Wind Eggs
Published in

Wind Eggs

Just because you see the trap doesn’t mean you can avoid it

Failure to Communicate

Ruin a Fairy Tale

golden eggs in stew
Source image by Julia Buz

Jack knew there was a catch when the witch who lived at the crossroads tried to sell him a goose that laid golden eggs. Something about the way she rubbed her hands together like a starving woman sitting to dinner, and the quick snort at the back of her throat each time she assured him that his bag of magic beans was a bargain for a goose whose every egg was gold.

“What, he only lays one egg, and that’s it?” Jack asked.

The witch swept her porch steps with her riding broom and turned up the corner of her lip. “He’s a she, and she lays as many eggs as any other goose. One a day.”

“But it’s the shell that’s gold, not the egg.”

She clucked and cackled like a chicken. “Solid gold all the way through. This goose won’t lay hollow eggs.”

Jack clutched his fists and shouted, “So what’s the catch?”

The witch handed him a contract, but, living in the Middle Ages, Jack couldn’t read. He took the contract to the rabbi who lived next to the woods, who told him, “the catch is, if the goose doesn’t die a natural death she gets to cook you for dinner.”

The witch handed him a contract, but, living in the Middle Ages, Jack couldn’t read. He took the contract to the rabbi who lived next to the woods, who told him, “the catch is, if the goose doesn’t die a natural death she gets to cook you for dinner.”

That put an end to that, except, on his way to school the next morning, he decided, “So we take good care of him, which we can afford with all those golden eggs.” He dashed to the witch’s house, traded the beans for the goose, ran back to his straw hut and put goose in the backyard, and then to school where he was already late.

Halfway through the lesson on trapping rabbits (no school in the the Middle Ages taught reading because the teachers were illiterate too), Jack realized he hadn’t left a note for his mother explaining the gold-laying goose (primarily because she couldn’t read any more than he could write.)

He raced home and arrived out of breath, to warn mom that this was a laying goose, not a cooking goose. But when he burst through the door, his mother was adding salt to a stew. “Jack,” she said, “You’ll never guess what I found in the yard.”

Gone, but never forgotten. Don’t Miss

Wry noir author Phillip T. Stephens wrote Cigerets, Guns & Beer, Raising Hell, the Indie Book Award winning Seeing Jesus, and the children’s book parody Furious George. Follow him at Phillip T Stephens.

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