The Five Goats
(From Repetitive Stories: A collection for young and old, Hella Coenen, 1997)

There was once a boy who every day had to look after the five goats of his father. He looked after them very well. Every morning he brought them into the meadow. There was nice grass to eat and clear water to drink. Every evening he brought them home again and then they were milked and gave of their creamy milk.

One evening the goats wanted to stay in the meadow, the boy could not manage to get them into the stables. “Hop, hop, home you go! You have to be milked.” He cried. But the goats did not go, and they continued eating from the juicy grass. Then his sister came and said, “Wait, Let me try. I will bring them inside,” and she ran after the goats. But they did not want to go inside.

Just them there came a dog walking by. “Wait. Let me try. I will bring them to the stables; my voice is much louder than yours. It will scare the goats and then I will bring them inside.

“Woof, woof, woof.” The dog ran behind the goats. But they did not get scared and from the juicy grass, and they did not go inside.

Then came the red fox to see why the dog was barking so loudly. “Let me try,” said the fox. “the dog howls much too loudly. I know something better. I will get that done.” The fox ran behind the goats and cried, “Hee, Hee, inside you goats.”

But the goats did not take any notice and just continued eating from the juicy grass.

Then came the horse. “Let me fix this,” said the horse. “I am bigger than the fox. I can do more than the dog, and I have more legs than the boy.” The horse ran to the goats and called “It’s nearly dark, goats; it’s time that you go into the stables.”

But the goats scarcely looked at the horse and continued eating again from the nice fresh grass and did not go inside.

Then came a bee flying by. “What is happening here? He asked, “Why are you still in the field so late?”

“The goats do not want to go inside,” said the boy and the girl. “Nobody can get them into the stable. The horse cannot. The fox cannot. The dog cannot. And we also cannot.”

“Yes, so it is,” said the horse, and the fox, and the dog.
“Then it is my turn,” said the bee. “I will lead them inside. Let me try this.”
“You are much too small,” said the boy and the girl.
“You cannot make enough noise,” said the dog.
“You cannot run on four legs around the field,: said the horse.

“You will see,” said the bee, and he flew away. He flew directly to the biggest goat and went “buzz, buzz, zoom, zoom,” in his ear. The goat lifted his head up immediately and saw the bee, “Oh, what is that?” cried the goat, and ran away as fast as he could.

“If you are going inside I shall go as well,” said the next goat.
“Then we shall all go to the stable,” said the other goats. And so the eventually all went to the stable.

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