Image: John Bauer
McIntyre had seven daughters which meant seven brides which meant seven weddings. It was overwhelming the thought of them, the cost, the courting, the men seeking approval, the potential arguments with daughters wanting to marry some man he didn’t approve of and some daughters refusing to marry the men he did approve of.
McIntyre thought there had to be an easier way. In the distant Kingdom of Tootletoot the annual marriage festival was looming and he had heard that women who presented to the festival were assured of finding a compatible suitor and upon being selected the male suitor was then responsible for the wedding and the care of his new bride.
McIntyre saw this as an ideal opportunity to offload his daughters onto someone else. By trade he was a cobbler and the demand within the community was great enough but with his seven daughters constantly wanting new shoes he saw this an another worthwhile business venture. Fourteen less feet to shoe, seven less mouths to feed and seven less highly strung demanding daughters to deal with.
He enlisted the help of John the long haired horseman to take his daughters on a journey to the market place in Cute. He was able to deceive his daughters into going as he knew they all fancied John the horseman and his daughters thought of the market at Cute as the place to be.
He bid them all goodbye as they hurried to find a place on the back of John’s giant steed Gallop. Gallop was a mighty horse, some seventeen hands tall and easily carried the dainty seven daughters even with John carrying the smallest of the girls, Tulip, on his shoulder.
McIntyre was paying him a large sum of money to convey the girls to the marriage market. Once inside the gates of Tootletoot they would quickly learn of their fate and it would be a whole new life for them and a new life for himself.
McIntyre sang to himself as he went about his day. His life was changing. He could now devote his time to cobbling for paying customers.
At day’s end there was a noise outside his shop. There was John the horseman. There also were his seven daughters. Each daughter was smiling. Each daughter had found a husband.
Each daughter had returned home to share her success with her father.
McIntyre looked at John who had his hand out wanting his payment. McIntyre was fuming. He reminded John of their deal. John stated he had carried out their deal. He had taken to girls to the festival. Each had found a husband. There was nothing in their deal about not bringing them all back.
He was suddenly aware of each daughter talking excitedly about seven weddings.
McIntyre feeling crestfallen thought of twenty-eight wedding shoes.