Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Wise Mamma Goose by Charlotte B. Herr

Adobe PDF icon
The Wise Mamma Goose by Charlotte B. Herr - Full Text Free Book
File size: 0.0 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Produced by Ben Courtney and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.





LITTLE CHILD NAMED: _______________


Mamma Goose was trying to think. She had left the barnyard because it
was so noisy there that she could not collect her wits, and had hidden
herself between the rows of tall red hollyhocks which border one side of
the garden. Here, at least, it was quiet.

Thinking had always been hard work for Mamma Goose. And besides, her
family kept her so busy that she had no time for it anyway. There was
always something to be done for the babies.

For Mamma Goose had a whole dozen of the dearest little goslings, and
she was very proud of them. They were soft, and round, and fluffy, like
little yellow balls, and besides being prettier than any other babies in
the barnyard, they were so bright, too, and knew as much as any gosling
could be expected to know,--far more than little Red Hen's chicks, even
though she did make such a fuss about them!

The goslings could hunt for their breakfasts almost as well as their
mother, while little Red Hen had to scratch up every thing her children
ate. And as for the water--well, the chicks were simply not in it there!
They did not like to be in the water at all, but the goslings loved
their morning bath in the brook better than anything else in the whole

Yes, her goslings were by far the finer babies! Mamma Goose swelled with
pride when she thought of it, and carefully smoothed her feathers. She
could have been perfectly happy except for just one thing. She was
afraid that before long something dreadful might happen to the goslings,
and once more she settled herself to think.

There was something wrong in the barnyard. What could it be that came
each night when every one was sound asleep? And what was it that carried
one of the chickens away each time so that, when the next morning came,
there was always one less than there had been the day before? Whatever
it was, it made no noise. Only, always the next morning some one was
missing, and usually it was a little baby chick that was gone. The worst
of it was that no one else knew any more about it than she did. To be
sure, little Bantam Rooster had said it was the hawk. But then Bantam
always thought he knew everything, and was almost always wrong, so that
nobody ever believed anything he said.

Besides, if it had been, the big white cock would have known it, for the
big white cock knew everything. He was the king of the barnyard, and
took care of them all. He had a bright red comb and beautiful, long,
green tail-feathers, and Mamma Goose thought him the most wonderful
being in the whole world.

But something seemed to be wrong with him, too. He did not crow half so
often as he used to, and his beautiful red comb did not stand stiff and
straight any more. It drooped to one side and he looked very tired and
very unhappy, as if he, too, had been trying to think. But if he did not
know what it was that came night after night, then nobody knew.

Everything had been very different when old Fido lived in his little
house by the barnyard gate. Nothing had ever happened to trouble them
then. But old Fido was gone now, and nobody knew about that either. One
morning after breakfast he had trotted off behind the wagon, and nobody
had seen him since. Every one liked old Fido, and they all missed him,
but he had never come back and his little house stood empty all night

Some thought that he had gone to take care of the sheep who lived in the
big field on the other side of the hill. But it was only little Bantam
Rooster who said so. Nobody knew. Things had been better, though, before
Fido went away, for he had always stayed awake all night and watched to
see that no harm came to any of them.

Then suddenly Mamma Goose had a thought, and a very bright idea it was,
too. She would stay awake all night herself, and watch and see with her
own eyes what it was that carried away the little chicks. As soon as she
had made this plan she stopped thinking, for it was such hard work and
the sun was getting very hot on her poor head. Besides, the goslings had
been in the water long enough. They never did know when to come out!

So she waddled down to the brook to get them. Then they all went for a
walk in the meadow where the red clover-tops nod in the wind, and Mamma
Goose did no more thinking that day.

But when night came, she did not forget her plan. As soon as the sun had
gone down behind the hill, the chickens all perched themselves along the
roost with the big white cock at the end of the row, and soon they were
all fast asleep. Little Red Hen gathered her chicks under her wing to
keep them cosy and warm, and then she, too, went to sleep.

Mamma Goose tucked her babies in also, and spread her wings wide over
them all, but she did not go to sleep.

Instead, she kept both eyes wide open and stared straight at the big
white cock, that she might not go to sleep without knowing it. It was
very hard to sit so long in the dark and keep awake. First one eye and
then the other would close tight, but Mamma Goose would stretch them
wide open again, and stare harder than ever at the big cock, and then
she saw that the cock was watching, too, and that made it much easier.

Then it happened after a long time, when the moon had climbed high above
the trees, and everything was very quiet, that a long, slim fox stole
softly beneath the fence and came creeping--creeping across the barn
yard. Mamma Goose was so frightened that she almost said "Quack! quack!"
out loud, but still she kept her eyes on the big white cock, and that
was a great help.

