There was a man who had three sons. The youngest was simply called simpleton, and was despised, laughed at, and neglected on every occasion.
It happened one day that the eldest son decided to go into the forest to cut wood. Before he went, his mother gave him a delicious pancake and a flask of wine.
In the forest, he met a little old man who asked him for some food and water, but the reluctant youth refused and just left.
When he came to cut down a tree, it hit him and wounded his arm so that he had to go home. This was all the little old man’s doing.
Later, the second son went into the wood. The little old man asked him for food too, but he behaved just like his brother. The punishment soon followed; as he was chopping away at a tree, he hit his leg so badly that he had to be carried home.
Then, the simpleton begged his father to let him go into the wood and his father agreed because he needed logs. When he got to the wood, the simpleton met the little man and joyfully shared his food with him.
The little man said, "As you have such a kind heart, I will bestow good luck upon you. Cut down an old tree and at its roots you will find something."
The simpleton did as the old man said and found a goose with feathers of pure gold. He lifted it out and took it with him to an inn where he planned to stay the night.
The landlord had three daughters who were all curious to know what this wonderful kind of bird was. When the simpleton went to bed, the eldest daughter grabbed the goose by its wing but her hand became magically stuck to the goose.
Soon after, came the second and third sister with the same idea, but as each touched the other sister, they too became stuck.
The next morning, the simpleton tucked the goose under his arm and left, not noticing the three girls being dragged behind.
A priest saw them and tried to drag the youngest girl away but he quickly became stuck to her and was forced to follow after them.
Not long after this, a church official was passing and saw the priest following at the heels of the three girls. He grabbed hold of the priest’s robe but, as soon as he touched it, he too became stuck and was forced to follow the group.
The priest cried out to two peasants and begged them to come and help free him and the church official but as soon as they touched, the peasants had to follow too.
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