Notes for Students

Don’t Kill the Goose That Lays Golden Eggs

The proverb “Don’t kill the Goose That Lays Golden Eggs” indicates rakeless job that is done without  giving the second thought. 

Story on the proverb

Reward for the service

“Take this gosling. This is all that I can offer you for helping me raise a fence round my house,” the sage told his assistant.“Just a gosling! Not even a fully grown goose? And I worked for six days? The young man complained.

“This bird will make you rich, very rich. Just wait till it starts laying eggs,” saying this, the sage sent the young man away.

The young man walked home, carrying the gosling along. He wondered, “How can this bird make me rich?” the sage has fooled me.” That made him angry. So he did not take much care of the gosling. He gave it to his wife and said, “When it becomes big, we will make a meal of it.” His wife nodded her head, took the bird away and left it in the backyard. There the gosling foraged for itself. It lived on warms and insects and grains scattered there. Soon it grew big and fat.


One morning the woman heard the goose cackling loudly and came round to find out the reason. Her eyes came to rest on an egg, close to the bird. There was something odd about the egg. Its colour was golden the woman picked up the egg. It was unusually heavy.

She turned it around. It looked to be made of gold. Could it indeed be so! She ran to her husband and showed him the egg. He took it to the goldsmith who checked the quality of the gold. “It is 24 carat gold. Where did you find? Do you want o sell it?”

The man nodded his head. He came back home carrying a wad of notes. He remembered the sage’s words. “The goose will make you rich.”

Every day the goose laid a golden egg. The young man built a palatial house. He began to live in style. 

Disasterous plan struck to his mind.

Then an idea came to his mind. “Why should I wait for the goose to deliver one egg every day?” The goose must be holding several eggs inside its belly. If I kill the goose, I will get all the eggs at once.”He consulted his wife. She found it bit insensible.” She said- “Every day we are getting one egg or the other. This has made us live a comfortable life.” Later she added, “It is not advisable to carry on what you think” the man was till then was blindfolded of greed. He did not listen to what his wife told him. The man hurried to get hold of carving knife.

He went to the backyard. The man seized the goose. It struggled to free itself. But the man held it firmly and ran the knife through the goose. The bird died.

The man removed the feathers and cut open the goose’s belly. He thought he would find many golden eggs there. His wife shouted at him “You have killed the goose that lays the golden eggs.”

Now they have lost everything. The man buried his face in his hands and sobbed.

For more such proverbs please click the links below

A Friend In Need is a Friend Indeed

Never a Quisling be

A little Knowledge is Dangerous Thing

Haste Makes Waste