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Grace and the Golden Goose

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Grace and the Golden Goose 

Old Man Kerr lived deep in the woods in a run down log cabin with his three beautiful daughters: Mary Beth, Jessica and Grace.

Mary Beth, the oldest, never had time to do anything but sit around and brush her hair.

Jessica, the second daughter, was always in a hurry and let nothing get in her way.

Grace, the youngest daughter, was very kind and considerate of others. She was always willing to help someone in need.

One Saturday morning, Old Man Kerr went to Mary Beth, who was sitting at her dressing table brushing her long blond hair and said,"It is your turn to collect the honey from the bee hives."

"Not today," said Mary Beth. "Jason is coming over later. I must brush my hair until it's silky and smooth."

"It is your turn and you must go," said her father. "There will be plenty of time for you to get ready for Jason when you get back."

Mary Beth slammed the brush down on her dressing table and stomped out of the room.

"You would not make Grace go if she had something else to do even if it was her turn."

Out in the shed, Mary Beth gathered the buckets and netting to get the honey. As she walked down the narrow path towards the hives, an old woman approached her.

"Good morning," said the old woman in a scratchy sounding voice. "Would you be so kind as to help me thread this needle so I can finish sewing this dress? I can not see very good these days."

"I have far too much to do," said Mary Beth walking past the old woman.

"It is a special dress for a special girl," said the old woman."It is for the wedding of a princess."

"Let her sew it herself," said Mary Beth. "I simply do not have time."

"You are a foolish girl," the old woman screamed frightening Mary Beth as she backed away from the crazy old woman. Not looking where she was going, she backed right into the bee hives. In seconds angry bees were swarming all over Mary Beth and stinging her. She threw down her buckets and netting as she ran for home.

A little later that same day, Old Man Kerr went to his second daughter, Jessica.

"Jessica," he said,"your sister Mary Beth has been badly stung by bees. She is nursing her stings and will not be able to collect the honey today."

"Now you want me to do it?" said Jessica. "I have soccer practice. Why can not Grace do it?"

"We need honey," said Old Man Kerr."Grace ia a bit young to go around a hive of angry bees."

"Fine," said Jessica kicking her soccer ball into her closet. "I will do it, but I must hurry."

"Make sure you put on the protective netting before you get close to the hives," said Old Man Kerr.

Jessica hurried along the same path that Mary Beth had taken earlier. She found the buckets and the netting Mary Beth had dropped. Remembering what her father had said, she put the netting on right away. "Good morning," said the old woman to Jessica in her scratchy voice.

"Who are you?" asked Jessica jumping back away from the old woman. "Where did you come from?"

"I am an old woman in need of help," she said. "I must finish this dress for the wedding of a princess tomorrow and I can not thread this needle. Could you please thread it for me?"

"Get some glasses," said Jessica, pushing past the old woman. "I don't have time for any princess. Let me collect my honey and be on my way."

"You selfish girl," the old woman said laughing. As Jessica approached the bee hives, a strong wind blew off her protective netting. The bees grew angry again at another unwanted visitor approaching them. They swarmed around Jessica and started stinging her. She threw down her empty buckets and ran for home.

The old lady laughed as she ran past her still standing in the path with the dress in her hands.

Without honey to take to town to sell, the family would have no dinner that night. Old Man Kerr had no choice but to ask his youngest daughter, Grace.

"Grace," said Old Man Kerr, "you are so young. I do not like sending you out there with the bees so angry, but your sisters are both now nursing their bee stings. You are the only one left. I would go myself if it weren't for this bad leg."

"That is alright Father," said Grace. "I would not want anything to happen to you. I will be so quiet that the bees will not even know I am there."

Grace skipped along the same path her sisters had followed. She picked up the empty buckets and found the netting tangled in a bush nearby. Then she saw an old woman sitting on a log.

She walked up to the old woman who was trying to thread her needle.

"You are having such a hard time with that," said Grace, " let me help you."

"Thank you so very much," the old woman said with tears in her eyes. "I cannot hardly see what I am doing. My eyes are old and tired."

"I can thread it for you," said Grace, "and there is not much more to sew on the dress. I will finish it for you."

Grace sat down on the log next to the old lady and sewed the finishing touches on the dress.

"This is a beautiful dress," said Grace. "Who is it for?"

Grace looked around. The old woman was gone. Grace took the dress and hung it over a nearby tree branch for the old woman to find when she returned. The she went to gather the honey.

Next to the hives she found the purest white goose she had ever seen with feathers trimmed in gold.

"My this is a mysterious day," said Grace. "Where did you ever come from? I must find your owner."

