By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Johnny Nut and the Golden Goose
Author: Lang, Andrew, Deulin, Charles
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Johnny Nut and the Golden Goose" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


Done Into English

By Andrew Lang

From The French Of Charles Deulin

Illustrated By A. M. Lynen


Longmans, Green, And Co.


[Illustration: 0002]

[Illustration: 0010]

[Illustration: 0013]

[Illustration: 0014]

[Illustration: 0016]


This Tale is rendered, a little freely, from _Trente-six Rencontres de
Jean du Gogué_, in _Contes d’un Buveur de Bière_, par Charles Deulin.
(Sixième Edition. Paris: Dentu. 1873.)

The late M. Deulin told with much humour, and probably with but
little alteration from oral tradition, the popular tales of his native
province. The narrative here translated has points in common with a
Tongan legend, with several ancient French _fabliaux_, with a Zulu story
in Bishop Callaway’s collection, and with Grimm’s _Golden Goose_.


[Illustration: 9018]

IKE the Sultan in the _Arabian Nights_--and, sure, you are no less
despotic--you have sometimes commanded me to ‘tell you a story.’It has
been my privilege to obey; but, alas! when my toil was ended, with
a stretch of absolute authority you have bidden me ‘tell you
another.’Truly, Madam, the _Ocean of the Streams of Story_, whereof
the Hindoos speak, will speedily be drained dry by your Slave, who now
presents you with this little Tale, which he has conveyed from French
Flanders. If it amuses your leisure as much to read, as it has diverted
mine to translate it, I shall have that enjoyment which attends
successful enterprise, and I remain,


Yours very humbly to command

A. Z.




[Illustration: 9020]

LONG TIME AGO there lived in French Flanders, at a village called Saint
Saulve, Valenciennes way, a little cow-boy named Johnny Nut He had no
father and no mother, and they called him Johnny Nut because he was
found one fine morning under a walnut-tree. Silly Billy was another
name he had, for he was just as great an innocent as a calf before it is

Now, never in his living days had Johnny Nut dined on anything better
than potatoes, and the one thing he wanted in the world was to taste
roast goose.

[Illustration: 0022]

Now, about a dozen miles off, Condé way, there is a village where the
geese are so grand that all the world talks of nothing but the Hergnies

‘When I grow up,’ said Johnny, ‘I’ll go to Hergnies and eat goose.’

[Illustration: 9024]

So, at long and at last, one autumn evening he left the cows in the
lurch, and off he went, without beat of drum.

Now, whether he came back as poor as he started, and what a great love
of roast goose brought Silly Billy to, that’s what we are going to tell

So Johnny Nut followed his nose, and asked his way, and at nightfall he
reached the village of Escau-bridge.

‘You can’t show me the way to Hergnies, mother?’ cried Johnny to the
farmer’s wife, who was just sitting down to supper.

‘That I can, my son, but you are out late.

‘Are you in such a hurry?’

‘Oh, mother, who is in a hurry if not me? These ten years I’ve been
dying to taste roast goose, so don’t you see there’s no time to waste.’

The farmer’s wife stared at him with all her eyes.

‘What do they call you?’ says she.

‘Silly Billy,’ says he.

‘Oh, _don’t I see_.

‘Yes, I see,’ said the woman, laughing to his very
face. ‘Listen, my lad! You are big, and strong, and you seem honest. Now
Jim, our man, is off on the King’s wars. Will you take his place?’

‘Will you let me taste roast goose?’

[Illustration: 0026]

‘On Sunday, as sure as sure, you shall have your fill of goose; I have
to send some one to Hergnies, to my cousin’s, to-morrow. You shall
start, at peep of day, and bring me a good fat goose. We’ll dine off him
when we come back from the fair at the next town. Does that suit you, my

‘Mother, it’s just the thing for me.’

‘Then come to supper.’

And to supper went Johnny Nut, with such an appetite that he scarcely
had time to say grace.


[Illustration: 9028]

EXT day was a Saturday, and the farmer’s wife went to waken Johnny in
the stable-loft.

‘Come, come, up with you!’ says she, shaking him. ‘Don’t you hear the
cock crowing?’ So she gave him a big bowl of coffee, and _such_ a chunk
of bread; and showed him the way, and sent him off, saying, ‘Mind you
ask for my cousin’s mill, and bring me the goose, and seven bushels of
flour, and a pint of seed corn.’

