nor his vrife ever wanted money again as long as they lived.