Grace picked up the goose and carried it home along with the honey she had gathered.

Mary Beth was sitting at her dressing table when Grace passed by her door with the goose.

"Where is the honey?" said Mary Beth,"and what is that?"

"The honey is on the kitchen table and this is a goose I found by the hives," said Grace.

"Now we will have a delicious dinner," said Mary Beth. "I will have to invite Jason to stay for dinner. Start cleaning that goose right away."

"I am taking this goose to town to find its' rightful owner," said Grace walking away.

"You are going to do no such thing," said Mary Beth grabbing the goose.

"Let go," shouted Grace.

"I cannot let go," said Mary Beth. "I am stuck!"

"Stop pulling so hard," said Grace.

"What are you two doing," asked Jessica.

"Just put down your soccer ball and try to pull me off," said Mary Beth.

Jessica grabbed hold of Mary Beth's waist and pulled.

"Pull harder," shouted Mary Beth and Grace together.

"I....I cannot," said Jessica. "Now I am stuck too."

"What is it with you two," said Grace. "Let go. Now!"

"What is all the commotion about," asked Old Man Kerr. "Well, Father," said Grace. "I found this goose and I want to take it to town when we take the honey to find it's owner. Now Mary Beth and Jessica are both saying they are stuck."

"We are," they shouted at the same time.

"This is quite funny," said Father chuckling out loud. "Hold the goose tight while I pull on Jessica."

"Father,it is not working," said Jessica. "I am still stuck."

"Now so am I," said Father. "What are we going to do?"

"We are going to town to find the owner," said Grace. "He will know what to do."

Grace started down the path to town to find the owner. Following along behind her was her two sisters and her father.

As they walked along, they met a man and his young son.

"Look father," said the boy, "they are playing follow the leader. I am going to play with them."

"No!" his father shouted but it was too late. The boy was already stuck to his dad.

The boy had grabbed onto Old Man Kerrs' back and was stuck. Grace not knowing the boy was stuck also continued onto to town.

"Come back with my son," the boys father shouted as he ran after them. When he caught up with them and tried to pull his son away, he also became stuck.

On went Grace down the path towards town with her sisters, her father, the young boy and the boys father all following along behind her.

As they approached the town, Grace saw it was elaborately decorated for the wedding of the prince which was to take place the very next day.

Grace looked around expecting the people to be happy, but found they looked very sad.

"Why are you all so sad?" she asked a baker outside his store. "Tomorrow is going to be such a wonderful celebration."

"Yes, tomorrow was to be a grand occasion," said the baker. "I have a cake all prepared. Now the prince is very sad. He has not found the princess he was searching for. She must be loving, honest and willing to put others happiness before her own."

"She would be a very special person then," said Grace. "That is sad and I hope he finds her soon."

"What have you there?" asks the baker.

"I am trying to find the owner of this goose. Do you know who it belongs to?"

"To the prince," said the baker with a smile on his face."I think the prince will be very happy to see you have found his golden goose."

Grace started up the gold paved path to the palace. As she walked, more and more people joined in the line behind her with her sisters, her father, the young boy and his dad. They were all suddenly laughing and having a good time as they also became stuck to one another.

The prince, hearing the laughter of the towns people, looked out his window. There he saw a line of people a mile long. He walked out to greet them.

"Welcome," said the prince.

Grace bowed to the prince. "Are you the owner of this beautiful goose?" she asked the prince.

"Yes," said the prince, "thank you for returning her to me."

"Release us," chanted the crowd that had joined Grace and the others as they walked through the town.

The prince took the goose from Grace. Once he did, Mary Beth, Jessica, Old Man Kerr, the young boy, his father and all the towns people were set free.

"Now that my family and friends have been set free, I must return home," said Grace.

"Thank you for setting them free."

"You cannot go just yet," said the prince. "My mother, the queen, has something very special to give you."

"I am not seeking a reward for returning the goose," said Grace to the queen.

"Tomorrow," said the queen, "is going to be the most magnificent wedding celebration this town has ever seen. I want you to be a part of it."

"You are the old woman from the woods," said Grace."You left before I could return the dress to you."

"The dress you finished is the dress you will be wearing tomorrow," said the queen.

"Will you marry me?" asked the prince and the queen handed Grace the wedding dress.

"I am not a princess," said Grace.

"Tomorrow you will be," said the prince. " You are loving, honest and put others happiness before your own. You are the one I have been searching for."

The prince turned to the crowd and said," behold, my new princess if she will have me."

"I will be honored," said Grace, "to be your wife. "Tomorrow."

Barbara A Ross

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