THE GOLDEN GOOSE
The hero is the youngest of three brothers, given the nickname Simpleton. His eldest brother is sent into the forest to chop wood, fortified with a rich cake and a bottle of wine. He meets a little gray man who begs a morsel to eat and a swallow of ale but is rebuffed. The eldest brother meets an accident and is taken home. The second brother meets a similar fate. Simpleton, sent out with a biscuit cooked in the ashes of the hearth and soured beer, is generous with the little old man and is rewarded with a golden goose. The goose has been discovered within the roots of the tree chosen by the little gray man and felled by Simpleton.
With the goose under his arm, Simpleton heads for an inn where as soon as his back is turned, the innkeeper’s daughter attempts to pluck just one of the feathers of pure gold and is stuck fast. Her sister comes to help her and is stuck fast too. The youngest daughter is determined not to be left out of the riches where she ends up stuck to the second. Simpleton makes his way to the castle and each person who attempts to interfere is joined to the unwilling parade ranging from the parson, his sexton, and two laborers.
In the castle lives the king with the princess who has never laughed. But the despondent Princess, sitting by the window and glimpsing the parade staggering after Simpleton and his golden goose, laughs until she cries. Some versions include an additional three trials. Simpleton succeeds in all with the help of his little gold friend and finally wins the princess, living happily ever after.