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THE GOLDEN GOOSE

from More Jataka Tales





Once upon a time there was a Goose who had beautiful golden feathers.
Not far away from this Goose lived a poor, a very poor woman, who had
two daughters. The Goose saw that they had a hard time to get along
and said he to himself:

"If I give them one after another of my golden feathers, the mother
can sell them, and with the money they bring she and her daughters can
then live in comfort."

So away the Goose flew to the poor woman's house.

Seeing the Goose, the woman said: "Why do you come here? We have
nothing to give you."

"But I have something to give you," said the Goose. "I will give my
feathers, one by one, and you can sell them for enough so that you and
your daughters can live in comfort."

So saying the Goose gave her one of his feathers, and then flew away.
From time to time he came back, each time leaving another feather.

The mother and her daughters sold the beautiful feathers for enough
money to keep them in comfort. But one day the mother said to her
daughters: "Let us not trust this Goose. Some day he may fly away and
never come back. Then we should be poor again. Let us get all of his
feathers the very next time he comes."



The daughters said: "This will hurt the Goose. We will not do such a
thing."

But the mother was greedy. The next time the Golden Goose came she
took hold of him with both hands, and pulled out every one of his
feathers.

Now the Golden Goose has strange feathers. If his feathers are plucked
out against his wish, they no longer remain golden but turn white and
are of no more value than chicken-feathers. The new ones that come in
are not golden, but plain white.



As time went on his feathers grew again, and then he flew away to his
home and never came back again.





Next: THE STUPID MONKEYS

Previous: THE WOODPECKER, TURTLE, AND DEER



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