The Goose who went to Heaven – a Fable
There once was a small Greek god, who fell in love with a goose. Why, I am not really sure, especially when there are so many beautiful women here on Earth to choose from. Why didn’t he pick me? Or that girl over there? Oh, that’s right, of course, this was long before we were born, so he couldn’t!
In any case, who can say why the gods do what they do? Who are we mere mortals to question them? Perhaps it was her soft pure white body, long neck and large glistening eyes that caught his eye. Maybe he was the god of geese? Maybe he was bored, or drunk, or something. In any case, as we all know, the gods can do whatever they like…and have the power to transform our lives at will.
So without any more ado, the small god flew down and swept his chosen goose up to Heaven to live there forever in luxury. Of course, the small god, being male, couldn’t resist improving on nature. He used his infinite powers to turn her into the woman of his dreams – a heavenly woman with flawless soft white skin, a long neck, glistening dark eyes, and plump curves all in the right places. The small god was absolutely happy, and more than happy to indulge her every wish. I imagine the former goose had quite a few…I have never met a goose who is short of something to insist on saying…
The Goose Woman was extremely happy. Who wouldn’t be? She was in Heaven, growing fat on the fine food, and enjoying the complete lack of work. She could laze around in blissful comfort, listening to heavenly music. She could eat whatever she wanted. She had only to open her mouth and ask. She could play all day long if she wished, or do nothing at all. In fact, life there was so idyllic compared to her former life as a wretched goose, that she grew to long for the opportunity to tell the other geese all about it. The poor dear old things had no idea what she had now and what they were missing out on in the muck and dirt of the farmyard. Her former companions probably even thought they were happy! They thought that what passed before their eyes was all there was to life! This longing grew and grew, until she could think of nothing else more delightful to do than to tell them herself. In fact, surely it was her duty to do so.
So every day she begged and wheedled and nagged and sulked and batted her eyelashes, until after about a week, the small god reluctantly agreed to let her go back to visit the farm for a day. She reminded him that he would have to return her to the form of a goose so that she could talk to them. She wanted to ensure those poor geese could understand every word of what she had to tell them. The small god did as she wished, but he warned her to call out to him to fly her back as soon as she had finished what she had to say, or she would remain a goose forever.
The excited goose, glowing white with health and much plumper than before due to the rich food she had been feasting on, swanned back into the farmyard, where she sought out the other geese with loud calls. She honked derisively as she watched them fighting over pitiful scraps – a mishmash of potato peels, rotten fruit and cold porridge. They gathered around their homegrown celebrity in an admiring circle and goggled in amazement as she told them in bite by bite detail of the sumptuous ambrosial feasts she now enjoyed each day.
She gaggled and inclined her neck dramatically this way and that as she drew their attention to the mud and filth of their surroundings, which kept their feathers and feet covered with dirt.
She stepped carefully around the mud puddles, and drew herself up as tall as she could so that they could admire her. Holding her wing delicately over her beak, she tried not to gag at the stench of her childhood home. How could she ever have LIVED in such a place?
She hooted at the others while they laid eggs, telling them how in Heaven there is no need to work. She wanted to make sure they were absolutely jealous of her, so she cackled and honked, hissed and gaggled all day as the other geese went about their lives.
The continual honking noise attracted the farmer to the yard to see what the racket was about. When he saw the huge plump goose which was neither laying eggs nor eating, making a strident noise which was putting the other geese off the lay, he promptly fetched a sharp axe and chopped her elegant long neck off, gutted her and plucked out all her feathers.
The farmer’s family ate her glazed in orange sauce, with apple and onion stuffing. It was quite a feast.
The other geese went back to their contented lives.
Apparently it all happened too fast for the small god to intervene. Or perhaps he was secretly tired of her continual talking. Who knows why the gods do what they do? Maybe he should have left well enough alone from the start. In any case, his goose was cooked, and all he had left was her more silent, sensible soul to live with.
Ok, Perhaps you were thinking the ending to this story should be happy, like in a fairytale? Fables are different.
Perhaps you were shocked by her violent end. Well I’m sorry, I only tried to tell it just the way life is. Anyway, I’ll bet most of you are saying, “Serves her right! That cut short her bragging and boasting – the silly goose!”
If what I have said is real, it will strike a chord with you. I’ll bet early in the story, you wanted to be the Goose Woman. And as for the moral, well, I’ll leave that for to you to choose…
[ INSERT MORAL HERE]Anna Casey 2006
Fable about Olympus or maybe about something else altogether