The fox was creeping softly toward the roost where the chickens slept in
a row,--but not straight toward it. He was keeping as far away from old
Fido's house as he possibly could. Although she was so frightened, Mamma
Goose wondered why. She had always heard that the fox was afraid of old
Fido, but didn't he know that Fido was far away? Didn't he know that his
little house was empty? It did not take the fox long, however, to creep
softly past it, and in the morning another little chick was gone!

But a new thought had come to Mamma Goose. If the fox would not go near
old Fido's house, then he could not find the goslings if they hid
inside. It seemed to Mamma Goose the only thing to do, and a very
sensible plan indeed. She would ask all the chickens to come in, too,
and then they would all be safe!

But when she went the next day to her best friends and told them about
her plan, most of them only made fun of her, and all of them turned
their backs on her. No one would listen!

But Mamma Goose was not to be talked out of it. If the others wished to
sit still and let the fox carry them away one at a time, that was one
thing, but for her to do nothing to keep her little goslings safe,--that
was quite another.

So that very evening, when the sun had gone down behind the hill, and
the chickens had perched themselves on the roost with the big cock at
the end, Mamma Goose led all the little goslings into Fido's house.
Every one laughed when she went in, but Mamma Goose had made up her
mind, and she kept straight on as if she had not heard them! But the big
white cock--he did not laugh at her!

So every night Mamma Goose led her babies into Fido's house, and every
morning brought them out again safe and whole. But always a little chick
was missing!

Then one night when the sun was sinking low, the big white cock flew up
to the top of the fence and crowed. All the chickens listened then,
while he told them that they were every one to go into old Fido's house
that night with Mamma Goose; for that was the only way to keep the fox
from carrying them all away.

Now when the big cock said that they were to do anything, it was always
done, and no words about it! So that night all the chickens went into
Fido's house. It was all they could do to get in, for the house was not
large; and some of them were not polite and pushed against the others to
make more room. But the big cock did all he could to keep them in order,
and at last all the little chicks went to sleep.

But the next morning when the farmer's boy came to scatter the corn for
breakfast, he looked at the empty roost and did not know what to think!

By and by, however, he found them and at first he only laughed, but
after he had seen that no little chick was missing, he looked as if he
were thinking, too. And that evening, when the sun had gone down behind
the hill, the farmer's boy came back, and who do you think was with
him?--old Fido, wagging his tail, and looking as if he were very glad to
get back!

The big white cock and all the chickens were just as glad as he was, for
now they knew that the fox would never come any more. Mamma Goose, too,
was just as glad as the rest, for now she knew that she would never need
to bother herself to think about the goslings again.

But she didn't dream that anything more could happen, and she was too
much surprised to think about anything at all, when old Fido came
trotting straight up to her, and wagged his tail just for her alone, and
told her how glad he was that she had been wise enough to use his house,
and had taken such good care of the chickens while he was gone, and what
a sensible little goose he thought she was! You might almost have
knocked Mamma Goose over with one of her own feathers! She couldn't
imagine who had told him.

But perhaps it was the big white cock.


***** This file should be named 11936.txt or 11936.zip *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by Ben Courtney and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission. If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research. They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks. Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial



(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at

and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement

Gutenberg-tm electronic works. Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States. If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
the work. You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work. The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United

1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or

posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges. If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the

must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms will be linked

1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access to or
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other

1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,

1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
returns. Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund. If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER

1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law. The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do

including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at http://www.pglaf.org.

state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations. Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email
business@pglaf.org. Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at http://pglaf.org

For additional contact information:
Dr. Gregory B. Newby
Chief Executive and Director

increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit http://pglaf.org

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

ways including including checks, online payments and credit card
donations. To donate, please visit: http://pglaf.org/donate

with anyone. For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Each eBook is in a subdirectory of the same number as the eBook's
eBook number, often in several formats including plain vanilla ASCII,
compressed (zipped), HTML and others.

Corrected EDITIONS of our eBooks replace the old file and take over
the old filename and etext number. The replaced older file is renamed.
VERSIONS based on separate sources are treated as new eBooks receiving
new filenames and etext numbers.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:


Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.

EBooks posted prior to November 2003, with eBook numbers BELOW #10000,
are filed in directories based on their release date. If you want to
download any of these eBooks directly, rather than using the regular
search system you may utilize the following addresses and just
download by the etext year.


(Or /etext 05, 04, 03, 02, 01, 00, 99,
98, 97, 96, 95, 94, 93, 92, 92, 91 or 90)

EBooks posted since November 2003, with etext numbers OVER #10000, are
filed in a different way. The year of a release date is no longer part
of the directory path. The path is based on the etext number (which is
identical to the filename). The path to the file is made up of single
digits corresponding to all but the last digit in the filename. For
example an eBook of filename 10234 would be found at:


or filename 24689 would be found at:

An alternative method of locating eBooks:

Book of the day: