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The Fisherman and His Wife
- The Brothers Grimm
Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859), also known as the Brothers Grimm, were German academics and authors who specialized in the collection and publication of folklore. In this story, a fisherman catches a magical fish who grants wishes—perhaps too many.Pair “The Goose with the Golden Egg” with “The Fisherman and His Wife” and ask students to compare the two texts. How does each story portray animals and the greed of people?
The Golden Touch
- Nathaniel Hawthorne
This text is Hawthorne's retelling of the classic myth of King Midas, whose greedy wish for a “golden touch” ends up taking away what is most valuable to him.Pair “The Goose with the Golden Egg” with “The Golden Touch” and ask students what has made myths and fables about greed to remain popular for centuries. Are they still relevant today?
The Treasure in the Forest
- H.G. Wells
Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) was a British author and father of the science fiction genre, best known for his novel The Time Machine. In this ominous adventure story, two men search for Spanish treasure, letting greed get the better of their awareness.Pair “The Goose with the Golden Egg” with “The Treasure in the Forest” and ask students to discuss how greed can bring out the worst in a person, including causing them to do violence to others.
- Howard Pyle
In this humorous old folktale, a man must deal with the desires of three tricky rogues. However, he overcomes their tricks with a plan of his own.Pair these two folktales and ask students: How do both teach their readers a lesson about greed? Is one more effective than the other?
- Jessica McBirney
This easy-to-read article explains the economic system of capitalism along with some of its potential upsides and drawbacks, as well as alternative economic systems.Pair “Capitalism” with “The Goose with the Golden Egg” and ask students to compare the way in which the theme of wealth is played out in the two pieces. Does a system of capitalism allow people to act on their greedy impulses? Should the government play a role in keeping this in check? Does an unchecked desire for money lead people to do things they otherwise would not?
A Woman Who Went to Alaska
- Mary Kellogg Sullivan
In this excerpt from A Woman Who Went to Alaska, Mary Kellogg Sullivan discusses the experiences of miners in search of gold during the Klondike Gold Rush.Pair “The Goose with the Golden Egg” with “A Woman Who Went to Alaska” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore the dangers of pursuing wealth. What were some disadvantages that miners encountered when they traveled to the Klondike region hoping to find gold? How does this compare to the actions and consequences of the man in “The Goose with the Golden Egg?”
- Teresa Bateman
In Teresa Bateman’s story “Maureen’s Harp,” a young girl is invited to play her harp for the king of leprechauns.Pair “The Goose and the Golden Egg” with “Maureen’s Harp” and ask students to discuss how both stories explore the consequences of greed. How does the fate of the countryman in “The Goose and the Golden Egg” compare to Meg and Peg’s fate in “Maureen’s Harp”? What do you think both authors are suggesting about money?
Art on an Egg
- Mariam C. Orme
In the informational text “Art on an Egg,” Marian C. Orme discusses a family’s practice of painting eggs for Easter in Ukraine.Pair “The Goose with the Golden Egg” with “Art on an Egg” and ask students to discuss the special meaning eggs have in the two texts. Why do you think Aesop chose for an egg to be gold? What do eggs represent for Viktor’s family in the text? What else are eggs often representative of?
The Rich Man and the Bundle of Wood
- Maude Barrows Dutton
In Maude Barrows Dutton’s retelling of the folktale, “The Rich Man and the Bundle of Wood,” a Rich Man doesn’t pay a Poor Man enough for the wood he brings him.Pair “The Goose with the Golden Egg” with “The Rich Man and the Bundle of Wood” and ask students to discuss how the characters are selfish in each story. How does the man attempt to get more gold in “The Goose with the Golden Egg”? How does this compare to how the Rich Man attempts to save his money? How are both characters disadvantaged by their actions?