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The Goose with the Golden Eggs

To think about the fable and its message of the power of greed.

by Jude Scrutton

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To think about the fable and its message of the power of greed.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need: an assortment of large egg shapes, painted gold, a basket for the eggs, a big plastic knife.
  • Prepare children in advance to take part in telling the story: Countryman, Goose, Narrator (or could be assembly leader).

Assembly

  1. Welcome the children, and explain that they will be seeing a short play based on a fable written a long time ago by someone called Aesop. Aesop was born as a slave in ancient Greece, and became a philosopher who taught people by telling them fables - stories that give you something to think about.

    Ask the children if they know any of Aesop's fables. Explain that we will be looking at his fable entitled The Goose with the Golden Eggs. Ask them to think, while the story is being performed, about what Aesop was trying to teach people in this story.

    The Goose with the Golden Eggs

    Narrator: One day there was a Countryman who owned a Goose. Every day the man would walk to his farm to collect the eggs that his Goose had laid.

    Countryman: I wonder how many she's laid today.

    Narrator: The Countryman had many bills to pay and four mouths to feed in his family. He was very poor but he had always been able to sell enough eggs to keep his family happy. But he wished for more.

    Countryman: I want to be rich. I want to be able to afford lots of lovely things.

    Narrator: That day he couldn't find any eggs at all. He looked at the Goose crossly.

    Countryman: You lazy Goose! Where are my eggs? If you don't lay me any eggs I don't know what I should do!

    Narrator: Just then, a glint caught his eye. Underneath the Goose he could see something shiny. He moved the Goose out of the way and there he found an egg, golden and glittering. He picked it up and was shocked to find it was heavy as lead. He shouted at the Goose, for he thought he had been tricked.

    Countryman: This is no good! What have you laid for me?

    Narrator: He was about to throw the egg away, then decided to take it home. To his delight he found that it was an egg made out of pure gold. Every morning the same thing happened and soon he was very rich. However, the richer he became, the more gold he wanted. And he wanted it now! An idea began to form in his mind.

    Countryman: How can I get all of my money, now? Hold on, I've got an idea!

    Narrator: The man took the biggest knife he could find and began to walk to his farm. The Goose, on seeing the man and his knife, began to shake in fear. In one swift move the man cut the Goose in half. He opened it up, hoping to find lots of golden eggs inside. Did he find any? Can you guess?

  2. Ask the children what the moral of the story is - greed will outdo us. Direct them towards the idea that the countryman got so greedy that he killed his source of income.

  3. Ask them to think about times when they have been greedy (eaten too much, or complained about not getting enough presents, or not being allowed the new Play Station game, etc.). Then ask them to think about children who are not as fortunate as themselves, children who do not have enough to eat, for example.

Time for reflection

Lord,
Help us to be thankful for the things we have.
Help us to fight our bad feelings and to enjoy life as it is,
not wanting more and more like the Countryman in the story.
Please help us not to be greedy.
Amen.

Song/music

'He made me' (Come and Praise, 18)

Publication date: March 2002   (Vol.4 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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