The Unusual Goose and the Imbecilic Woodcutter by Guy Wetmore Carryl

The Unusual Goose and the Impecilic Woodcutter is a parody told in rhyme, based on Aesop’s Fable, The Goose and the Golden Egg. Carryl published this poem in Fables for the Frivolous (1898), illustrated by Peter Newell.

A woodcutter bought him a gander,
Or at least that was what he supposed,
As a matter of fact, ’twas a slander
As a later occurrence disclosed;
For they locked the bird up in the garret
To fatten, the while it grew old,
And it laid there a twenty-two carat
Fine egg of the purest of gold!

Aesop, The Goose and the Golden Egg
There was much unaffected rejoicing
In the home of the woodcutter then,
And his wife, her exuberance voicing,
Proclaimed him most lucky of men.
“‘Tis an omen of fortune, this gold egg,”
She said, “and of practical use,
For this fowl doesn’t lay any old egg,
She’s a highly superior goose.”

Twas this creature’s habitual custom,
This laying of superfine eggs,
And they made it their practice to dust ’em
And pack them by dozens in kegs:
But the woodcutter’s mind being vapid
And his foolishness more than profuse,
In order to get them more rapid
He slaughtered the innocent goose.

He made her a gruel of acid
Which she very obligingly ate,
And at once with a touchingly placid
Demeanor succumbed to her fate.
With affection that passed the platonic
They buried her under the moss,
And her epitaph wasn’t ironic
In stating, “We mourn for our loss.”

And THE MORAL: It isn’t much use,
As the woodcutter found to be true,
To lay for an innocent goose
Just because she is laying for you.


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