The WOLF and the SEVEN GOSLINGS.
HERE was once an old goose who had seven little ones, and was as fond of them as ever mother was of her children. One day she had to go into the wood to fetch food for them, so she called them all round her.
" Dear children," said she, " I am going out into the wood; and while I am gone, be on your guard against the wolf, for if he were once to get inside he would eat you up, skin, bones, and all. The wretch often disguises himself, but he may always be known by his hoarse voice and black paws." " Dear mother," answered the goslings, "you need not be afraid, we will take good care of ourselves." And the mother bleated good-bye, and went on her way with an easy mind.
It was not long before some one came knocking at the house-door, and crying out,
" Open the door, my dear children, your mother is come back, and has brought each of you something."
But the little geese knew it was the wolf by the hoarse voice. "We will not open the door," cried they; "you are not our mother, she has a delicate and sweet voice, and your voice is hoarse; you must be the wolf."
Then off went the wolf to a shop and bought a big lump of chalk, and ate it up to make his voice soft. And then he came back, knocked at the house-door, and cried,
" Open the door, my dear children, your mother is here, and has brought each of you something."