The golden goose (or, further perversions of Aesop)

There was a goose, and the goose had an owner. The goose was peculiar, for it laid eggs of pure gold. The said eggs were not good for eating or making more geese; but the owner sold them and grew wealthy with the first egg, rich with the second, and greedy with the third.

He then told himself: “Three golden eggs have come out of my goose. I could wait for more, I could; but people are talking about me and my gold, and I fear I hear mutters under the eaves and see eyes behind the windowpanes; if I do not act quickly, some villain will steal my goose, and it being (except for the golden eggs) in all aspects a perfectly normal goose, it will be beyond my powers to recover it once it has been stolen. Thus I need to extract all of the gold now, before disaster strikes.”

Thus he then chopped off the goose’s head, and slit its belly open — but, much to his shock and dismay, found the goose perfectly ordinary on the inside as well, with no eggs, lumps or even nuggets of gold within.

* * *

There was a goose, and the goose had an owner. The goose was peculiar, for it laid eggs of pure gold. The said eggs were not good for eating or making more geese; but the owner sold them and grew wealthy. This was of little interest to the goose, for the goose was in doldrums and despair: it had no children, for all its eggs were gold through-and-through, and golden eggs do not hatch to piping gooselings, do not give progeny to quacking follow their mother.

And the goose spoke to the owner, saying: “My owner, my lord, my God: I am a freak, a mistake of nature, a miserable thing. Instead of life, I produce hard, cold, dead metal: I am a worthless being. If you can heal me, fix this horrid mistake in me, I would forever obey and worship you; but if that is not within your power or will, at least give me a death, so I may be as dead as these infernal mockeries of new life that I lay.”

And the owner killed the goose, and the goose had peace.

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