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    Chapter 18

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    Chapter 18
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    NEW SHOES



    The blacksmith patted Twinkleheels and picked up one of his forefeet. Then the blacksmith took a chisel and began to pare away at the horny hoof. Twinkleheels looked over the blacksmith's shoulder. And what he saw gave him a start.

    "Great green grass!" he cried to Ebenezer. "Is he going to cut my foot off?"

    "No, indeed!" Ebenezer answered. "The blacksmith always pares my feet a bit when he fits new shoes. He may have to trim yours a good deal, because you've never worn shoes and your feet have never been pared."

    In spite of his resolve to be on his best behavior, Twinkleheels had been tempted to pull his foot from between the blacksmith's knees. And if Ebenezer hadn't explained that he was in no danger of losing a foot there's no knowing what might have happened. Twinkleheels breathed a sigh of relief; and he made not the slightest trouble for the blacksmith, but waited patiently while his little shoes were being hammered into shape.

    When the blacksmith took the first one that he made and held it by a pair of pincers against Twinkleheels' hoof there was a quick sizzling. And a horrid smoke arose. Twinkleheels snorted with fear.

    "Easy! Easy, boy!" the blacksmith said to him. And old Ebenezer made haste to explain that there was no danger.

    "Won't my foot be burned?" Twinkleheels faltered.

    "Not enough to do any harm," said Ebenezer. "You don't feel any pain, do you?"

    "No!"

    "The shoe's not very hot; and the blacksmith wouldn't hold it against your hoof long enough to harm you," Ebenezer assured him.

    Twinkleheels wriggled his nose.

    "I must say I don't care for this smoke," he remarked.

    "It's no pleasanter for the blacksmith than for you," Ebenezer reminded him. "If I were you I shouldn't complain. Just see what pretty shoes the blacksmith has made for you!"

    "They're the nicest I've ever seen," Twinkleheels said. "After I wear them a while and they get shiny on the bottoms, how they will twinkle in the sunlight when I'm trotting along the road!"

    In a few minutes more the blacksmith had nailed all of Twinkleheels' four shoes to his feet. It seemed to Twinkleheels that he could never wait until Ebenezer was shod. He was in a great hurry to get out on the street and show his new shoes to the people in the village.

    At last Ebenezer too was fitted out with new shoes. As Farmer Green led him out of the shop, and Johnnie Green led Twinkleheels, a queer look came over Twinkleheels' face.

    "My goodness!" he cried. "My feet feel very strange."

    "What's the matter?" Ebenezer asked him. "Surely your new shoes don't hurt you!"

    "No! They don't hurt, exactly," Twinkleheels replied. "But my feet feel terribly heavy. These iron shoes aren't as comfortable to wear as I had expected."

    "You'll soon get used to them," said Ebenezer. "In a short time you won't know you're wearing shoes--unless you happen to lose one."

    Twinkleheels had supposed that when they reached Farmer Green's place everybody that he met would speak about his new shoes. But nobody paid any attention to them. Everybody seemed to stare at Johnnie Green as soon as he jumped out of the buggy.

    "Why are folks looking at Johnnie?" Twinkleheels asked old dog Spot, who had come running up to meet him.

    "Haven't you noticed?" Spot cried. "Didn't you hear anything when Johnnie began to walk on the barn floor?"

    "No!"

    "Well, you're slow to-day," said Spot. "Johnnie Green's wearing some new shoes that his father bought for him in the village. It's queer that you didn't notice them.... Aren't they nice and squeaky?"
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