[Illustration: 0030]

‘Seven bushels, and one pint,’ ‘Seven bushels, and one pint’--for, not
being very clever, he was afraid he might forget.

As he went on saying this, he met a farmer, who was counting up how much
his field should bring him in.

‘_Seven_ bushels, indeed!’ said the farmer. ‘Let a hundred come!’

Now this puzzled Johnny Silly Billy, for he had never room in his head
for more than one idea at a time; so he went on his way, repeating,

‘Let a hundred come! let a hundred come!’

[Illustration: 0032]

Well, as Johnny crossed a wood, there sat a shepherd, as red as scarlet,
and as proud as a peacock that has laid an egg; and all because his dog
had just killed a wolf that was after the lambs.

‘Let a hundred of them come! let a hundred of them come!’ sang out
Johnny Nut.

‘What do you mean, you fool?’ says the shepherd, ‘with your _Let a
hundred them come!_ A hundred, indeed! Rather say, _There’s another
caught and done for!_’

[Illustration: 0034]

‘_There’s another caught and done for!_‘said Johnny Nut, as he went on
his way.


[Illustration: 9036]

OW, as Johnny strutted along, he heard jolly music and wedding bells,
and saw a multitude of people.

[Illustration: 0036]

It was a wedding party, outside a tavern; and the fiddlers were
fiddling, and everybody dancing.

Johnny Nut went through the middle of them all, shouting:--

‘_There’s another caught and done for!_’

‘Caught and done for! Meaning _me_!’ says the gay bridegroom; and
he tucked up his shirtsleeves to give Johnny one in the eye. But the
bridesmaid, who did not want a quarrel, gave Johnny a push, and said to

‘Idiot, say rather, “Let everybody follow a good example.”’

[Illustration: 9038]

It was all one to Johnny, and off he went, shouting--

‘Let every one follow this good example!’

So he left the village, and he went, and went and better went, till he
came to a house on fire.

The policeman had caught a poor tramp, whom he charged with burning the

‘_Let everyone follow this good example_!’ shouted Johnny, never
thinking of anything but roast goose.

‘What’s that you say, you vagabond! You incite the populace to arson
and fire-raising!’ cries the policeman, who was by way of being à great

[Illustration: 0040]

Johnny trembled like an aspen-leaf.

‘Say, “Heaven help you to put the fire out,”’ whispered one of the
firemen; and Johnny said so, and off he went, the old way, crying--

[Illustration: 9040]

‘_Heaven help you to put the fire out!_’

Now he passed a blacksmith’s forge, and that blacksmith was as cross
as two sticks, for he had been blowing the bellows for three hours, and
could not make the fire burn.

Well, just when a little tiny blue flame burst forth, as little as a
pussycat’s tongue, what did the blacksmith hear but--

‘_Heaven put the fire out!_’

 [Illustration: 0042]

Round he turned, pitched his hammer at Johnny, and knocked him down flat
on the king’s high way.

[Illustration: 8042]


[Illustration: 9044]

OHNNY was not dead; Fortune had other adventures in store for Johnny. A
farmer came out with his men, and carried him into the house, where he
soon came to his senses. It was not very much in that way he had to come
to; but if Johnny had not many brains, he had an extraordinarily thick
skull. The blow with the hammer would have killed another man, but it
only made a bump on the head of our Johnny.

The farmer asked him where he came from and what he wanted.

‘I’m going to Hergnies, to eat roast goose,’ said Johnny.

[Illustration: 8044]

‘Why, you are twelve miles from Hergnies,’ said the farmer; and he gave
Johnny a sheaf of corn, and sent him on his road.

 [Illustration: 8046]

Well, Johnny lost himself again, and sat down against a wall and lunched
off part of his hunch of bread.

[Illustration: 9046]

Then, as he was tired, he fell asleep, and a chicken came and ate all
the grains of corn out of his sheaf. Then Johnny woke, and when he found
he had nothing left of his sheaf but straw he fell a-crying.

[Illustration: 6046]

Now, the farmer there was a good-natured man, and, to console Johnny, he
made him a present of the fowl, and off he went.

[Illustration: 7046]

About four in the afternoon Johnny was hungry again, and sat down to
finish his hunch of bread with his chicken beside him.

Up came a clumsy great cow, and trod on the chicken and crushed it flat.

