Study Guide

The Goose Girl Chapter 13

By Shannon Hale

Chapter 13

  • The next day, at Ani and Geric's usual hangout, the guard seems a little down, but when Ani asks him about it, he brushes it off.
  • Ani changes the subject to the princess's stallion (a.k.a. Falada), and Geric tells her that he's not doing so hot and it looks like he might be killed soon.
  • It's up to the princess of course, but she's on board with putting the horse out of its misery since he's completely lost his marbles.
  • Ani can't bear the thought of her beloved horse dying, so she asks Geric if he can save Falada. He says he's not sure he can, and that the horse might have been killed already. Yikes.
  • Ani begs Geric to save the horse, though, saying she wouldn't ask if it wasn't really important to her.
  • Geric tells her that he loves spending time with her and thinks of her as a really great friend, so he'll try to do everything he can to save the horse, but no promises.
  • That night, Ani can't sit still or sleep—she has to try to help Falada, so she sneaks into the palace stables again. This time however, they are empty, and she knows it's too late.
  • But that's just the start of her problems—Ungolad sees her in the stables and starts running after her.
  • Faster and faster she runs, scared that any step might be her last. She knows she'll be through if he catches her, so she stops at the gate and asks the guard to help her.
  • Luckily, one of them stops Ungolad to ask him what all the commotion is about, just long enough for her to slip away and make it back to her little room, alone. Phew.
  • The next day, Ani gets a letter from Geric. In it, he tells her that he can't keep meeting up in the pasture with her—and then he writes, "I cannot love you as a man loves a woman." Huh?
  • Ani's confused, upset, and not really sure what to think—and what's more, Geric confirms that Falada was already killed by the time he got to the palace.
  • As she thinks about Geric's message, Ani decides to give Falada the burial he deserves; he was a true friend and the princess's horse, after all.
  • She tracks down the knacker who has Falada's body and pays him to give her beloved horse a fitting end. Knowing she's the goose girl, he promises to give the horse honorable rites.
  • Later that week, Ani and Conrad walk back from the pasture, and there—on top of the goose pasture gate—is Falada (or his head, anyway). Ani's grossed out, but Conrad tells her it's a sign of respect.
  • That's honorable? Sticking a horse's head to a wall? Ani's not so sure she's on board with that.

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