Money Can Do Everything
There was once a prince as rich as cream, who took it into his head to put up a palace right across the street from the king's, but a palace far more splendid than the king's Once it was finished, he put on its front in bold lettering: MONEY CAN DO EVERYTHING
When the king came out and saw that, he sent immediately for the prince, who was new in town and hadn't yet visited the court
"Congratulations," the king said "Your palace is a true wonder My house looks like a hut compared with it Congratulations! But was it your idea to put up the words: Money can do everything?"
The prince realized that maybe he had gone too far
"Yes it was," he answered, "but if Your Majesty doesn't like it, I can easily have the letters stripped off"
"Oh, no, I wouldn't think of having you do that I merely wanted to hear from your own lips what you meant by such a statement For instance, do you think that, with your money, you could have me assassinated?"
The prince realized he had got himself into a tight spot
"Oh, Majesty, forgive me I'll have the words removed at once And if you don't like the palace, just say so, and I'll have it torn down too"
"No, no, leave it the way it is But since you claim a person with money can do anything, prove it to me I'll give you three days to try to talk to my daughter If you manage to speak to her, well and good; you will marry her If not, I'll have you beheaded Is that clear?"
The prince was too distressed to eat, drink, or sleep Day and night, all he thought of was how he might save his neck By the second day he was certain of failure and decided to make his will His plight was hopeless, for the king's daughter had been closed up in a castle surrounded by one hundred guards Pale and limp as a rag, the prince lay on his bed waiting to die, when in walked his old nurse, a decrepit old soul now who had nursed him as a baby and who still worked for him Finding him so haggard, the old woman asked what was wrong Hemming and hawing, he told her the whole story
"So?" said the nurse "And you're giving up, like that? You make me laugh! I'll see what I can do about all this!"
Off she wobbled to the finest silversmith in town and ordered him to make a solid silver goose that would open and close its bill The goose was to be as big as a man and hollow inside "It must be ready tomorrow," she added
"Tomorrow? You're crazy!" exclaimed the silversmith
"Tomorrow I said!" The old woman pulled out a purse of gold coins and continued, "Think it over This is the down payment I'll give you the rest tomorrow when you deliver the goose"
The silversmith was dumbfounded "That makes all the difference in the world," he said "I'll do my best to have the goose tomorrow"
The next day the goose was ready, and it was a beauty
The old woman said to the prince, "Take your violin and get inside the goose Play as soon as we reach the road"
They wound their way through the city, with the old woman pulling the silver goose along by a ribbon and the prince inside playing his violin The people lined the streets to watch: there wasn't a soul in town that didn't come running to see the beautiful goose Word of it reached the castle where the king's daughter was shut up, and she asked her father to let her go and see the unusual sight
The king said, "Time's up for that boastful prince tomorrow You can go out then and see the goose"
But the girl had heard that the old woman with the goose would be gone by tomorrow Therefore the king had the goose brought inside the castle so his daughter could see it That's just what the old woman was counting on As soon as the princess was alone with the silver goose and delighting in the music pouring from its bill, the goose suddenly opened and out stepped a man
"Don't be afraid," said the man "I am the prince who must either speak to you or be decapitated by your father tomorrow morning You can say you spoke to me and save my life".