The Golden Goose

the golden gooseThe Golden Goose is a first recorded by the Brothers Grimm. It is about a kind but not very clever young man who one day shares his food with a hungry old man. The old man tells him where to find a goose that has feathers of gold. The king has a daughter who has never laughed, and has promised that she will marry the first man to make her laugh. The goose helps the young man to do this. However, the king tells him there are three more things that he must do to marry the girl.

Pre-Intermediate Vocabulary Help / Exercises

The words and expressions in our Simplified English story which are not in our Pre-Intermediate Level 1200 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

General Comments on the Story

the golden goose bookOur source for this of the story was a beautifully d children’s book called The Golden Goose Book by British artist and writer L Leslie Brooke, first published in 1905. There are only four stories in the book, the others being The Three Bears, The 3 Little Pigs and Tom Thumb. It can be downloaded in various forms from Project Gutenberg here. An is available from Librivox here.

Be prepared for your children to be surprised by some unusual s in Brooke’s 3 Little Pigs story compared to modern versions. The first two pigs are eaten by the wolf rather than running to the house of the third. Also, the wolf doesn’t climb onto the roof and try to come down the as soon as it finds that it can’t blow the brick house down. Over the next three days it tries a number of tricks to get the pig to come outside. It is only when these don’t work that it decides to come down the chimney… just in time to be boiled and eaten for dinner!

This is an interesting example of how folktales that become well-known children’s stories can change over time. The ending to “The Golden Goose” is another example. The story appears to have gotten longer between 1884 (when it was first translated into English) and 1905. The added part (the three additional things that the Simpleton had to do to marry the princess) occurs almost word for word in a number of other folktales first published around the same time. It is unclear whether this came from a different version of the same folktale, or Brooke simply added it to the original story in order to make his book longer. We have included a copy of the Brothers Grimm translation for anyone interested in comparing the two stories.


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(n: fairytale pl fairytales) A children's story that has people or creatures in it with magical powers. (เทพนิยายน) 14000
(n: fairy pl fairies) An imaginary creature having magical powers. (นางฟ้า) 4000
(n: tale pl tales) A story about real or imaginary events; an exciting or dramatic story that may not be completely true. (นิทาน)

bandage(n: bandage pl bandages) A covering (such as a strip of cloth) that protects or supports part of the body that has been hurt. (ผ้าพันแผล) (v: bandage, bandages, bandaged, bandaging) To cover or wrap (something) with a bandage. (พันแผล) 4000

(n: barrel pl barrels) 1. A large, usually wooden container with round sides and flat ends. (ถังใส่ของเหลว) 2. A tube in a gun through which a bullet goes when it is fired. (กระบอก ปืน) 3000

barrels gunbarrel

cellar(n: cellar pl cellars) A part of a building that is below or partly below the ground, often used to store coal or wine. Also called 'the basement'. (ห้องใต้ดิน) 4000

delicious(adj: delicious) Having a very nice taste or smell. (อร่อย) 6000

feather(n: feather pl feathers) One of the things that grow from a bird's skin that form the covering of its body. (ขนนก) 3000

goose(n: goose pl geese) A web-footed bird that swims like a duck, but is larger and has a longer neck. (ห่าน) 4000

(n: in-law pl in-laws) A person you are related to because of your marriage; especially the father, mother and brothers and sisters of your husband or wife. (ญาติที่เกิดจากแต่งงาน)

oven(n: oven pl ovens) A closed box-like space, usually part of a cooker or stove, which is heated for baking or roasting food. (เตาอบ) 3000

palace(n: palace pl palaces) A very large and beautiful house, especially one lived in by a member of a royal family such as a king, queen, sultan, etc. (พระราชวัง) 4000
The picture on the left shows Buckingham Palace in London where the Queen of England lives.

priest(n: priest pl priests) A man who leads people in the worship of a god or group of gods; a man who leads or performs religious ceremonies. (นักบวช) 4000

proud(adj: proud, prouder, proudest) 1. Feeling very pleased because of something you have done or own, someone you know, etc. She felt proud as she watched her daughter graduate. (ภูมิใจในตนเอง) 2. Having a (too) high opinion of oneself; arrogant. She was too proud to talk to us. (หยิ่ง) 2000
(n: pride, noncount) A feeling of pleasure and satisfaction at one's achievements, possessions, family etc. She watched with pride as her daughter graduated. (ความภาคภูมิใจ) 3000

(n: simpleton pl simpletons) An old-fashioned word for someone who is not very intelligent or who does not have or show a good sense or judgment; a fool. (คนโง่)

(adj: sour, sourer, sourest) 1. Having an acid taste or smell like that of lemon juice or vinegar. (เปรี้ยว) 2. Having the unpleasant taste or smell of food or drink that is in a stage of going bad. (บูด) 5000

tight(adj: tight, tighter, tightest) 1. Fitting very or too closely; [of clothes] fitting very close to your body. These shoes are too tight. (คับแน่น) 2. Flat or firm from being pulled or stretched; not loose. Pull the ribbon tight and make a bow. (ผูกแน่น) 3. Fastened, attached, or held in a position that is not easy to move. The lid is too tight. I can't open it. (แน่นหนา) 2000
(adv: tightly) In a tight way. The shirt fits too tightly around the arms. Hold on tightly to the railing. (แน่น)

waist(n: waist pl waists) The narrow part of the human body between the stomach and hips. (ก้น) 5000

wheat(n: wheat, noncount) A kind of grain that is used to make flour for breads, cookies, etc. (ข้าวสาลี) 5000

whisper(n: whisper pl whispers) A very quiet sound, especially something said. (การกระซิบ; การส่งเสียงเบา ๆ)
(v: whisper, whispers, whispered, whispering) To speak or say something very softly. (กระซิบ) 5000

version(n: version pl versions) 1. A story or description that is different in some way from another person's story or description. The boy gave his version of what had happened. (เรื่องราว) 2. A form of something (such as a product) that is different in some way from other forms. A new version of the software should be available soon. (รุ่น) 2000

illustrate(v: illustrate, illustrates, illustrated, illustrating) 1. To provide (a book, lecture etc) with pictures, diagrams etc. (เห็นภาพ) 2. To make the meaning of something that you say or write clearer by providing an example. (อธิบาย) 3000
(n: illustration pl illustrations) A picture, diagram or example that serves to make something easier to understand.

e-book(n: e-book pl e-books) A book whose contents are in an electronic format so that it can be downloaded and read.

audiobook(n: audiobook pl audiobooks) A book that is read out loud and recorded on a CD or as a computer file so that it can be listened to. (หนังสือเสียง)

twist(v: twist, twists, twisted, twisting) 1. To wrap or wind (something) around something. (บิด) 2. To turn in a circular motion. (บิดเป็นเกลียว)
(n: twist pl twists) A change in direction or unexpected outcome of a story etc. (เปลี่ยนเรื่อง) 3000

chimney(n: chimney pl chimneys) A part of a building through which smoke rises into the outside air. (ปล่องไฟ) 3000