The Goose Girl

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A be princess was on her way to marry a prince who lived far away. “Keep this handkerchief with you. It will protect you against all evil,” said her mother bidding her goodbye. The princess was accompanied by her maid-in-waiting. Unknown to all, the maid was a wicked witch. They both rode on horses but the princess’s horse was special. He was a speaking horse called Falada.

A while later the princess requested, “I am thirsty. Can you bring me water?” The maid refused. And alas! When the princess bent to drink water the handkerchief fell in it and was swept away. “Aha! Now your powers have gone!” exulted the maid. She made the princess wear shabby clothes and give up Falada. She then disguised herself as the princess and entered the prince’s kingdom.

She married the prince and sent the real princess to work with the goose boy. “Behead Falada!” ordered the new bride so that nobody would come to know the truth. But at the real princess’s request, the head of the horse was nailed at the gateway so that she could see it whenever she took the geese out. Every day the horse would relate the princess’s story. The goose boy heard the horse and informed the king. “One day, the king. heard the horse and came to know about the reality. The false bride was sentenced to death while the real princess was married to the prince and they lived happily ever after.

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