Posted by: nancyisanders | July 5, 2016

The Parable of the Shoemaker: Part 3

A parable about writing…
In Part 1 and 2 of the story, the shoemaker finished making her very first pair of shoes. All her friends agreed they were perfect! She decided to market the shoes and sell them, but all she got were rejections. Until one day, she met a new friend…

Part 3
The shoemaker was so excited to meet her new friend. This friend had made many, many shoes. In fact, this friend had sold a pair of shoes to the very first place the shoemaker had sent the little blue jogging shoes. “Why did they buy your shoes and not mine?” the shoemaker asked her new friend. The shoemaker showed her friend the little blue jogging shoes. “Can you tell me how I need to improve the shoes to have that place buy my shoes, too?”

The friend looked at the little blue jogging shoes and agreed that they were perfect. But then the friend invited the shoemaker to go online and visit the website of the place who had sent her the very first rejection.

When she looked at the website, the shoemaker discovered to her surprise that everyone at that place only wore cowboy boots. “You see,” her new friend explained, “it wasn’t that your blue jogging shoes were poorly made, it’s just that they weren’t the right fit for this place. Everyone here only wears cowboy boots. So they only buy cowboy boots. They don’t ever buy blue jogging shoes and probably never will.”

The shoemaker went right home and designed a beautiful, brand new pair of cowboy boots. She studied her books and learned how to make the very best cowboy boots. Soon the boots were finished! So she sent the boots to the very first place where she had first sent her little blue jogging shoes. As soon as they were in the mail, she started making another pair of cowboy boots.

One day, however, she went to hear mailbox. There were two items in her mailbox. One was the pair of cowboy boots, with a note attached to it. The note was a form note, just like the first. Once again it said, “Thanks, but not quite the right fit.”

The second item in the mailbox was a magazine about how to make shoes. The shoemaker was so disappointed that her cowboy boots were rejected. She didn’t feel like working on any more shoes that day, so she sat down and read her magazine. Lo and behold, one of the owners of the place who just rejected her cowboy boots was interviewed in that very issue!

The shoemaker read the interview. In the interview, the owner said, “My family and I own this business. We always wear cowboy boots because we like them the best. I wear a size 7 cowboy boot. My husband wears a size 15, and we have twin daughters who wear a size 4. We’re always on the lookout to purchase a brand new pair of cowboy boots for each of us to wear. If you have a pair for us to look at, please e-mail me about it.”

The shoemaker looked at the cowboy boots she had just gotten rejected and returned in the mail. They were a size 9. Suddenly, it dawned on her—no wonder they were rejected! Even though they were cowboy boots, they weren’t quite the right fit for anyone at that place to wear!

It was as if the shoemaker’s eyes were suddenly opened. She went online and looked at the website again—yes, they all wore cowboy boots and yes, each one of them wore a different size…suddenly a light dawned on in her head.

Come back tomorrow for the last and final episode–Part 4 of the Shoemaker!


  1. Your parable is such a cute and effective way to show us the truth behind many of the rejections we receive. Thank you, Nancy!

    • You’re welcome, Kathleen! So glad you enjoyed this.

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