It all began with a pair of twelve league boots. I couldnít resist them. The stories say I stole them for a magical purpose, but it was just having them that mattered: wearing them, holding them, stroking them, sniffing them. An apprentice Prince Charming is not supposed to have a shoe fetish, but I canít help myself. Footwear is where itís at for me: the smoothness of the heel, the round or pointyness of the toe, the odour of the gaping opening where you insert your foot, pushing and wriggling as you explore the unseen musty recesses with the soft underside of your toesÖI could go on, but Iím not supposed to. Iím supposed to be in rehab: cure and punishment combined (which offers its own form of reward, but donít tell them that).

After the twelve league boot debacle I tried out for Jack the Giant Killer (the Beanstalk Years), but became so obsessed with the stalk top view of the giantís wonderfully odorous feet bearing down on me that I failed to run away, save the princess or kill the giant. Another total failure.

The powers that be in Fairytale Land sent me off on a quest in search of the Sleeping Beauty. For a while I stayed on the straight and narrow: found the castle in the wilderness, hacked through all that unpleasant bramble, made my way up to the princess, was going to kiss her; did kiss her, but just not on the mouth. She was wearing the cutest pair of leather sky blue kitten heels and I lost it completely. It was the back-up Prince Charming who kissed her on the lips and won both her hand and the kingdom. I would have been content with just her feet, but at least I got to keep the shoes. Beauty wouldnít wear them again once sheíd woken up and seen what I was doing with them.

The next tale they lined up for me was Cinderella. Need I say more? I was in heaven.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different versions of the story: fur slippers, glass slippers, toes cut off, feet crushed or cut off or burned in red hot metal boots? I tried them all as we did re-take after re-take, but all I ever fell in love with were the slippers; sod whiney passive Cinderella. Even the shoes her pug ugly sisters were sporting were a distraction. I could have lived happily ever after in that story, but they wanted the prince to get off with the girl, not her petite foot wear. Another dream dashed.

It was then that the Fairy Godmother turned me into a cat. She said it was for my own good, cats not wearing shoes and all, but I know it was simply out of spite because she caught me pissing in Cinderís second best pair of crystal stilettos.

Iím not sure where the story of the cat was supposed to lead, but I took it and made it my own: Puss in Boots; the one, the only.

Oh, GodÖI can still remember the feel of the leather, the aroma, the suppleness and they were thigh length. Just imagine it!

The story became a classic, but did I get thanked? Was my creativity even acknowledged? No, siree. Oh sure, they kept the story, but they toned down the fetish elements big time, changed the ending and took the credit for themselves. Iíd had my day, but they made damn sure that they hung on to things for posterity and I so loved those boots.

So, whatís an out of work, shoe loving cat to do? I pitched a cat/human reversal and offered to do The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe as a tranny. Heck, Iíd even have had a sex change for that gig, but the powers that be werenít buying it. No way were they willing to turn me back into a two footed, matched pair wearing human and they had severe reservations about most other animal transformations. In the end they came up with a fly: three pairs of feet and not a shoe between them. They saw it as divine retribution and an extended period of enforced abstinence simultaneously. Still, Iíve had the last laugh. Fairytales and nursery rhymes are endlessly adaptable. So hereís me, joyfully buzzing around the smelliest of feet with impunity. Flap your hands and sing that song, but you just canít stop me:

Shoe fly donít bother me,
Shoe fly donít bother me,
Shoe fly donít bother me
These shoes belong to somebody.


# # #

Shoe Fly by J.S. Watts
originally published November 10, 2010



J.S.Watts lives and writes in the U.K . Her poetry, short fiction and book reviews appear in a variety of publications in Britain, Canada, Australia and the States including: The Absent Willow Review, Acumen, Ascent Aspirations, Big Pulp and Polluto and have been broadcast on BBC Radio. Her first poetry collection, “Cats and Other Myths”, is published by Lapwing Publications. It is a collection that finds contemporary relevance in the echoes of myth and legend and the mythic in the day to day world around us. Further details are available at

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