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Fairytale Tarot (MRP) -- Eight of Coins

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Join Date: 01 Oct 2007
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Fairytale Tarot (MRP) -- Eight of Coins

The Eight of Coins is illustrated by the story of the Shoemaker and the Elves: A poor shoemaker, down on his luck, cut out the leather for one last pair of shoes before going to bed. To his delight, when he awoke the next morning, the shoes had been assembled, and so finely that with the sale of the shoes he could buy leather for two more pairs. This continued until the shoemaker and his wife became prosperous.

One night, the shoemaker's wife became curious and watched in the shop. Two ragged little elves were making the shoes! The image on the card shows the little elves at work as the shoemaker and his wife watch in delight. There are also many fine shoes on the card, which pleases me as a lover of shoes.

Because it was near Christmas, the wife made the elves little clothes the next day and left them out instead of the leather. The elves were very pleased, but decided that with such fine clothing they didn't need to work, and went away never to return. But the shoemaker and his wife were so prosperous and so skilled that they lived happily ever after. A longer version of this tale is here. This story reminds me of the Beatrix Potter story The Tailor of Gloucester that I loved as a little girl, although that story uses a tailor and darling mice, and the tailor has much more of a relationship (!) with the mice. (Some images from the story here.

This card signifies skill on many levels: the skill of the shoemaker, the skill of the elves, the skill of the wife. The shoemaker works for pay, the elves for the sheer pleasure of the work, the wife out of gratitude. Everyone wins on this card.

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