Story of the Duck with Golden Eggs
Once upon a time there lived an old man named Abrosim, with his old wife Fetinia: they were in great poverty and want, and had a son named Ivanushka, who was fifteen years of age. One day the old man Abrosim brought home a crust of bread for his wife and son to eat; but hardly had he begun to cut the bread than Krutchina (Sorrow) sprang from behind the stove, snatched the crust out of his hands and ran back. At this the old man bowed low to Krutchina, and begged her to give him back the bread as he and his wife had nothing to eat. Old Krutchina answered: “I will not give you back the bread; but I will give you instead a duck, which lays a golden egg every day.”
“Well and good,” said Abrosim; “at all events I shall go to bed without a supper to-night; only do not deceive me, and tell me where I shall find the duck.”
“Early in the morning, as soon as you are up,” replied Krutchina, “go into the town and there you will see a duck in a pond; catch it and bring it home with you.” When Abrosim heard this, he laid himself down to sleep.
Next morning the old man rose early, went to the town, and was overjoyed when he really saw a duck in the pond: so he began to call it, and soon caught it, took it home with him, and gave it to Fetinia. The old wife handled the duck and said she was going to lay an egg. They were now both in great delight, and, putting the duck in a bowl, they covered it with a sieve. After waiting an hour, they peeped gently under the sieve and saw to their joy that the duck had laid a golden egg. Then they let her run about a little on the floor; and the old man took the egg to town to sell it; and he sold the egg for a hundred roubles, took the money, went to market, bought all kinds of vegetables, and returned home.
The next day the duck laid another egg, and Abrosim sold this also; and in this way the duck went on, laying a golden egg every day, and the old man in a short time grew very rich. Then he built himself a grand house, and a great number of shops, and bought wares of all sorts, and set up in trade.