Johnny set off sobbing again. ‘Never no luck,’ says he. ‘They gave me a
sheaf, and a chicken ate it. They gave me a chicken, and a cow crushed
it Boo-hoo!’


‘Don’t boo-hoo,’ says the Lord of the Manor, who came by with his gun
on his shoulder and his game-bag on his back. ‘Don’t boo-hoo! take the

‘Thank you kindly, your noble worship,’ says Johnny, as merry as may be,
and he and the cow jogged along till it grew dark.

[Illustration: 0048]

At last Johnny came to another farm, and there the farmer took in him
and his cow.

Now, this farmer had a big pretty maid, as strong as a man, and he bade
her milk Johnny’s cow. But, as she milked, the cow switched its tail in
her eyes and made her see quite an illumination.

[Illustration: 9050]

The maid was an angry maid. She picked up a pitchfork and threw it at
the cow, and the poor beast fell down dead!

Then Johnny began to cry again, and I don’t wonder at it.

‘Never no luck,’ says he. ‘They gave me a sheaf, and a chicken ate it;
they gave me a chicken, and a cow crushed it; they gave me a cow, and
the maid killed it. Boo-hoo!’

[Illustration: 8050]

‘Oh bother! take the maid and don’t blubber,’ said the farmer. He didn’t
like to keep a girl in the house who threw pitchforks about when she
lost her temper.

Johnny did not wait to be asked twice. He took the maid, tied her hands
and feet, put her in a sack, heaved her on to his back, and away went

‘When I do get to Hergnies,’ said he to himself, ‘I’ll marry the maid,
and we’ll have roast goose at the wedding supper,’ for his intentions
were strictly honourable.

But the further he went the more Johnny didn’t find the way; and at
last, as the maid was pretty heavy, he set her down by a tavern door and
went in and asked for a pot of beer.

[Illustration: 0052]


[Illustration: 0054]

[Illustration: 9054]

OW, in the tavern were Tuné, the tailor, with a coat he had made for
a customer, and Nanasse, and Polydore, and Rumble his dog, four of the
wildest wags in that country-side.

Tuné went out of the tavern to see what kind of night it was, and there
was the sack and something in it that moved. So he opened the sack, and
what should he find but a pretty tall maid, trussed like a fowl.

[Illustration: 0056]

Well, he let her out and she told him all about it, and, as she was not
dying to marry our Johnny, off she ran to her own village as hard as she
could go.

‘What am I to fill the sack with?’ thought Tuné. ‘By George, I’ll put in
Polydore’s yellow dog, Rumble.’

So he whistled to Rumble and put him in the sack.

By this time Johnny had finished his ale, and he came out, hoisted the
sack on his shoulder, and marched away without asking questions. Tune
followed at a little distance, and, as Rumble knew a friend was there,
why, he entered into the fun and said never a bark.

At last Johnny reached Hergnies, and where should he go to but to the
parson’s, of course, to get married! Then it occurred to him that he
had never asked the maid if she would have him! He put down the sack and
opened it.

‘I say, maid,’ quoth he, ‘shall us get married, us two?’

‘G-r-r-r-r-r-r!’ says the maid.

Johnny, in a fright, let go his hold of the cord, the sack fell open,
out jumped Rumble, and flew at his throat.

Johnny sprang into a willow-tree and climbed up it, but, lo and behold!
the tree was rotten, and down came tree and Johnny and all on the back
of Rumble! Now, Rumble was expecting nothing of that sort, and, with one
wild yowl, he flew away like the wind, and never stopped till the town
gates of Condé were closed behind him!

[Illustration: 0060]


[Illustration: 0062]

[Illustration: 9062]

HEN once the voice of Rumble was lost in the distance, Johnny climbed
out of the tree and found that none of his bones were broken.

All of a sudden in the hollow of the tree trunk he saw something shining
like a will o’ the wisp.

He put in his hands and pulled out A Goose with Golden Feathers!

‘Here’s luck at last,’ says Johnny, ‘I’ve lost a maid and found a golden
goose! I’ll have it roasted this very night,’ and off he went to the
best inn in the village.

Now the inn was full of people going to the fair on St. Calixtus’s day,
which was a great festival.

However, Johnny, being but a village idiot, had never heard anything
about all that.

Up he comes and goes to the landlord, who didn’t know where to turn, he
had so many customers, all going to the fair.

‘Cook my goose!’ says Johnny, as bold as brass.

