Johnny and the Three Goats
Every morning Johnny drove his three
goats to pasture and every evening when the
sun was going to bed he brought them home.
One morning he set off bright and early,
driving the goats before him and whistling
as he trudged along. Just as he reached Mr.
Smith's turnip field what should he see but
a broken board in the fence. The goats saw
it too, and in they skipped and began running
round and round the field, stopping now and
then to nip off the tops of the tender young
Johnny knew that would never do.
Picking up a stick, he climbed through the fence
and tried to drive the goats out. But never
were there such provoking goats. Round
and round they went, not once looking toward
the hole in the fence. Johnny ran and ran
and ran till he could run no farther, and then
he crawled through the hole in the fence and
sat down beside the road and began to cry.
Just then who should come down the road
but the fox.
"Good morning, Johnny!" said he. "What
are you crying about?"
"I'm crying because I can't get the goats
out of the turnip field," said Johnny.
"Oh, don't cry about that," said the fox.
"I'll drive them out for you."
So over the fence leaped the fox, and round
and round the turnip field he ran after the
goats. But no, they would not go out.
They flicked their tails and shook their heads
and away they went, trampling down the
turnips until you could hardly have told
what had been growing in the field.
The fox ran till he could run no more.
Then he went over and sat down beside
Johnny, and he began to cry.
Down the road came a rabbit. "Good
morning, Fox," said he. "What are you
"I'm crying because Johnny is crying,"
said the fox, "and Johnny is crying because
he can't get the goats out of the turnip
"Oh, don't cry about that," said the
rabbit. "I'll chase them out for you."
Through the fence hopped the rabbit, and
round and round the field he chased the
goats, but they would not go out, and finally
the rabbit gave up the chase and went out
into the road and sat down beside the fox,
and he began to cry.
Just then a bee came buzzing along over
the tops of the flowers.
When she saw the rabbit she said, "Good
morning, Bunny, what are you crying
"I'm crying because the fox is crying,"
said the rabbit, "and the fox is crying because
Johnny is crying, and Johnny is crying
because he can't get the goats out of the
"Don't cry about that," said the bee, "I'll
soon get them out for you."
"You!" said the rabbit, "a little thing
like you drive the goats out, when neither
Johnny, nor the fox, nor I can get them out?"
And he laughed at the very idea of such a
"Watch me," said the bee, and over the
fence she flew and buzz-zz-zz she went right
in the ear of the biggest goat.
The goat shook his head and tried to brush
away the bee, but the bee only flew to the
other ear and buzz-zz-zz she went, until the
goat thought there must be some dreadful
thing in the turnip field, so out through the
hole in the fence he went, and ran down the
road to his pasture.
The bee flew over to the second goat and
buzz-zz she went first in one ear and then in
the other, until that goat was willing to follow
the other through the fence and down the
road to the pasture.
The bee flew after the third goat and buzzed
first in one ear and then in the other until
he too was glad to follow the others.
"Thank you, little bee," said Johnny, and,
wiping away his tears, he hurried down the
road to put the goats in the pasture.
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from The Story Teller's Book
by Alice O'Grady, 1912