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A Christmas Tale

Stop reading blogs - go and read my favourite Christmas tale instead!

The Tailor of Gloucester
By Beatrix Potter

In the time of swords and peri wigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets--when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta--there lived a tailor in Gloucester.

He sat in the window of a little shop in Westgate Street, cross-legged on a table from morning till dark.
All day long while the light lasted he sewed and snippetted, piecing out his satin, and pompadour, and lutestring; stuffs had strange names, and were very expensive in the days of the Tailor of Gloucester.

But although he sewed fine silk for his neighbours, he himself was very, very poor. He cut his coats without waste; according to his embroidered cloth, they were very small ends and snippets that lay about upon the table--"Too narrow breadths for nought--except waistcoats for mice," said the tailor.

One bitter cold day near Christmastime the tailor began to make a coat (a coat of cherry- coloured corded silk embroidered with pansies and roses) and a cream- coloured satin waistcoat for the Mayor of Gloucester.



I dunno, it was a bit... Christmassy for my liking. It could have done with a bit more violence - maybe if the tailor had gone berserk and sewn up the lips of a few carol singers or strung up the Mayor from a lamp post - something cheerful like that. You'd think with a cat and some mice involved there'd be at least some action.

Still, at least it wasn't that other story that people always tell at this time of year - you know, the one about the harmless old geezer who's good at business and very frugally saves all his pennies, until a gang of supernatural beings who don't happen to approve of his lifestyle start terrorising him in the middle of the night, showing him visions until he's totally brainwashed and ends up giving all his money away. That always depresses me.

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