The wolf and the seven little Goats

The wolf and the three little kids

There was once an old goat who had seven little ones and was as fond of them as ever

mother was of her children. One day she had to go into the wood to fetch food

for them, so she called them all around her.

“Dear children,” said she, “I am going out into the wood; and while I am gone, be on your guard against the wolf, for if he were once to get inside, he would eat you up, skin, bones, and all. The wretch often disguises himself, but he may always be known by his hoarse voice and black paws.”

“Dear mother,” answered the kids, “you need not be afraid; we will take good care 
of ourselves.”

And the mother bleated goodbye and went on her way with an easy mind. It was not

long before someone came knocking at the house door and crying out,

“Open the door, my dear children; your mother is come back and has brought each of you something.”

But the little kids knew it was the wolf by the hoarse voice.

“We will not open the door,” cried they; “you are not our mother, she has a delicate and sweet voice, and your voice is hoarse; you must be the wolf.”

Then off went the wolf to a shop and bought a big lump of chalk and ate it up to make

his voice soft. And then he came back, knocked at the house door, and cried,

“Open the door, my dear children; your mother is here and has brought each of you something.”

But the wolf had put up his black paws against the window, and the kids seeing this, 

cried out,

“We will not open the door; our mother has no black paws like you; you must be the wolf.”

The wolf then ran to a baker.

“Baker,” said he, “I am hurt in the foot; pray spread some dough over the place.”

And when the baker had plastered his feet, he ran to the miller.

“Miller,” said he, “strew me some white meal over my paws.”

But the miller refused, thinking the wolf must mean harm to someone.

“If you don’t do it,” cried the wolf, “I’ll eat you up!”

And the miller was afraid and did as he was told.

And that shows what men are. And now came the rogue the third time to the door

and knocked.

“Open, children!” cried he. “Your dear mother has come home and brought you each something from the wood.”

“First, show us your paws,” said the kids, “so that we may know if you are really our mother or not.”

And he put up his paws against the window, and when they saw that they were white,

all seemed right, and they opened the door; and when he was inside, they saw it was

the wolf, and they were terrified and tried to hide.

One ran under the table; the second got into the bed; the third into the oven, 

and the fourth in the kitchen, the fifth in the cupboard, the sixth under the sink, 

and the seventh in the clock case.

But the wolf found them all and gave them short shrift; one after the other,

he swallowed down all but the youngest, who was hidden in the clock case.

And so the wolf, having got what he wanted, strolled forth into the green meadows

and, laying himself down under a tree, he fell asleep.

Not long after, the mother goat came back from the wood, and, oh! what a sight met

her eyes! The door was standing wide open, table, chairs, and stools all thrown about,

dishes broken, quilts and pillows torn off the bed. She sought her children; they were

nowhere to be found. She called each of them by name, but nobody answered until

she came to the name of the youngest.

“Here I am, Mother,” a little voice cried, “here, in the clock case.”

And so she helped him out and heard how the wolf had come and eaten all the rest.

And you may think how she cried for the loss of her dear children. At last, in her grief,

she wandered out of doors, the youngest kid with her; and when they came into

the meadow, there they saw the wolf lying under a tree and snoring so that

the branches shook. The mother goat looked at him carefully on all sides,

and she noticed how something inside his body was moving and struggling.

“Dear me!” thought she, “can it be that my poor children that he devoured for his evening meal are still alive?”

And she sent the little kid back to the house for a pair of shears, and needle,

and thread. Then she cut the wolf’s body open, and no sooner had she made one snip

than out came the head of one of the kids, and then another snip, and then one after

the other, the six little kids all jumped out alive and well, for in his greediness the rogue

had swallowed them down whole. How delightful this was! so they comforted

their dear mother and hopped about like tailors at a wedding.

“Now fetch some good hard stones,” said the mother, “and we will fill his body with them as he lies asleep.”

And so they fetched some in all haste and put them inside him, and the mother sewed

him up so quickly again that he was none the wiser.

When the wolf, at last, awoke and got up, the stones inside him made him feel very

thirsty, and as he was going to the brook to drink, they struck and rattled one

against another.

And so he cried out:

“What is this? I feel it inside me, Knocking hard against my bones. How should such a thing betide me! They were kids, and now they’re stones.”

So he came to the brook and stooped to drink, but the heavy stones weighed him

down, so he fell over into the water and drowned. And when the seven little kids saw it,

they came up running.
“The wolf is dead, the wolf is dead!” they cried, and taking hands, they danced with their mother all about the place.

The End