Another great story from Jataka Tales. Once upon a time there was a generous goose who had beautiful golden feathers. The goose lived in a big pond of clear water. Not very far away from this pond, there lived a poor woman. She had two daughters and despite working very hard all day long, she could not earn enough money for her family. The goose could see that the woman and her daughters were leading a very tough life. So, one day, the goose said to himself, “If I give one of my golden feathers to the poor woman every day, she can sell it and live comfortably with her daughters. Helping someone in need is a noble job, so I must lend a hand to solve their problems.”
Next day, the goose went to meet the poor woman. Seeing the goose, the woman said, “Why have you come here? We have nothing to give you.”
“But I have something to give you.” said the goose. “Look at my feathers, I am no ordinary goose. I will give you one of my golden feathers every day. If you sell them in the market, you will get a good amount of money and then you can start living an easy life with your daughters.”
The woman’s happiness knew no bounds and she thought that the goose was some angel sent by the deities above. From that day onwards, the goose gave one of his feathers every day to the woman and her daughters. The woman sold the lovely feathers of the goose and got enough money in return to keep herself and her daughters in comfort.
One day greed overpowered the woman and she said to her daughters, “We must not trust this goose blindly. What if he flies away one day and never comes back? Then we would become poor once again. Let us pluck all his feathers when he will come to visit us the next time.” The daughters refused to be a part of their mother’s diabolical plan.
The woman was determined to execute her plan. The next time when the golden goose came, she nabbed him by the neck and pulled out all of his feathers. As soon as the feathers got detached from the goose’s body, they mysteriously turned white, just like ordinary feathers. The golden goose cried out in anguish, “You foolish woman! Look what you have done! If someone plucks the feathers of a golden goose without his wish, they turn white and no longer remain of any value.” The greedy woman was very ashamed of herself and repented what she had done. As time went on, the feathers of the goose grew again. He then flew away to a distant land and never came back.
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