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story: 1 2 3
The Golden Goose by Ann Cunningham
story retold by Jane Harnett - Hargrove

panels 1 - 5: background slate with bronze, cherry wood and gold leaf embellishment

the first of 5 panels depicting the fairy tale, the golden goose. the mother, father, and their three sons standing in the forest in front of their modest home. this panel incorporates slate, wood and bronze

There were once three sons who lived within the forest with their pappy and their dear ma whose cooking left much to be desired. Of the three sons, the wily youngest was scoffed at, despised and generally avoided.

On this day pappy sent his eldest son into the forest to chop wood. In his sac went the pancake and jar of wine his ma afforded him so he might not go hungry or thirsty. In the forest he soon met an old hunched man folk who bade him good day and said, "I'm hungry and thirsty just now, please up a taste of pancake and bottle to cool my brow. The clever first son replied taunting, "If I give you my fortitude, I'll be left with none. Get away from me, for now we are done!" The little man spun out of sight, his eyes sparkling, as the eldest son began to chop down a tree. He soon missed his aim, hitting his arm with the ax. "Yeeooowww!" He screamed and bolted for home wondering, "Who was that little fellow, anyway?"

At last it was time for the third son to ask his pappy if he may go into the wood to chop. But the elder replied "Winless, your brothers have made the trip, coming back hurt after they'd swing, leave it alone for about cutting wood you know no-thing." Winless pleaded, until finally pappy gave in, "I expect you'll get hurt, but go if you must and if you're not taught a lesson it is unjust. Ma slipped him a block of hard tac ashes and a jar of greenish sour blend.

panel 2 of 5. this panel shows the youngest son as he meets a poor old man in the forest. the old man begs a drink and something to eat, and unlike his two older brothers, the youngest is happy to share. this panel incorporates slate, bronze wood and gold leaf

Entering the forest he soon met the old gray one. Once again he chimed, "I'm poor and thirsty just now. Please offer up a taste of pancake and bottle to cool my brow.: Winless looked kindly upon the little fellow. Without hesitation, he untied the lace as he apologized for the meager fare, prepared to defend his ma. As he pulled the stuffs out of the sac, h e saw the grub turn into marble cupcakes and ginger beer. Surprised and pleased, he eagerly shared. They ate and drank together. When they were done the little man motioned yonder, saying, "You have a good and cheerful heart for sharing, it is you I do salute. Cut down that old tree and you'll find treasure within the roots." Then he was gone. Winless felled the tree and in the gnarled roots he found a goose with feathers of bright pure gold.

After this exciting and exhausting task, he and his goose went in search of a night's sleep. He found an inn, acquired a room and snuggled into bed for a good night's rest. As it happened, the innkeeper had three daughters who all had seen the goose and wanted a feather. Each was thinking some time a good time would come to pluck one of the beauties.

The first sneaked in after Winless began snoring. She grabbed the tail of the bird and her hand stuck fast! The second daughter came in soon afterwards. She saw her sister and nudged her out of the way. She found that he hand had glued to her sister's arm! When the two saw their third sibling sneak into the room they cried, "Keep away! It's a sticky trap goose! Keep away!" More curious, she rested her hand on one sister's shoulder to see over. She too became spelled by the goose. Well, not only was Winless a heavy sleeper, but he was also a little oblivious, so when he gathered up the goose to be on his way the next morning, he didn't realize he had three sisters in tow.

panel 3 of 5. Winless, the youngest of the brothers, holding a golden goose leads a line of figures as they careen through the town. this panel incorporates slate, wood, bronze and gold leaf

As the crew clumsily trotted down a country lane, a parson happened to see the girls swinging now left, now right, keeping up with him. Upon seeing this sight he hollered, "Horrid girls! Why are you chasing this young fellow? This is not nice, you will end up below!" He grabbed at the youngest to pull her back, stuck fast and was lifted off his feet as he had to run along with them.

By the by, they careened past a sexton who saw the pastor and cried in amazement, "Whoa Reverend, you are moving so fast you are a blur. We have a christening this morning, don't you remember?" Running after him, the sexton took hold of his sleeve and was stuck fast. and now they were a party of seven.

panel 4 of 5, Winless leads the string of figures thru the town and under the window of the princess. this panel incorporates slate, wood, bronze and gold leaf

Later in the day, the troop waved in to a city where the King's daughter was so solemn no one could make her smile. The King had decreed the first man who could make her laugh should have her for his bride. Winless realized the opportune situation and thought, "I shall reckon the moment and so reckon a wife.: With his retinue in tow he negotiated his way into eye shot of the princess. she glimpsed the two field workers trying to look noble and hiding their hoes behind them, the religious men feigning piousness. Then the three sisters unprimped for occasion, smoothing down their nighties and spit curling their hair. Her eyes traced up to the blazing ruffled goose held by Winless who stood the proud owner of this motley band. The princess timidly began a giggle that grew into a full lilting laugh. This contagious laughter touched the folk nearest to her and spread like wildfire.

Winless was charmed and claimed his wife, but the King sternly objected. The sovereign decided on a pursuit. "For you to become my son-in-law, you have to find a man who can drink up a cellar full of wine." Winless thought of the little gray man and he headed into the forest to the place he had felled the tree. He found a downcast man sitting on the ground. When Winless asked what is the trouble, the man replied, "I'm still dry, I thought drinking this wine barrel my thirst would quench, but wetting my whistle will be more than just a cinch." "We can help each other!" Winless said, "Come with me and you'll drink your fill." Thereupon, he led him to the King's cellar and the man set to work on the huge spigot barrels. He drank until his sides ached and kept on drinking. Before the day was out he had drained the entire cellar.

Again, Winless claimed his bride, but the King was still reluctant to let this stranger with an odd sense of humor marry his daughter. He thought up a new condition. "Now I want to see a man eat a mountain of bread.: Winless again dashed into the woods and found a miserable man tightening his belt. "I'm still hungry after eating a basket full of bread, it is this empty, empty belly that I dread.: "I;m thrilled to hear it!: Winless exclaimed while leading the man into the King's courtyard, "Come with me and you'll eat your fill." The people had been busy baking the lot of the kingdom's flour into a mountain of bread. Loosening his belt a little, he began to eat, and in a single day the mountain grew small and disappeared.

Panel 5 of 5. Winless finally claims his bride, and they stand beside the boat being sailed by the old man, as the king looks down upon them and the golden gose flies off into the nite. this panel incorporates slate, wood, bronze gold leaf

Winless claimed his bride the third time, but again the King thought up another impasse. "I want a ship that can sail on land and water. If you bring me that ship, you shall have my daughter."

Winless bolted into the timberland finding the little gray man with whom he had shared his meal. "For you I have drunk and I have eaten, and I'll give you this vessel too, it is yours in retribution for the kindness that you do." He and the short chap returned with the ship that could sail on both land and sea. The King did not deny Winless his daughter any longer. Their marriage became a celebration. So in the end Winless indeed won over all.

This then is the beginning of happily ever after.

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