Short Story - The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats
Once upon a time there lived an old goat who had seven young ones whom she loved as every mother loves her children. One day she wanted to go into the forest to fetch some food so calling her seven young ones together, she said, “Dear children, I am going away into the forest. Be careful about the wolf. If he comes here he will eat you all up. He often disguises himself. But you can make him out by his rough voice and his black feet.” The little goats replied, “Dear mother, we will be very careful and obey your words. You may go away without any fear.” So the mother goat left her dear children and went into the forest. The little goats locked their house carefully from inside and shut the windows tightly.
Not long after-wards, somebody knocked at the door and called out, “Open, my dear children. I am your mother and I got something for each one of you.” But the little goats found from the rough voice that it was a wolf and so they said. “We will not open the door. You are not our mother. She has a gentle and loving voice. But yours is gruff. You are a wolf.”
So the wolf went away and he ate some chalk and by that means rendered his voice more gentle. Then he came back, knocked at the door and said. “Open, my dear children. Your mother has come home.” But the wolf had placed his black paws near the opening of the door, so the little goats saw them and replied, “No, we will not open the door. Our mother has no black feet. You are a wolf.”
So the wolf went away and dipped his black foot in white chalk powder and turned them white in colour. Now the bad wolf went to the house for the third time and knocked at the door and said, “Open up! My young ones. Your dear mother has come and has brought with her something for each one of you out of the forest.” The little goats replied, “Show us first your feet to see whether you are our mother.” So the bad wolf put his feet up near the opening of the door and when the little goats saw that they were white, they thought it was all right and unlocked the door. But alas! The wolf had entered the house this time.
The little goats were terribly frightened and tried to hide themselves. One ran under the table. The second got into the bed. The third into the cupboard and the fourth into the kitchen and the fifth into the oven and the sixth into the wash-tub. Finally the seventh hid herself in the clock-case.
But the wolf found them all out and swallowed them up one after another. The wolf did not discover the one which hid in the clock-case. When the wolf was satisfied with eating all the goats, he went out and felt very heavy in his stomach. So he lay down upon the green meadow under a tree and fell asleep.
When the mother goat came home, she saw the terrible sight! The hut-door was wide open. The table, stools and benches were upside down. The wash-tub was broken into pieces and the sheets and pillows pulled off the bed. She sought her children, but could find them nowhere. She called them by name one after the other. But no one answered. At last, when she called the youngest, a little voice replied, “Here I am… dear mother, in the clock-case.” She took her out and heard how the wolf had come and swallowed all the others. She wept for her poor little ones.
At last she went out in all her misery and the young goat ran by her side and when she came to the meadow, there lay the wolf under the tree snoring so loud that the boughs quivered. She saw something was moving and stirring about in his body. “Oh, God!” she said, “What a strange thing! My poor children whom he has swallowed for his dinner are yet alive!
So the mother goat ran home and fetched a pair of scissors and a needle and thread. Then she cut open the monster’s hairy body and had scarcely made one slit, before one little goat put his head out and as she cut further, out jumped one after another, all six, still alive and without any injury… for the monster, in his eagerness, had gulped them down quite whole. The little goats hugged their dear mother and frisked about merrily.
But the mother goat said, “Go and pick up at once some large stones and put them in the wolf’s stomach”. They put as many as they could bring and then the old mother went and looking at him in a great hurry, saw that he was still insensible and did not stir and so she sewed up the slit.
When the wolf at last woke up, he raised himself upon his legs and because the stones lying in his stomach made him feel thirsty, he went to a brook in order to drink. But as he went along, rolling from side to side, the stones began to tumble about in his body and he called out, “What rattles in my stomach?”
And when the wolf came to the brook he bent down to drink water and the heavy stones made him lose his balance. So he fell and sank in the water.
As soon as the seven little goats saw this, they came running up, singing aloud, “The wolf is dead! The wolf is dead!” and they danced in joy around their mother by the side of the brook.
MORAL : Wicked ones are always punished in the end.