‘Oh, you go to--Jerusalem,’ says the landlord, ‘we don’t cook _gold
geese here_, not to-day, we don’t.’

[Illustration: 0066]

‘Well, if you won’t be obliging and cook my goose,’ says Johnny Nut,
‘why, I’ll give it to Saint Calixtus. A pretty poor saint he’ll be if he
does not give me a goose fit to put on the spit in exchange for my goose
of gold!’

So he got supper somehow, and went with his goose to sleep in the

[Illustration: 0068]


[Illustration: 9070]

HE landlord of the inn had three fair daughters, all as curious as
their mother Eve. All night long they turned and tossed in their beds,
thinking about the golden goose and longing to see it.

As soon as the first cock crew, up gets the oldest daughter.

‘It is so hot I really can’t sleep,’ said she, and went on tip-toe to
the stable, as quiet as pussy, for fear of waking Johnny.

In the moonlight the golden goose was shining like a star.

‘I’ll take one of the pretty feathers,’ said the girl, and put out her
hand to touch it But she could not pluck the feather and she could not
pull her hand away!

When the second cock crew, up got the second daughter.

‘It is far too hot to sleep,’ said she, and she ran downstairs to her
sister. But as soon as she had touched her _she_ could not move a step
from the place!

[Illustration: 0072]

Then the third cock crew, and up got the youngest daughter, and ran to
the stable after her sisters.

‘Take care! don’t come here!’ they cried, but she did not understand,
and she thought--

‘Why, if they are there, I can go too!’

But as soon as she touched her sisters, there she was, as fast as could
be to the golden goose!

A quarter of an hour later Johnny wakened, and stretched himself, and
shook some of the straw out of his hair, and then took his goose under
his arm, and off he went, never noticing the girls, whom he had _not_
left behind him.

[Illustration: 0074]

They tried to stop him, but Johnny thought they wanted to rob him of his
goose, and he ran, and they ran, and they all ran as fast as their legs
would carry them.

When they were out of the village, the girls were also out of breath,
and they entreated Johnny to stop. So he said he would stop if they
would show him the right road, and the sun was up by the time they
reached the next village.

[Illustration: 0076]


[Illustration: 9078]

UST at that very moment, who should come by who should come by but the
Vicar of Condé, with his two Curates, the Churchwardens, the Beadle
himself, the man that played the fiddle, the man that played the cornet,
and all the wicked little choirboys.

They were all marching off to sing the Mass on St. Calixtus’s day.

The Vicar at that time was a stout clergyman, as big as a barrel, but he
was a very holy man, and very severe about good and modest behaviour.

Naturally, when he saw the landlord’s daughters all strutting away
behind our Johnny, he was Shocked!

‘Are you not ashamed of yourselves,’ he cried out, ‘great lasses like
you, to run about the country after a lad?’

So he plucked the youngest girl by the sleeve to stop her, but, behold!
no sooner had he touched her than he could not leave hold, and _he_ had
to march after the golden goose!

[Illustration: 0080]

‘Oh, sir, oh, sir!’ cried the Beadle (who was a long, thin-legged man,
like a heron), and he ran up, caught hold of the Vicar by his gown, and
there he stuck.

The Vicar cried for help to the rest of his company, so first the
Curates, then the Organist, then the man with the violin, then the
cornet-player, and, lastly, all the wicked little choir-boys, rushed to
hold the Vicar back, but they were all caught, and had all to run after
Johnny, while Johnny just followed his goose!

[Illustration: 0082]

[Illustration: 0084]

Pilgrims came to do him honour from all the country round, and, as Saint
Calixtus was famous for curing lame people, they made a very singular

[Illustration: 0086]

The maimed and the halt and the blind were there, humpbacks by the
dozen, cripples by the score, men with wooden legs, men with iron
hooks instead of hands, men with wry necks--in short, they were a funny

[Illustration: 8088]

They would not have been funny, but very pitiful, if they had really
been lame and blind, but the truth is that they were all persons whom
the good Saint had cured, and now they were only making believe, for one
day in the year, to suffer from their old complaints. But, to tell the
truth, they looked so odd that the images of the other Saints in the
chapel were set, on that day, with their faces to the wall, for fear
they should break out laughing.

[Illustration: 9088]

When the High Mass had been sung, all the worthy cripples threw away
their sham humps, and bandages, and wooden legs, and they laughed, and
danced, and skipped, and revelled, so that it was a pleasure to see so
many people enjoying themselves.


