The Red Ballet Shoes

Sad Orphan

Poor, poor Karen sat and cried,

She had been left alone in the world her poor mother had died.

Don’t you cry, said the rich lady. I’ll care for you my child

You will not want for anything she said and   smiled..

So from a humble beginnings  Karen grew to expect the best,

The finest toys and clothes, this young fared better  than  the rest.

As the years went by the rich lady made sure she was schooled well she was an uncommon beauty, she stood out in a crowd,

Lovely to look at  but she had a cold heart and she was very proud.

One day Karen was out with her benefactor

They past a special shop frequented mostly by dancers and actors.

She spied some red ballet shoes the like she’d never seen,

Oh! she thought if only she had them she could be a queen

The  Old  lady  was wrapped around her finger she soon had the red shoes in her hands.

She could not wait to put them on she knew the like of them could not be matched in many lands.

Karen wore the shoes to school, she wore them out to play.

She shocked the whole town as she wore them to church every Sunday.

People tutted in corners they tutted behind their hands

She should not wear red shoes to church, God would not for the ‘vain glorious’ stand.

The old lady begged Karen to take care

To behave and to church not the red shoes wear.

Karen new that everyone adored her shoes

She knew that she was beautiful and that they adored her too??

The rich lady begged her to listen but Karen left her words unheeded.

Very soon the old lady became ill and Karen’s love and care she needed.

The  the old lady asked  Karen to look after  her but Karen  would not listen

She  went to the  May Day Party,looking ravishing lips red as her shoes and eyes of blue that glisten.

A stranger who could dance

All eyes upon her as she entered, Karen was delighted

She scanned the room and  on a handsome stranger her eyes alighted.

He strode across the room and very soon they were dancing

She loved the way he made her feet fly he was so fleet he had them prancing.

The evening flew by she never left his arms

Their eyes  locked she surrendered to his charms.

Then all at once he was gone and she was left bereft an uneasy

Feeling in her soul about something strange he had said.

“Oh! what wonderful ballet shoes” were the words that he had uttered to her shoes

As they danced. Just before he left he had bent down and tapped her shoes and whispered

“stick fast as you dance”

As he left, her feet took a ballet stance and from then she could stop herself she began to dance.

She dance around the other couples covering every inch of the floor

She danced up and down the hall and then out of the door.

She danced down the high street and through the grave yard cold

Where her darling mother lay in her coffin old.

She danced around the parsons house and on the village green

Fear grip her as she realized she could not stop and she began to scream!

She danced home to the old lady who on her death bed lay,

“Oh! Karen dear I begged you not to leave me I begged of you to stay”

Sadly her apologies went unheard as the dear old lady slipped away.

Karen tried sitting she tried laying on the floor

But her feet would not stop dancing and soon they danced her out the door.

They danced her through the day and they danced her through the night.

All failed that tried to remove the shoes they were certainly stuck on tight.

She missed the rich lady’s funeral and that truly pained her so

But her feet would not stop dancing and with them she had to go.

They carried her asleep, they carried her awake.

Through hedges and through houses, churches and mountain slope,

Across valleys and rivers she was desperate and lost all hope.

One night she came upon a cottage of a wood cutter and his wife

She begged him so to chop off her feet and she would repay them all her life.

At first the wood cutter did not want to comply with her will

But his wife could see the poor girl’s state she looked so tired and ill.

her severed feet

They gave her a strong drink then the wood cutter chopped off her feet,

The shoes jumped up and danced still as if they were still living  feet.

They bound her stumps and soothed her till sleep came to claim

Her as her shoes and feet danced out the door.

Karen was true to her word she staid and help the wood cutters wife

She was no longer proud or vain she prayed  and lived a righteous life.

The wood cutter and his wife began to love Karen and she began to love them to.

As a token of thanks the wood cutter made her wooden feet with shoes,

He also made her crutches to help her get around,

She was very grateful as her shoes and feet had gone no where to be found.

Having missed her benefactor’s funeral Karen decided she wanted to go to church and pray,

To say good bye to her dear friend but the same thing happened every day!

As soon as she approached the church the red shoes and her feet blocked the way.

Each day she returned in tears the wife would comfort her,

She knew the poor girl had such a lot to bare.

One day while sitting praying an angel came her way

He lifted her up in his arms and gently carried her away.

In the arms of the angel

He took her to the church , he commanded her shoes to go away,

He gentle put her in a pew and left her there to pray.

She prayed for her forgiveness, she prayed for her benefactors soul

She prayed for her poor mother she prayed to be made whole.

The angel smiled and told her some things are not to be asked for

Just then she saw her mother and the old lady standing at the door.

Before she realized it she was up and running to their side

She was so very happy her heart was bursting from the inside.

The angel, her mother and the old lady too,

Ascended up to heaven. Karen was delighted to be reunited with ones she loved and her feet    … minus her shoes.

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