Study Guide

The Goose Girl Chapter 4

By Shannon Hale

Chapter 4

  • It's been four weeks since Ani and crew left Kildenree, and by now everyone is a little homesick. Talone tells her that they've reached the halfway point, which he can tell by a mark he sees on a tree—of course, no one's ever travelled this journey though, except for Ungolad.
  • Talone wasn't sure he wanted the old guard to join them before they left, since he's a wild card, but he volunteered and Ungolad has made the trip before, so Talone couldn't really refuse.
  • When Ani gets back to her tent, she notices Selia trying on one of her dresses. Say what? Selia immediately jumps and apologizes since she's just a lowly servant, but Ani doesn't care at all—she's always been Ani's friend, so she doesn't care if Selia looks at her stuff.
  • Somehow Selia gets annoyed at this, acting like Ani's so high and mighty for being kind to a servant—but Ani's not really sure what this is about, and tells Selia she's being super weird lately.
  • Things go from bad to worse, and Selia tells Ani that she's nothing. She's never been good at being a crown princess, and she won't make anything of herself in Bayern either. Ouch.
  • Fine, Ani retorts. If she wants to play it that way, let's go. Ani tells Selia not to call her anything but her official title—princess—again, and to put down her things immediately.
  • She's not sure where she found the strength to stand up to Selia, but then she looks down and sees her mom's handkerchief and thinks it might be magic after all.
  • Later on, Ani is walking out on some wet rocks, when something—or someone—pushes her and she almost face plants. When she doesn't, she knows the handkerchief has saved her once again, and she doesn't trust anyone—even Selia.
  • A week later, Ungolad chats with Ani while riding. He notices her checking out his horse, and asks her about it, so he tells him his horse has a stone in his front hoof—and sure enough, it does.
  • Ungolad is impressed by the princess and realizes for the first time that she's got some spirit in her.
  • Later, Ani talks to Talone about what's been going on with the other men—she's noticed some of them seem to be planning something, but she's not sure what it would be.
  • Talone tells her that if anything happens, to run to the nearest horse and go to the Bayern king for safety. Ani's not sure what could happen, but she promises to do just that if the men try anything.
  • When Ani goes down to the river to get a drink, she bends over and her handkerchief falls out. Uh-oh… Falada tells her she's dropped it, but she doesn't hear him in time, so though she senses something is wrong, she's not sure what.
  • Back at the camp, Talone is arguing with Yulan about how to dress and behave in front of the ladies. Yulan doesn't listen, and Terne even jokes that Ani isn't really a princess out in the forest—they're not in Kildenree or Bayern, so she's not really anyone.
  • Ungolad praises Princess Selia, and some of the others raise their voices in unison. Talone points out that this is treason—and that they can't switch the real princess with such a lowly imposter—but Selia counters with some speech about how royalty shouldn't be through blood. Why is Ani better than her anyway? Selia's sure she'd make a much better princess.
  • The men fight, and Ani tries to get to Falada to run away. She can't make it to her beloved horse without getting to Ungolad first, so she grabs another horse instead.
  • Just a little bit further to the next town in the forest, she tells herself, pushing the horse to go faster and faster; the men are after her, and she knows it won't be good when they reach her.

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