THERE WAS ONCE A SHOEMAKER who thought really high of himself and his talent in making shoes for the Prince. So great was his pride, that he attributed magical properties to the shoes he made, marketing them with big words far greater than their true worth. The Prince recognized his talent, yet thought low of him as he realized his main goal was to make money.
So one day, and after taking advice from his counsellors, he thought of putting him on a trial. He visited him in his workshop and asked him to make a pair of shoes so comfortable that he could fly wearing them. To persuade him even about his intentions, he promised three big sacks of gold as a reward. The shoemaker didn’t hesitate the slightest: he accepted the King’s offer and started making the shoes.
The days would pass and the shoemaker wouldn’t stop working, never to open his shop’s windows. The peasant found it weird at first, although soon enough a rumor spread that he was working on the Prince’s new shoes and the felt it must have been so valuable a piece of work that nothing should distract him. When after a few days the shoemaker opened the windows again, a pair of shining boots with wings could be seen on his workbench.
Locked within the four walls of his workshop, he wore the boots and tried to make strides with them. So great was his enthusiasm, however, that it seemed to him as if he was flying. When he felt ready, he presented himself in front of the Prince to ask for his reward.
The Prince however asked him to demonstrate the powers of his new shoes. Full of pride, the shoemaker asked to take him to the highest tower in the Castle. A huge crowd of curious peasant gathered down below to see the shoemaker fly.
He then wore the winged shoes and much to everyone’s amazement, dived in the open space thinking he would fly. Instead of flying, however, he simply… fell from the tall tower, fortunately landing on a wagon filled with straw. And so, he saved himself.
The peasants and the Prince burst into laughter with his lesson. He, on the other hand, got so scared that from that point on always watched his words and never promised the unachievable again.