Old Mother Goose lived in a cottage with her son Jack. Jack was a very good lad, and although he was not handsome, he was good-tempered and industrious, and this made him better-looking than half the other boys.
Old Mother Goose carried a long stick, she wore a high-crowned hat, and high-heeled shoes, and her kerchief was as white as snow.
Then there was the Gander that swam in the pond, and the Owl that sat on the wall. So you see, they formed a very happy family.
What a fine strong fellow the Gander was! Whenever Old Mother Goose wanted to take a journey, she would mount upon his broad strong back, and away he would fly and carry her swiftly to any distance.
Now Old Mother Goose thought her Gander often looked sad and lonely; so one day she sent Jack to market to buy the finest Goose he could find.
It was early in the morning when he started, and his way lay through a wood. He was not afraid of robbers; so on he went, with his Mother’s great clothes-prop over his shoulder.
The fresh morning air caused Jack’s spirits to rise. He left the road, and plunged into the thick of the wood, where he amused himself by leaping with his clothes-prop till he found he had lost himself. After he had made many attempts to find the path again, he heard a scream.
He jumped up and ran boldly towards the spot from which the sound came. Through an opening in the trees he saw a young lady trying to get away from a ruffian who wanted to steal her mantle. With one heavy blow of his staff Jack sent the thief howling away, and then went back to the young lady, who was lying on the ground, crying.
She soon dried her tears when she found that the robber had made off, and thanked Jack for his help. The young lady told Jack that she was the daughter of the Squire, who lived in the great white house on the hill-top. She knew the path out of the wood quite well, and when they reached the border, she said that Jack must come soon to her father’s house, so that he might thank him for his noble conduct. When Jack was left alone, he made the best of his way to the market-place.
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