THE BIRD WITH THE GOLDEN GIZZARD
HERE was once a poor man who had a large family. He was so
poor that he had nothing to feed the children. For three
days they had had no food. On the third day as the father
was out cutting osiers he saw, sitting in a bush, a small
bird that shone like gold.
"If I could snare that bird," he thought to himself, "and
take it home, the children would be amused and perhaps
forget they were hungry."
So he caught the bird and carried it home and, sure enough,
the children were so delighted that for two days they didn't
cry for food.
On the third day the bird laid a golden egg. The
oldest boy took the egg to the goldsmith to sell it.
The goldsmith examined it and said:
"I don't believe I have money enough to buy this
"Just give me some bread," the boy said. "That
will be enough."
 The goldsmith gave him two loaves of bread, one
under each arm, and filled his pockets with golden
ducats. So for once the whole family had all it could
eat and still there was money left over.
Two days later the bird laid another golden egg
which the boy carried to the goldsmith and sold for
the same price.
Now the goldsmith had a son who said he would
like to see this wonderful bird. So he went home
with the boy. He looked the bird over very carefully
and under its wings he discovered an inscription that
no one else had seen. The inscription read:
Whoever eats my heart will become king.
Whoever eats my gizzard will find under his head each morning a heap of golden ducats.
The youth went home and told his father about
the strange inscription. They talked the matter over
and at last decided that it would be well for the young
man to marry the poor man's oldest daughter provided he
could get the golden bird as dowry.
The goldsmith went to see the girl's father and
after some discussion the marriage was arranged.
The wedding day arrived. The bridegroom ordered
 the bird to be roasted and ready to be put on the table
when the bridal party came home from church. It was
his intention to eat the heart himself and have his
bride eat the gizzard.
The children of the family cried bitterly at the
thought of losing their pretty bird, but the bridegroom,
of course, had his way.
Now two of the boys stayed home from the wedding
and they decided that they would like very much to
taste the roast bird if only they could find a piece
that nobody would miss. They did not dare take a
leg or a wing, but they thought it would be safe to
pick out a morsel from the inside. So one boy ate
the heart, the other the gizzard. Then they were so
frightened at what they had done that they ran away
and never came back.
When the bride and groom returned from church,
the bird was carried to the table. The groom looked
at once for the heart and the gizzard and was greatly
shocked at their disappearance.
The two boys who had gone out into the world
found work with a merchant. They slept together
and every morning the merchant's wife found a heap
of golden ducats under the feather bed. She didn't
know to which boy they belonged. She took them and
 saved them for a whole year until they filled a hogshead.
At the end of a year the boys decided to go out
again into the world. The merchant showed them all
the ducats his wife had found in their bed and he
said to them:
"Take with you as many as you want now and
when you come back you may have the rest."
The brothers parted company and each set out
alone, the one to the left, the other to the right.
The younger brother came to a tavern. The landlady had two
daughters who were so sharp at cards
that they very soon won all the money he had. When
he was picked clean he asked them to stop playing
until the next morning when he would again have
plenty of money.
Sure enough in the morning when he got up he
had all the money he wanted. The girls asked him
where it came from and he told them.
When they heard about the gizzard he had swallowed, they put
something in his wine that made him sick at his stomach and
he threw up the gizzard. The younger girl instantly snatched
it, washed it, and swallowed it herself.
Then as he had no more money they
drove the poor boy away.
 As he wandered in the fields he grew very hungry.
He came to a meadow where he found a kind of sorrel
that he ate. As soon as he ate it he turned into a
goat and went jumping about the bushes nibbling at
the leaves. He chanced to eat a kind of leaf that
changed him back into himself.
"Ah," he thought, "now I know what to do!"
He picked some of the sorrel and some of the other
leaves and went straight back to the tavern. He told
them there that he was bringing them a present of a
new kind of spinach that tasted very good. They
asked him would he cook it for them.
The cook tasted it and at once she turned into a
goat. The serving maid came into the kitchen and
when she saw a goat there she drove it out. The youth
asked the maid would she like to taste the new spinach.
She tasted it and immediately she turned into a goat.
Then when the landlady and her two daughters tasted
it they, too, turned into goats.
He fed the cook and the serving maid some of the
other leaves and they turned back into themselves.
But the other three he left as goats.
He made halters for them and then he hitched
them up and drove off.
He drove on and on until he came to a town where
 the king was building himself a castle. Now this king
was his brother who had eaten the magic bird's heart.
The king's workmen were hauling stone for the new
castle, so he decided to put his goats to work hauling
stone. He loaded his cart heavier than all the other
The king noticed him and recognized him and asked
him where he got those goats. So he told the king
the whole story. The king thought the goats had
been punished long enough and begged his brother to
have pity on them and restore them. He took the
king's advice and did so.
When they were once more human beings, he
married the girl who had swallowed the gizzard. They
soon became very rich, for every morning there was a
heap of golden ducats under her head.