Once upon a time, there was a little wooden house with a big green door in a meadow under the mountains, and in that house lived a goat named Elisa and her seven babies.
The kids, which is what we call baby goats, had been born just a few weeks earlier, so they only ever left the house with their mom. They were still babies, but they already had tiny little horns and they liked to play games and pull stunts, so Elisa decided to teach them about the dangers they could meet in the world if they weren’t careful.
Their mom led them beyond the babbling brook, right to the land where the old grumpy gamekeeper lived. He had an enormous garden with lots of fruit trees in bloom and currant bushes with young, crunchy leaves and tassels of currants waiting to be eaten. The kids had never tasted currants before, and they loved them.
Elisa was about to scold her little gluttons for munching the gamekeeper’s currant bushes when they heard an angry barking very close by. It was so loud that the kids’ little legs buckled out of fright, and a moment later, when they saw what the gamekeeper’s dog looked like, they got even more scared.
His name was Waggytail, which is not a frightening name, but he was as big as a bear, with long dark fur that stood on end in a ridge on his back. He was terrifying! Elisa stayed calm, however, because she knew that Waggytail was tied up and could only reach as far as the apple tree, which was far enough away for them to be safe.
“So, my little kids,” she said, sternly. “I want you to remember how dangerous it can be in these parts,…