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Was it the goose that laid the golden eggs?

When something or someone is the source of something valuable, they are often referred to as the “goose with the golden eggs”.  But where does that expression come from and what does it mean?

One of the first references can probably be found in Aesop’s fable The Hen and the Golden Eggs. So, not a goose but a hen, although there’s really no difference in the outcome.

In the fable, a farmer and his wife have a hen that lays a golden egg every day. Not content with that daily supply of richess, they decide to kill the hen in order to retrieve the lump of gold they assume it possesses inside its body. However, they discover that once dead, the hen is just an ordinary hen.

Contrary to other fables, Aesop did not explicitly write a moral to this story.  My interpretation is that, like the hen in the fable, some people make great contributions to this world, even though in all respect they seem like ordinary persons.

Do you agree?  What is your interpretation? Put your reply in a comment below!

Hen Puppet
Rooster Puppet


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