The Keeper of the Geese

Englishstory12 - A young man, who had gone out hunting in the woods, met an old woman who was bent over with age, and bent even further under the weight of an enormous bundle of firewood. The young man immedi­ately offered to carry her load himself. He soon realised that it was much heavier than he had thought. He tried to slip the bundle off his back, but found that it was stuck to him as though it had taken root. The old woman was really a witch who had trapped him with a spell, so he had no choice but to follow her home. There also was the old woman’s daughter, looking after the geese, and she too was very old and very ugly.
 The young man was prepared for the worst, but the witch released him at once from the spell, and in thanks for having carried home her firewood, she gave him out of her jewel box an emerald with an inlaid pearl.
Sometime later, the queen noticed this unusual jewel and recognised the pearl as one of the teardrops of her daughter, who had been stolen away years before. She made the hunter recount his strange tale, and then begged him to take her to the old woman's house. They had almost reached the house, when they spied the old woman's daughter on the river bank. To their amazement, as they watched she took off her grey wig, and dirty old furs she was wearing, to emerge as a beautiful fair maiden at once, the queen recognised her long lost daughter and cried out to her, Which brought the witch onto the scene .... only the witch was not really a witch at all, but a good fairy disguise who had freed the kidnapped princess from the evil ogre who had captured her. Afterwards the fairy had been obliged to disguise them to keep them from falling again into the clutches of the wicked ogre. The hunter and the princess fall in love at first sight. The fairy cast one more magic spell and conjured up an enchanted castle where the couple lived a long and happy life together.

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