The Golden Goose

Authored by:Brothers Grimm
Chapter 1 / 2

Section 1

Once there was a man with three sons, and the youngest, called the Simpleton, was constantly mocked and mistreated. One day, the eldest son expressed his desire to venture into the forest to chop wood. Prior to his departure, his mother gave him a tasty pancake and a flask of wine to ensure he wouldn't experience hunger or thirst during his trip. While in the forest, the eldest son encountered a small, elderly, grey man who greeted him and asked, "Please give me a piece of cake from your pocket and a sip of your wine. I'm feeling very hungry and thirsty."

However, the wise son responded to the old man's request by saying, "You want me to give you my cake and wine? I don't have any. Please go away."After refusing the old man's request, the son left the little man standing there and continued on his way. The son then proceeded to chop down a tree, but he hadn't been at it for long before he made a mistake and the hatchet hit his arm, forcing him to go home and have it bandaged. This was the consequence of his encounter with the little grey man.

Later, the second son ventured into the forest, and just like his elder brother, his mother provided him with a pancake and a flask of wine. The small elderly man also encountered him and requested some cake and wine to drink. The second son spoke candidly and directly, stating, "If I give you something, I will no longer have it for myself, so you should depart."After leaving the little man standing in that place, the person being referred to departed. However, the consequences of his actions followed shortly after. While he was cutting the tree, he accidentally struck his leg with the axe so severely that he had to be carried back home.

The Simpleton then spoke and said, "Father, please allow me to go into the forest just this once to cut wood." The father responded, "Your brothers have injured themselves from doing so. It's best if you give up on the idea since you don't have any knowledge about it." However, the Simpleton persisted in begging for so long that the father finally gave in and said, "Fine, go ahead and leave. You will only gain knowledge through experience."The mother provided him with a cake that was baked only with water and cooked in the ashes, along with a flask of sour beer. Upon entering the forest, the little old grey man approached him and greeted him. The little man then asked, "Please give me a piece of your cake and a sip from your flask. I am very hungry and thirsty." The Simpleton responded by saying, "All I have is a simple cake made of flour and water and sour beer. However, if that's suitable for you, let's sit down together and share the food." They then sat down together, and as the Simpleton took out his flour and water cake, it magically transformed into a delicious pancake, while the sour beer turned into a fine wine. They ate and drank to their satisfaction. Afterward, the little man said to the Simpleton, "Because you have such a generous heart and readily share what you have, I will bless you with good fortune. There is an old tree standing over there; cut it down, and you will find something valuable at its roots." With that, the little man left. The Simpleton went to the tree and started chopping it down. When the tree fell, he discovered a goose sitting among its roots, with feathers made entirely of pure gold. He picked up the goose and carried it with him to an inn, where he planned to spend the night. The innkeeper had three daughters who, upon seeing the golden goose, became very curious about the bird and soon became obsessed with obtaining one of its golden feathers. The eldest daughter thought to herself, "I'll wait for a good opportunity and then pluck out one of its feathers for myself." So, when the Simpleton was out of sight, she grabbed the goose by its wing, but her finger and hand became stuck and she couldn't let go. Later, the second daughter had the same idea and attempted to pluck out one of the golden feathers for herself. However, as soon as she touched her sister, she also became stuck and couldn't move. Finally, the third daughter came with the same intentions, but her sisters screamed at her to stay away. However, she thought, "If they can do it, why can't I?" and approached them. When she reached her sisters, she too became stuck, and they were all trapped together for the rest of the night.


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