From the earliest of times, the Blacksmith has been the maker of anything steel. This is the tale of the Devil and the Blacksmith.
On a summer day the Blacksmith is tending his fire, getting ready for the day's work. The Blacksmith, a giant of a man with huge arms that effortlessly arc with every swing, was twisting and turning steel red from the heat of his forge. You could hear the ring of his anvil as steel twisted under his hammer.
The sound of the hammering and the ringing of anvil drew the attention of the Devil. On this summer day the Devil, had walked a long ways causing havoc with every step he took. As his journey slowed into the evening twilight, his fork-like feet became sore with his efforts. The blacksmith seemed like the answer to his problems.
I will have him form me a pair of shoes, steel shoes that will protect my fork-like feet, thought the Devil.
“Blacksmith,” says the Devil, “I need your attention, my feet are sore and I need a set of shoes built for me, NOW!”
The Blacksmith, hears the Devil with apprehension and fear, thinking, “I do not want to be known as the one who builds shoes for the devil, but I fear the rage that lies within him.”
So the Blacksmith agrees to build the Devil his shoes.
“Comeback tomorrow and I'll have them ready,” he says, “they will be like no other shoes you've ever seen before, they will be fantastic to see for all to see. Come back tomorrow and they will be ready for you.”
All the night you could hear his mighty blows against the anvil, as the Blacksmith formed the shoes for the devil. Great pride pounded into each swing of the hammer. Nothing less than perfect would leave his shop. All night the hammering went on and on. All night the fear of the Devil, lived inside the Blacksmith’s heart.
Morning came and with morning came the Devil.
“I’m here for the shoes you promised me,” says the Devil, ”now deliver or suffer the consequences and meet your fate.”
Without a stutter or a hesitation, the Blacksmith stepped up.
“I am ready for you Devil, your shoes are here. And as you can see they are nothing like anything else you’ve ever seen.”
The Devil, looks upon the shoes with the pride of gazing upon something new and wondurous.
“I can't wait, put them on now. I want everyone to see me and fear my step.
“Devil,” the Blacksmith says kindly, “would you please place your foot up upon the stand and I will nail each shoe to set it securely on your fork-like feet.”
Now the Devil, is known for wily tricks but this Blacksmith, had one of his own. The Blacksmith, took each shoe and placed it snugly upon the Devil’s foot and started to hammer the nails that hold the shoe against the foot. But he was holding the foot not in the way he would normally do, driving the nails into the horn of the foot. He reversed the nail to drive into the sole of the Devil’s feet. At first the Devil felt no pain, just a bit of soreness from the hammer.
“Now the job is done,” the Blacksmith says.
The Devil, looks upon his feet with pride.
“They are a bit sore,” says the Devil.
“Don't worry,” the Blacksmith replied, “the pain will go away. Just give it a day.” And then he sends the Devil on his way.
A day goes by and the Devil’s pain is great as each nail begins festering inside the horn of the foot. With each step and with each passing day, the Devil cries in pain as the festering deepens, turning his feet black with decay and white with puss.
But thevillagers only laugh at him in his pain. With all of his might the Devil cannot remove the shoes. Despite his efforts, he can’t find relief from the steps that await him. The shoes are firmly attached. Those shoes upon his feet promise pain with each step that awaits.
The Blacksmith, stokes up his fire. His hammer rings against his anvil bringing music to the Valley. The Devil doesn't approach the village, leaving it in peace and happiness. The Devil knows now to fear the Blacksmith.
So if you're ever looking for something to bring you good luck, look at a horseshoe that hangs above the Blacksmith’s shop. Hang it up with the ends at the top, so you don’t let the good luck run out. It is a warning to the Devil that a Blacksmith is about.