|“||Bye bye doggie.||”|
— The Shoemaker's last noted words, Poison for Breakfast
The Shoemaker was an older woman who was a friend of Lemony Snicket.
The shoemaker was not always a shoemaker, but was always good with her hands, and good at building and fixing things with spare materials. She is mentioned to have always liked dogs.
It is said that she lived for a while in a horrible prison camp, imprisoned with her sister. In hopes of keeping their minds off of things, they would walk the grounds and pretend to be rich people at a fancy hotel, complaining about trivial matters instead of deadly ones. (It is also said that she spent some time when she was young walking a terrible landscape, without a book in sight, only imagining wonderful things- whether this is the prison camp or a different instance is unknown.)
The guards took notice of her repairwork and inventions, and ordered her to fix their shoes; thus, she was forced to become a shoemaker; she always referred to herself as such afterwards, "with a smile that was sad about her past and grateful it was over." Her sister would die of starvation in the camp.
She met Lemony Snicket when he was a child, as he was an acquaintance of one of her customers. She liked to take him out to dinner, but believed that the only way to know if someone was full is if they left food on their plate, while Snicket had been raised to eat everything off the plate, so she would constantly order him more food despite him being full.
She reminded Snicket that in any circumstance, one can use literature and imagination to change their view or memory of a circumstance. It seems that soon after that, she began to die; Snicket recalls sitting by her bedside and reminding her of their dinners, which caused her to smile. While she didn't speak much during this, when another acquaintance brought their dog, she said "Bye bye doggie" in hopes that it would leave. She died a few days later.
Poison for Breakfast is dedicated to her.
- Poison for Breakfast, Chapter One, page 6: "It is one of the many thrilling tricks of literature, but recently a shoemaker of my acquaintance reminded me that it can happen anytime, in any circumstances whatsoever." Since this is said to be recent, and the shoemaker is dead, it can be ascertained that her death was shortly before the events of the book.
- PROSE: Poison for Breakfast