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My true love gave to me… six geese a-laying.

Her dress was tattered, she had only a thin shawl around her shoulders and threadbare stockings on her feet, and she shivered in the early morning cold.

“Good morning Goosies,” she whispered as she entered their enclosure. They looked up, and as usual some came over to greet her.

“I hope you’ve got some eggs for me this morning,” she said. “We’re all going hungry otherwise. But don’t worry, I’ve kept aside enough corn for you, and I won’t let Papa put you on the table.”

She fed them, broke the thin layer of ice that covered their little pond so that they could swim, and then went to look for eggs.

The first goose had laid a big, round egg, and she smiled as she placed it carefully into her basket.

“That’s one for Papa,” she said.

The second goose shuffled aside to reveal another big egg.

“That’s one for Mama,” she said. “Thank you.”

The third and fourth geese had also laid eggs. “One for Jack, and one for John,” she said, naming her two little brothers.

The fifth goose, who sat obstinately in the way for a little while, finally revealed her egg.

“One for my sister Marie,” the girl said.

There was one goose left; the most awkward goose, who was always the most difficult to herd, and the first to get angry. The girl approached nervously, but the goose simply stood up and waddled away.

“Oh my,” she said, looking down at the golden egg with wide eyes.

“That one is for you,” said the goose.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: From six geese a-laying my thoughts turned to the one goose that laid the golden egg- but I thought it would be nice for a change to have a version with no greed involved!)