THE WOLF AND THE SEVEN LITTLE GOSLINGS
NCE there was a goose who had seven little goslings of
whom she was very fond, and she did everything she
could for them.
What troubled her most was to keep them safe from a big
gray wolf who lived near by in the forest, and who
sometimes came prowling around the house that the goose
lived in. Whenever she had to go out to look for food
she called the goslings all together and said, "Dear
children, I am obliged to leave you for a little while
to go and get something for us to eat. Take care of
yourselves and do not let the wolf come in. You will
know him by his rough voice and his black paws. If he
once gets in the house he will eat you."
The goslings always replied, "Oh, we will be very
careful, dear mother. You need not worry about us."
One day, when the mother goose had gone out to get
food, the wolf came to the house and rapped,
said in his rough voice, "Dear children, open the door.
I am your mother. I have brought you something very
The seven little goslings made answer, "You are not our
mother. She has a fine, sweet voice. Your voice is
rough. You are the wolf, and we will not open the
Then the wolf bethought himself of a trick. He went to
a shopkeeper and said, "Give me a great piece of
The shopkeeper gave the wolf the chalk, and the wolf
ate it, and it made his voice fine and sweet. Then he
went back to the house of the seven little goslings and
said with his fine, sweet voice, "Dear children, let me
come in. I am your mother, and every one of you shall
have something to eat."
But the seven little goslings looked through the crack
beneath the door and saw his black paws. Then they
said, "Oho! our mother does not have black feet. You
are the wolf, and we will not open the door."
So the wolf went to a baker and said, "Baker, sprinkle
my feet with flour."
The baker did not wish to do this, but the wolf said,
"If you do not obey I will eat you."
 So the baker strewed the wolf's feet with flour,
and the wolf went back to the seven little goslings and
said, "Dear children, open the door. I am your mother,
and every one of you shall have something to eat."
The wolf's voice was sweet and fine, and when the little
goslings looked under the door and saw the wolf's paws
as white as snow, they thought he was their mother.
They opened the door and the wolf leaped in.
The goslings were very much frightened then and they
hid themselves as quickly as they could. One went under
the table, the second into the bed, the third into the
oven, the fourth behind the meal-chest, the fifth in a
closet, the sixth beneath a great pot, and the seventh
went into the clock. But the wolf found them all and
ate them except the youngest, who was in the clock, and
then he went away.
Shortly afterward the mother goose came home. The door
was open! Tables and chairs were overturned! the
kitchen pots were broken! the bedclothes were on the
floor! and, what was worse, the children were gone!
Nowhere could she find them. Then she called them each
by name, and there was nothing but silence in response
until she came to
 the name of the youngest, when
a little squeaking voice answered, "Dear mother, I am
in the clock."
She pulled him out, and he related to her what had
The old goose said to the little one, "Come with me. I
will take the carving knife, and we will see if we can
find that wicked wolf. He has not gone far. After
eating so much he he has lain down somewhere to sleep."
So the mother goose took the carving knife and set
forth with the little gosling close behind her. They
followed the wolf's tracks into a meadow, and there
they found him fast asleep and snoring.
"Here he is," whispered the mother goose.
 "No doubt he feels very comfortable after eating
six of my children for his supper."
Then she stole up to the wolf and gave him a blow with
the carving knife that killed him. After that she cut
him open and out stepped the six little goslings one by
one; for he had swallowed them whole and they were more
frightened than hurt. They were very glad to escape
from their dark prison, and as they walked along behind
the mother goose toward home, there never were happier
goslings in the world than they were.
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