42 GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
And so she helped him out, and heard how the wolf had come, and eaten all the rest. And you may think how she cried for the loss of her dear children. At last in her grief she wandered out of doors, and the youngest gosling with her; and when they came into the meadow, there they saw the wolf lying under a tree, and snoring so that the branches shook. The mother goose looked at him carefully on all sides and she noticed how something inside his body was moving and struggling.
" Dear me !" thought she, " can it be that my poor children that he devoured for his evening meal are still alive?" And she sent the little gosling back to the house for a pair of shears, and needle, and thread. Then she cut the wolfs body open, and no sooner had she made one snip than out came the head of one of the goslings, and then another snip, and then one after the other the six little goslings all jumped out alive and well, for in his greediness the rogue had swallowed them down whole. How delightful this was ! so they comforted their dear mother and hopped about like tailors at a wedding.
" Now fetch some good hard stones," said the mother, "and we will fill his body with them, as he lies asleep."
And so they fetched some in all haste, and put them inside him, and the mother sewed him up so quickly again that he was none the wiser.
When the wolf at last awoke, and got up, the stones inside him made him feel very thirsty, and as he was going to the brook to drink, they struck and rattled one against another. And so he cried out:
" What is this I feel inside me Knocking hard against my bones ? How should such a thing betide me ! They were geese, and now they're stones."
So he came to the brook, and stooped to drink, but the heavy stones weighed him down, so he fell over into the water and was drowned. And when the seven little geese saw it they came up running.
"The wolf is dead, the wolf is dead!" they cried, and taking hands, they danced with their mother all about the place.