The Goose Girl

Real Name


First Appearance


Original Publisher

Norwegian Folklore

Created by



Little Annie worked for the king as a goose-girl. One day, she sat on the road to see the king's son. He warned her not to look to have him, and she declared that if she was to have him, she would.

The Prince looked over all the pictures of princesses sent him, and chose one. He had a stone that knew everything and would answer questions, so Annie warned the princess that if there were anything about her that she didn't want the prince to know, she had best not step on the stone that lay beside the bed. The princess asked that Annie get into the bed, and then, when the prince was asleep, Annie would get out and the princess would get in. When Annie got in, the prince asked who stepped into his bed, and was told a maid, but when the princess and Annie had traded places, the princess got out in the morning, the prince asked who stepped out, and the stone said someone who has borne three babies.

He sent her away, and sent for another princess. From his warning to Annie not to think to have him, to the princess's stepping out of bed, it went as with the first, except that this princess had borne six. He sent her away, and sent for a third. But this time, when Annie was still in bed with him, he put a ring on her finger, too tight for her to get off again. When the third princess proved to have borne nine babies, he asked the stone the trick, and it told him how the princesses had all put Annie in their place. The prince went to find Annie. She had a rag tied about her finger, and although she claimed to have cut herself, he pulled it off and found the ring.

So they wed, and Annie had the king's son after all.

See Also

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