At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

THE TAILOR OF GLOUCESTER

You may be familiar with the fairytale The Elves and the Shoemaker in which the shoemaker finds elves have been making shoes for him during the night.  Each morning he would come downstairs and find shoes made.

A similar story was written by the authoress Beatrix Potter (1866-1923) called The Tailor of Gloucester first printed in 1902.  In this, the tailor came downstairs one morning to find a waistcoat (=vest in American usage) which he had left uncompleted mysteriously finished.  The implication was that elves had been at work.

Miss Potter wrote that the story was absolutely true.  Was this an incident of elves or fairies intervening?

The tailor whose shop it was bore the name of John Samuel Pritchard and he was only too pleased to use the publicity he had accrued from the story.  Some years later, the explanation came out.

Pritchard had two assistants.  One night they were somewhat inebriated and decided that the walk home would be too arduous for them.  They therefore entered the tailor's shop (one of them had a key) and slept there all night.

Next morning they completed the waistcoat before leaving.  Not an elf, as far as we know, had set foot in the shop.


Beatrix Potter

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