The Goose with the Golden Egg — A Tale on Greed

The story of the Goose with the Golden Egg teaches us the folly of being greedy which leads to the destruction of the source of benefits to a person. The English idiom “Kill not the goose that lays the golden egg” was derived from this classic Aesop story.

“Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10

The Golden Egg Story

Once upon a time, there lived a cloth merchant in a village with his wife and two children. He was dedicated to his work and whatever he earned was enough to fulfill his needs. One evening, after returning from his work, the trader was very hungry. “What have you cooked tonight?” he asked his wife. His wife replied, “I could not get any fowl and cooked only rice and some lentils.” Just then he heard a goose honking outside his hut. “That goose would make a great feast for me,” thought the merchant and prepared to catch it.

He was able to catch the goose after much effort. As he was about to kill it, it spoke, “Please do not kill me, If you spare my life, I will help you.” Surprised that the goose talked, the merchant asked, “How can you help me?”

“If you spare my life, I will lay a golden egg every day for you,” said the goose. The merchant was stunned in disbelief and also was delighted at hearing this. Surprised to hear the promise, he told the goose “If you do not lay a golden egg tomorrow, I will kill you.” The next day, the farmer to his amazement, found that the goose had laid a beautiful, glittering, golden egg in its nest.

The merchant did not reveal this secret to anyone, fearing that other men from his village would steal the goose. Every day the goose laid a golden egg. He took it to the goldsmith and got handsomely paid. With the money, the merchant bought many things and built a huge house for his family. He became the wealthiest man in his village. But wealth brought with it, greed and pride.

The merchant started to become impatient with the goose as she gave him only a single golden egg each day. He was not getting rich fast enough. He wanted to become the wealthiest man in his country and wanted to get all the golden eggs from the goose at one single go by cutting it open. He asked his wife about this idea and his wife being avaricious agreed to his foolish plan. So, he caught hold of the goose, took a sharp knife, chopped off its neck, and cut its body open. When the deed was done, to his utter dismay and despair, not a single golden egg was found in the dead goose.

the goose with the golden egg

The man grieved that he would not get even one single golden egg now. He understood how foolish he was to have killed the precious goose.

The morals of this story are:
a) if you desire more you lose all;
b) you should remain satisfied with what you get; and
c) always think before you act.

Check our wide collection of Moral Stories that will inspire you and your children to do great things for the good of others. These stories for kids are motivating stories that will teach valuable lessons.


  1. Crosbie 12th October 2020
    • bibiliumlearn 22nd October 2020

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