The Golden Goose
Once upon a time a mother and father had three sons.
One day the oldest son went into the forest to chop wood. His mother made some delicious sandwiches and a bottle of juice to take with him. As he went into the forest, a little old man said, “Hello, I’d really like a bite of your sandwich and a drop of that tasty-looking juice. I’m so hungry and thirsty, you see.”
But the oldest son said, “No chance! Give you my sandwich and juice? Certainly not, old man, go away.”
The old man wasn’t very happy about this.
Soon, the oldest son started chopping a tree with a big axe. But he was clumsy and the axe came down and cut his leg. He had to go home so his mother could put a plaster on it.
Next, the second son went out to chop wood and his mother gave him some delicious sandwiches and a bottle of juice to take with him.
Along the way he also met the little old man on the path. The old man asked him for something to eat and drink. The second son said, “No, go away, old man, everything you eat means less for me.”
The old man wasn’t very happy.
The second son started chopping away but a fly landed on his nose. The axe slipped out of his hand and landed with a whack on his foot. He yelled and yelled! So, he had to go home to his mother.
The youngest son said, “I can go and chop wood, if you like.” But his father said, “No, no, no, your older brothers both hurt themselves. Stay here because you will make a mess of it.”
But the youngest son said, “But please, I really want to go and I will be careful.”
His father said, “All right then.”
All his mother gave him was some bread crust and a bottle of water.
In the forest, he also met the old man, who said, “I’m very hungry and thirsty.” The youngest son said, “Oh dear, all I’ve got is bread crust and water. But if you want, we could share it.”
The youngest son took out his dry old crust. But he was amazed to see it had turned into a tasty pie! Then he looked and his water had turned into sparkling lemonade!
When they had finished, the old man said, “You have a very kind heart and you shared your lunch. So, I will give you a great present. Look under the roots of that old tree over there and you will find something good.”
Then off went the old man.
The youngest son looked under the roots of the tree and found a hollow. And there in the hollow sat a goose with gold feathers.
He picked up the goose. He was so excited he decided to go to a little hotel to stay the night.
The hotel owner had three daughters and they wondered what this amazing bird could be. The oldest girl said, “I just must have a feather.”
So, she grabbed the goose by the wing. But she was so surprised when her hand stuck to the goose.
Soon, the next sister wanted to have a feather. She touched her sister but her hand stuck to her.
Then the last sister wanted a feather. The others yelled out, “Don’t touch!” She didn’t understand what they meant. The moment she touched her sisters she stuck too.
That night they had to sleep while they were all stuck to the goose and to each other.
The next morning the youngest son went off with the goose under his arm. But he didn’t notice the three girls running after him, whether they wanted to or not.
In the middle of a field, they met a farmer. When he saw them all he said, “Why are you girls running after that boy?”
Then the farmer took the youngest girl by the hand and as soon as he did, he was stuck, too. He had to follow the youngest son, the goose and the girls.
Next, they met two farm workers who were coming from work. They touched the farmer and they got stuck, too!
Now they were all running along after the youngest son and his goose.
Soon they all came to a castle with a crowd outside. The King had a daughter, a princess, who was so serious that nothing ever made her laugh.
The King had said that anyone who made her laugh could be her best friend. When the youngest son heard this, he went to her with the goose that had all the people stuck to each other. It was such a funny sight that she burst into laughter. Every time she saw them, she laughed again.
Then the King said, “Daughter, looks like you have got a new best friend.”
The old man was in the crowd. He winked at the youngest son, clapped his hands and everyone came unstuck from the golden goose.