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'''''The Goose Girl''''' is a German FairyTale collected by the BrothersGrimm.
A princess is sent off to marry a prince. She loses a small token (often a lock of her mother's hair) which protected her, and her maidservant seizes the opportunity to usurp her place, taking her clothes and horse, and extracting a promise from the real princess that she will never tell anyone what has happened. Once they arrive, the false princess sends the true one off to the cadre of servants, and even orders the death of her horse, which could speak and would have given the game away. At the true princess's request, his head is nailed to the wall above one of the gates of the palace.
The true princess is so lovely and delicate that no one can bear to give her hard work, so they send her out with the goose boy. In the morning and in the evening, she sighs over her horse's head and it responds. During the day, she is able to call the wind to blow the goose boy's cap away, making him chase it and letting her comb her hair in peace.
After three days of this, the goose boy complains that he won't work with her any more, and his report catches the ear of the king (who is not at all impressed with the false princess). He approaches the goose girl, but she is bound by her promise not to tell anyone, so he asks her to tell it to the iron stove in the kitchen. After the king listens in and learns the truth, he sends her to the royal household to be dressed as the real princess, and then he brings her to a great banquet. The king asks the guests what sort of punishment would be fitting for someone who maltreated her. The false princess prescribes a very cruel execution and is executed in that very way.
In some versions, the princess is the daughter of a fairy or other magical being, who restores all her fortunes once she is married, including bringing the dead horse back to life.
A GenderFlip is found in both the ChivalricRomance ''RoswallAndLillian'' and the ChildBallad "Literature/TheLordOfLornAndTheFalseSteward".
Creator/AndrewLang's version, found in ''The Blue Fairy Book'', can be found [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/goosegirl/index.html here]].
* BrideAndSwitch: The central plot.
* DamselInDistress: The princess.
* ExactWords: She didn't promise not to tell the stove.
* FallenOnHardTimesJob: The title job.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: The maid's.
* IGaveMyWord: The princess.
* InterspeciesFriendship: The princess and the horse.
* LeonineContract: The princess agrees to switch places with the maid in order to keep the maid from killing her.
* RagsToRoyalty: From royalty, first of all.