No More Twist!
Just like the old fairy tale of ‘the elves and the shoemaker’, the Tailor of Gloucester is helped by some grateful friends. He is trying to finish a very important outfit for the Mayor of Gloucester in time for Christmas Day and, although he cuts the cloth, he is too tired and ill to finish the task.
When the tailor goes home he saves some little mice from his cat, Simpkin (to the cat’s horror!). The tailor tosses and turns in his sickbed for three days and nights, but when he enters his shop again he finds the Mayor’s fine, cherry red coat, beautifully finished by the thankful mice.
Beatrix Potter’s version of the tale is inspired by the real story of John Pritchard, whose staff completed a suit for the Mayor of Gloucester overnight. The tailor, however, said that he returned to his shop and found that fairies had finished the work. Beatrix heard the story on a visit to Gloucestershire, and created her own version, which she gave in letter format to Freda Moore, the daughter of her childhood governess.
‘MY DEAR FREDA,
Because you are fond of fairy-tales, and have been ill, I have made you a story all for yourself—a new one that nobody has read before. And the queerest thing about it is—that I heard it in Gloucestershire, and that it is true—at least about the tailor, the waistcoat, and the "No more twist!"