The Singing Shoes


Laresa had new shoes. They were not just ordinary new shoes. They were shiny black with gold buckles, but what was special about them was that they made music whenever she walked. “Squeak, squeakity, squeak, squeak,” they sang out wherever she went.

Laresa smiled and sang “La, la-ti-de, la, la,” as she walked down the sidewalk, up the stairs, and into the library.

Miss Page was sitting at the front desk reading. “Quiet, please!” she whispered, peeking over her horn-rimmed glasses.

Laresa had forgotten to be quiet in the library. She stopped singing and tiptoed over to the picture book shelf. But her shoes kept on singing, “Squeak, squeakity, squeak, squeak.”

Miss Page put down her book and stared. Two freckle-faced boys at the reading table stared. A lady in a green hat peeked around the bookshelf.

Laresa smiled. “It’s my new shoes,” she whispered.

Laresa quickly found a book and hurried to the front desk. “Squeak, squeakity, squeak, squeak,” the shoes sang.

“My, my,” Miss Page sighed, still looking over her glasses, “you really must get those shoes fixed. They are just too noisy.”

“Yes, Miss Page,” Laresa answered. But inside she felt sad that Miss Page could only hear the noise and not the music.

Laresa opened the door and left. “Squeak, squeakity, squeak, squeak,” the shoes sang. “La, la-ti-de, la, la,” Laresa sang all the way home.

“Hello, Mother,” she called out as she entered the kitchen.

“Hello, Laresa,” Mother answered.

“Squeak, squeakity, squeak, squeak,” the shoes sang as Laresa walked over to the cookie jar.

“My, but your new shoes certainly are noisy,” Mother said.

“It’s not noise; it’s music. Can’t you hear it?” Laresa walked around in a circle singing along with the music of her shoes.

“Singing shoes!” Mother exclaimed. “Well, well!” And she shook her head.

Laresa smiled. “Aren’t they nice?”

“They certainly are, but I think we’d better get them fixed. They are just a wee bit loud.”

Laresa looked at the shiny black shoes. “Do we have to?” she asked.

“I’m afraid so,” Mother answered. “Musical shoes aren’t very good for church and school.”

“And the library!” Laresa sighed.

“I have to do some errands,” Mother told Laresa. “Come with me now and we’ll stop at the shoe repair shop.”

Soon Laresa and Mother were at the shoe repair shop. Mr. Sole was a fat little man with a happy twinkle in his blue eyes. Mother explained the problem to the shoe repair man.

“Walk over to the mirror, Laresa,” Mr. Sole instructed.

Laresa walked as carefully as she could, but the music still rang out loud, “Squeak, squeakity, squeak, squeak.”

“Oh, my,” Mr. Sole said. “In all my years I’ve never heard a pair of musical shoes!”

Laresa smiled. “Can you hear the music too?”

“Of course. La, la-ti-de, la, la,” Mr. Sole sang.

“Oh, yes! That’s it exactly!” Laresa cried.

“But,” Mr. Sole interrupted, “I know what your mother means. Musical shoes just aren’t wanted in some places.”

Sadly Laresa took off the shoes and gave them to Mr. Sole.

“It will only take a minute,” he said.

And that’s all it took. Soon Mr. Sole was back with the shoes in his hand. “Here,” he said. Then leaning down so that only Laresa could hear, he whispered, “I couldn’t ruin such beautiful shoes. I just made their music a little softer.”

Laresa smiled and Mr. Sole winked back. Mother and Laresa left the shop and walked to the car.

“That’s much better,” Mother said.

Laresa smiled and then she listened carefully. The music was very, very, very soft, but she could hear it whenever she wanted to listen.

“Squeak, squeakity, squeak, squeak,” the singing shoes softly sang all the way to the car. And Laresa happily sang along with them, “La, la-ti-de, la, la.”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Dorothy Wagstaff