Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Fox and the Geese

Fox once came upon a meadow where a herd of lovely fat geese was sitting. He laughed and said, "I have come at the right time. You are sitting together so nicely that I can eat you up one after the other." The geese quacked with affright, leapt to their feet, and began to wail and plead piteously for their lives. Fox, however, refused to listen to them and said, "There will be no mercy here! You must die." At last one of them took heart and said, "If we poor geese are to lose our lives in the flower of youth, grant us one favour and allow us a prayer, so that we do not die with our sins upon us; and afterwards we will even set ourselves in a row so that you may always choose the plumpest." — "Very well," said Fox, "that is fair and it is a pious request. Pray; I will wait that long." So the first started a pretty long prayer, always "Gah, gah," and because she refused to stop, the second did not wait for her turn, but also started: "Gah, gah!" The third and fourth followed her example, and soon they were all quacking together. (And when they have prayed themselves out, this tale shall be told further; but they are still perpetually praying on.)

Original text: "Der Fuchs und die Gänse," Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
in the Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Bayreuth: Gondrom Verlag, 1982)


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