by Elena Kingstone
Once upon a time in a land far away, there was a little shoe shop where weird and magical things happened. That little shop was called the Snow Shoe Shop. The magical thing was that at night all the shoes came to life. The weird part was that they held a Shoe Olympics!
It happened every four nights, with two nights of preparation and one rest night in between. There were different events and medals for the winners, made out of the coloured sellotape the shopkeeper used to close his shoe boxes.
The shoes were divided into three tribes. Fancy shoes, like delicate sandals and glittery high-heels, always won the gold sellotape for being the best-looking shoes. Grippy outdoor shoes and sturdy snow boots were bold and determined. The third tribe was sports shoes. They were bouncy and cheeky - with no laces (so they wouldn't trip up) - and won all the running races. Obviously.
In each group, the oldest pair of shoes was called the tribe leader. Tribe leaders were very competitive and told the younger shoes they must be better than the others and show off when they won. But secretly, the youngest shoes from all the groups wished they could just play together.
Three shoes got on particularly well, even though they were from different tribes. They were called Muck, Heidi and Tracey. Can you guess who was from which tribe? Muck was a Wellington boot who, like his name, enjoyed getting mucky. Heidi the high-heel was raspberry ice cream pink, and never wanted to get dirty. Tracey was a blue trainer with golden stars, who enjoyed chatting and making friends.
The day before the Shoe Olympic finals, catastrophe struck! A man and woman and their teenage daughter each bought a pair of shoes, but what they didn't know was that they had chosen the three tribe leaders. That night, when the shoes woke up, they searched everywhere for their leaders but a wise wellie announced that he thought they had been bought.
What a shock! All the elder shoes were panicking. They couldn't have the Olympics without the tribe leaders motivating them. The younger ones smiled and started getting giggly because they could see that now things could be different.
"We don't have to compete all the time," said Muck. "What about having fun instead?" The elder shoes moved forward and nodded silently. They agreed that the only thing that had been stopping them getting along was the tribe leaders. So with that, it was decided they would still hold the Shoe Olympics but not boast if they won. And afterwards, they would have the biggest party of their lives.
Later on, the family that had bought the tribe leaders walked past the window hoping to thank the shopkeeper for the shoes. Imagine their surprise when the tribe leaders saw the other shoes, with their sellotape medals, disco dancing together.
"OMG!" shouted the tribe leaders.
"Did you know that shoes could talk?" the girl asked her parents.