[Illustration: 0090]

[Illustration: 9090]

OW you must be told that the King of that country had a daughter _as
lovely as the day,_ who had never laughed in all her life!

She was as sad and sorry as the mournful Bell that rings for a death,
and so they called her the _Passing Belle_; it was a sort of joke. *

     *  The French country people call the Passing Bell La
     Dolente, and this unhappy Princess they named La Belle
     Dolente. If any child cannot understand this, she may
     consult her nice French grammar, and her French and English
     dictionary, and turn it over in her mind till next

[Illustration: 8092]

[Illustration: 9092]

Now, as she was an only child, the ‘Passing Belle had been spoiled from
her very cradle. Cakes, toys, diversions, such as playing at funerals,
had been lavished on her, but she never, never smiled.

[Illustration: 7092]

They tried her with Punch and Judy, they tried her with pantomimes, they
took her to the play, but there never came a smile on the pale lips of
the Passing Belle.

She would not have laughed for a King’s ransom; nay, if you had ordered
her off to instant execution, and laid her head on the block, you could
not have wrung a smile from her!

The King, who had a strong sense of humour, was in despair. Finally he
had a proclamation printed:--

[Illustration: 0094]







Cambrinus R.

But nobody came!

Every one thought it was hopeless to get a laugh from the Passing Belle.
Then the King, who was a very religious man, determined to take her to
the shrine of Saint Calixtus. Of course, if the Saint could make her
smile, she would become a nun, and perhaps, in the long run, would have
been as solemn and _lugubrious_ as ever.

[Illustration: 0096]


[Illustration: 0098]

[Illustration: 9098]

LL the Court came, and all the Court nearly died with laughing at the
procession of the halt, and lame, and blind. ‘Go it, ye cripples,’ cried
his Majesty, in convulsions of merriment! Some of the people were like
X’s, and some like Y’s, and some like Z’s, and plenty of K’s and S’s,
all the cross letters were there, all the letters but straight upright
I. Meanwhile the courtiers held their sides and screamed, and the tears
came into their eyes; but the Princess yawned like a pretty little trout
out of water! She did not see what there was to laugh at!

Besides, if she _had_ laughed, perhaps they would have made her marry a
man with a hump upon his back, or two wooden legs and a glass eye.

The fun was over, the King got up, the courtiers all rose, when past
came Johnny and the golden goose and all his company.

Now when the Princess beheld our Johnny, and the landlord’s three
daughters, and the fat Vicar, and the thin Beadle, and the two Curates,
and the Organist, the violin-player, the man with the comet, and all the
wicked little choir-boys, all stuck fast together, and all treading on
each other’s heels, she fell into such convulsions of laughter that she
dropped into the Queen’s arms, and chuckled till she was nearly dead.

The King, wild with delight, threw his royal arms around the neck of our
Johnny, shouting, ‘Take her, you dog; she is yours, my bonny boy!’ and
all the courtiers, falling on each other’s breasts, cried=

````Hooray, hooray,

````She’s laughed to-day!=

[Illustration: 0100]

But our Johnny moved on, quite grave, to the altar of Saint Calixtus,
and there he laid the golden goose, after which all the people who
followed him were able to get free. The charm was broken.

[Illustration: 0102]

Next day was the marriage. They ate a whole flock of roast geese from
Hergnies, and they drank two vats of the local beer. In short, merrier
times never were, in all the merry country of Flanders, where the beer
is so excellent.

[Illustration: 0104]


[Illustration: 9106]

FTER the King died, Johnny succeeded to the vacant throne, and the
Chronicles report that he did not govern less wisely than other
monarchs, prime ministers, and politicians generally, before or since.

[Illustration: 0106]

The people of his own good town of Valenciennes had a statue made of
Johnny Nut, in walnut-wood, and a statue of his wife, and there they
stand on a tower, and strike time on the big clock; so you see this
story is quite true. Do not you believe any learned man who tells you
that Johnny is the Sun, and that the Goose is the Sun, and that the
Passing Belle is the Moon, or nonsense of that kind, which, my dear
children, is _too common!_


I think the Moral is that we should always be kind to animals,
respectful to Old Age, and, above all, that we should be _Easily

[Illustration: 0108]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Johnny Nut and the Golden Goose" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.