|The Story of Tack
Author: ProudDyspraxicWriter PM
A poor married couple have to make a heart-breaking decision. The Thief and the Cobbler oneshot.Rated: Fiction K - English - Family/Drama - Tack & Thief - Words: 1,242 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 11 - Published: 11-27-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6510288
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I watched The Thief and the Cobbler (the Matthew Broderick version) a few days ago because of the Nostalgia Critic and instantly fell in love with it, so I wanted to write something for it. This is the best I could come up with at the last minute.
The Story of Tack
Long, long ago before the time of brave Arabian knights and King Nod, in the city of Baghdad, there once lived a man named Papa Tack. He was a good, kind, honest and hardworking man but he was also very poor, as were most men in the city. He worked from dawn until dusk as a spice-seller, but seeing as everyone was already poor, they didn't want to be wasting money on spices to add to their cooking, so Papa Tack barely had the money to bring home to his growing family.
You see, his wife Mama Tack had just given birth to a baby boy whom she called Tack. He was a pale, small, weak thing with large, expressive bright blue eyes and a thin mouth that was always stuffed with a dummy. He was loved dearly, but not like any other baby because Mama and Papa Tack knew that he was special. They feared that they would one day be forced to give him up simply because they didn't have enough food to feed him.
One evening, after Papa Tack had packed up his stall, he walked home feeling absolutely miserable as he dragged his sore and tired feet along the dusty road. He wasn't looking forward to delivering the bad news to his wife. It was going to break her heart and his own heart was already broken. He reached his home and went in through the wooden door. The first thing he saw was his beautiful wife playing with his handsome young son. What a sight that was to see after a tiring uneventful day. He let out an inaudible sigh.
" Hello, darling!" cried Mama cheerily when she noticed him. " Do you know what little Tack did today?" She gave her son a proud smile.
Papa looked inquisitive.
" He climbed the stairs all by himself, made his way into our room and fixed my broken shoe!" she shrieked excitedly, squeezing the baby so tightly that he nearly suffocated.
Papa beamed proudly and patted Tack's head, tousling his stringy strands of hair. The baby pulled away, shaking his head, indicating that he didn't like the affection his parents were showering upon him.
" He seems to have a talent. So, how was work today? Did you sell any spices?" she asked hopefully.
Papa hung his head and heaved a deep, silent sigh of despair, tears forming in his blue eyes as he watched Tack playing on the floor. Mama Tack knew exactly what he was thinking and she gasped in horror, bringing her hand to her mouth.
" You're not suggesting…!"
Reluctantly, he nodded.
" Who will we give him to?"
Papa Tack shrugged his shoulders. After a pause, he stretched his gangly arms and released a big silent yawn. Feeling tearful, Mama Tack wrapped her arms around him and kissed him on the cheek. She scooped the baby up in her arms to take him to bed as it was the last night he would spend with them.
The next morning, the sun shone bright and hot as it always did in Baghdad. The Tacks set out to the busy marketplace, going around to the different stalls to try and convince people to buy their baby.
" Please, ma'am," Mama Tack said to the elderly greengrocer. " We have no food or money and we can no longer take care of our son. Is there any chance you can adopt him?"
" No, no," the greengrocer replied, shaking her head. " He's such a strange-looking thing. He wouldn't be of any use to me."
" Sir, please, please look after my baby. We're desperate. We've no money!" she begged a short, stout man with shifty, mischievous eyes.
In response, he didn't say a word but shook his head and sneaked off before he was caught stealing the Tacks' only gold coin.
As the day turned into night, they still had Tack in their arms and they couldn't help but feel depressed. Mama began to cry and Papa couldn't do a thing to comfort her. As he embraced her tightly in his arms, his gaze slipped to a shop that was still open. It belonged to Dim, the city's most sought out cobbler who was also a family friend, and remembering what she'd told him the previous day, an idea in Papa Tack's mind was brought to live. Pointing towards the shop, he jumped up and down excitedly. Mama looked confused and shot a glance into her son's eyes. Then she realised what her husband was trying to say.
" Dim? Would he be able to…? Do you think?" she said tentatively.
Papa nodded, smiling somewhat sadly. Beckoning to her, he dashed up to the shop door and went inside. Just as he suspected, Dim was cleaning up the room after a long day of fixing and making shoes. Mama cleared her throat to get the cobbler's attention. Startled, Dim whirled around.
" Oh, it's you!" he cried with surprise in his deep, gravelly voice. " What do you want?"
" You know we're poor, you've fixed our shoes many a time without pressuring us to pay. But we've gotten to the point where we are no longer able to take care of our baby properly. He's no trouble at all, he doesn't cry and he can be useful around the house. He shows a talent of fixing shoes, you know," the poor wife explained.
Dim raised his thick, greenish eyebrows and thought deeply. " Shows a talent of fixing shoes, you say?"
" Yes, sir."
" All right. I'll take him in, but only for a few months."
A great big load seemed to have been lifted off of her shoulders. The woman heaved a sigh of relief. " Oh, thank you, Dim. You have no idea how much this means to us."
She handed her precious baby over to the cobbler, when he saw what he looked like for the first time. He gave a cry of surprise when he saw that snow-white skin and those giant blinking blue eyes. But then he smiled and held him. Tickling underneath his chin, Tack wriggled in delight and the mouth behind the dummy formed a smile, making Dim laugh.
" He's a cute little fella, isn't he?"
Mama Tack started to cry again as she planted a warm, loving kiss on the baby's forehead. Papa Tack comforted her as he gazed down his son's face.
" Goodbye, Tack," he uttered finally.
Several months later, Tack grew up into a toddler and Dim taught him many great things about the art of cobbling. But tragedy struck the city. There was an epidemic of a mysterious illness, which countless people caught and died from it. Dim was smart enough to know how to quarantine his house, so he and Tack were safe from catching any disease. But Tack's true parents were not so lucky.
Bad, right? But I just wanted to write something! You know? Anyway, did anyone notice the thief's cameo?