The best thing about these sneakers is that they can take you to any part of the world you want to go to. All you need to do is put them on, walk up the wall, and when you reach the top simply jump and shout out a destination of your choice. And voila! That is where you will be before your feet hit the ground.
The tricky bit is not the walking-up-the-wall manoeuvre. That can be mastered with practice. The most difficult bit is getting your feet into the sneakers, or that is what we thought at first.
Because when One pulled them on, they seemed to fit his feet very well at first. But when he stood up and walked, the shoes began to shrink. A few steps and he gave the shoes a yank, screaming "Ow, ow, ow!"
When Two tried on the shoes, they grew larger and larger and he said "I bet I could fit both feet in one shoe" and he tried to but when he bent to lace it up, the shoelace wound itself around his wrists and kept them tightly bound until he kicked off the shoe, screaming "Ow, ow, ow!"
And we began to think the shoes were really mean and not worth trifling with. We made up our minds to return them to their previous owner, the old man at the edge of the woods, who had sold it to us in exchange for a nickel from One, a silver coin from Two, and a gold coin from Three.
But Three said he too wanted to try on the shoes, and so he did, and the shoes fit him perfectly like the glass slipper on Cinderella's foot. He laced them up, got up to his feet hesitantly, his feet snug in the shoes, which showed no sign of alteration. He gave them a moment, then smug in the knowledge they wouldn't trip him up, he ran towards the wall and with a hoop and a cry scrambled up the wall.
He was going to the city, he had made up his mind, the city of neon lights and mascaraed girls. But when he reached the top of the wall, he blindly stepped on a patch of slippery moss and lost his footing. "Merde," he screamed, arms and legs flailing in mid-air, and landed predictably in a pile of dung.
We went to the edge of the woods to return the sneakers to the old man. When he heard our tale, it humoured him no end. "The tricky bit is not putting them sneakers on," he cackled. "It is keeping your eyes on where you're headed."