homeabouttestimonialspublicationsCDs poetry pagessculpture

Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Tale of Tales Day Five

  a poetic rendition of
                                                     Day 5, Tale 1
Heaven's Reward

Once on a time (as stories go, a typical beginning)
two sisters, poor as poor can be, made pennies from their spinning.
They managed to survive on this.They met their needs just barely.
But as for all the treats in life the sisters knew them rarely.

Then Heaven told them,Get a goose. The sisters said, We’ll try it.
They went to town that very day to find a goose and buy it.
They did not have it in their minds to raise the goose for slaughter.
They coddled it and let it sleep in bed just like a daughter.

The goose in turn rewarded them by leaving in its dropping
a quantity of golden crowns which tumbled without stopping.
Amazed but pleased, the happy sisters gathered up the money
and spent it on some luxuries.The neighbors said, That’s funny.

Once they were poor like us. Now they wear clothes to suit a lady.
They’ve found some money. Or, perhaps, they’re doing something shady.
One neighbor, Vasta, said, Let’s bore a hole into their dwelling
and spy on them. It could be something bad. No way of telling.

So that they did and watched the goose deliver of its payment.
Aha! Their envy grew.They schemed to get themselves some raiment.
It isn’t fair that they should have it all, they said, now is it?
And Vasta was selected to go pay the girls a visit.

I’ve come to ask a favor, dears, said Vasta. We’ll return her,
but might we have your goose as just an overnight sojourner? 
Our goslings are so lonely. Seeing your goose, they’d feel better.
And simple women that they were, they said All right, and let her.

Then Vasta and her friends spread linen sheets upon the flooring
and waited for the gold to come. But from the goose came pouring
what issues from a fundament in normal circumstances.
They gasped and quickly turned away with horror-stricken glances.

They fed her well, assuming hunger might have been the trouble.
The same thing happened as before, but this time it was double.
Oh fie on you, you no-good goose.You’re worthless.You are woeful.
They wrung its neck and threw it in an alley filled with offal.

A prince was riding by, out with his courtiers on a frolic,
when suddenly he felt his guts severely gripped by colic.
He asked his friends to mind his horse and rushed into the alley
to do what he was forced to do. He had no time to dally.

At last when he’d relieved himself his cramps began to taper.
He looked around and snatched the goose to use instead of paper.
The goose, however, was not dead. It clamped its beak securely
upon the prince’s derriere which must have pained him surely. 

And then, no matter what he did, the goose held on more tightly.
He called for help. His friends beheld a picture most unsightly.  
There stood the prince, his trousers down, a goose behind him dangling.
They lifted him and took him home. His every nerve was jangling.

His doctors tried with pincers and with every kind of ointment
to free the prince, but none could solve his ludicrous enjointment.
The prince dictated from his bed an urgent proclamation:
The man who can release me will receive one half my nation.

And if it be a woman, I will marry her tomorrow.
If only someone finds the way to rid me of this sorrow.
In hordes they came, but lo, the matter only grew more stressful.
The goose held on more grimly as each ploy proved unsuccessful.

Then of the folks who came to try appeared the younger sister.
And there she saw her darling goose. She certainly had missed her.
Goosey-kins, my Goosey-kins, she murmured to it sweetly.
And hearing the beloved voice it loosed its hold completely.

The prince, surprised at this event, then asked to know the reason.
She told him of the goose and all about the neighbors’ treason.
The prince commanded they be caught and beaten well, and banished.
With Heaven’s help the poverty she once had known had vanished.

They married. At the wedding feast the goose sat at the table,
not on a plate but on a chair festooned in richest sable.
Her sister found a husband, too, and they lived all together.
And every day they kissed the goose and stroked each precious feather.