The Hen that Laid Golden Eggs

The Hen that Laid Golden Eggs - How Hannes became a good boy again

Little Hannes lived near Ludwigsburg with his family, in a modest flat on the third floor. He didn't have much, but was happy to share things, and was always willing to give up some of his afternoon snack if a child had less than he did.

One day a friendly neighbour, who was fond of him, gave the boy a hen.

Hannes was happy to have this pet and he built the hen a dear little nest, with his favourite things in it, on the balcony of his little flat. He called his hen Finefeather.

On the next morning he ran excitedly to Finefeather to collect his first breakfast egg. But, to his astonishment, the hen hadn't laid a normal egg. The egg was of gold and it shone in the morning sun. Finefeather was a magic hen!

Finefeather now laid a golden egg every day and the family no longer had to be economical. They could buy lovely things – things that they had always wished for themselves.

Hannes got the most wonderful toys ... but something about him had changed. He didn't want other children to play with his things because they might break them. He didn't want to give things away and he became really unbearable.

Finefeather was a clever animal who sensed these changes. She decided to stop producing golden eggs for the moment.

So the next morning Hannes found a quite normal hen's egg in the nest, white and fragile. The same thing happened on the morning after that and the whole week through. So Hannes got angry. He jolted the nest and wanted to hit Finefeather and shake her. The hen pecked at the boy and clucked. "If you become as friendly as you used to be and are happy to help people and share things with them – then I will stay with you and lay you a golden egg every day. But if you continue to be a beast, I'll fly away forever!"

So Hannes promised to improve – and to give every child who visited him one of his golden eggs.

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