Study Guide

The Goose Girl Chapter 5

By Shannon Hale

Chapter 5

Goose Girl

  • Ani keeps riding, but she's not sure if she's even going in a straight path—all the forest looks the same to her, and she's on a horse she doesn't know as well.
  • Later she wakes up with fir needles all around her, unsure of where she is and what's happened.
  • She realizes Falada's not with her, and longs for him. She also wishes she had something to eat—she's starving and has never missed a meal before. Lost and alone, she starts out on foot, even though she's not sure which direction to head.
  • Ani decides to follow the stream of water she sees, and then she sees some owls and swans, so she decides to ask them for directions.
  • Finally she reaches a house with apples, oranges, and carrots growing in the yard. A woman named Gilsa appears from the house, and asks Ani who she is and why she's here—but before Ani can even answer, she faints from thirst and hunger, right there on the doorstep.
  • Finn, Gilsa's son, carries Ani inside and lets her rest for a while before the woman asks her again about what kind of trouble she's in. Ani isn't really sure how to answer. How do you tell someone that you're actually a princess and your people betrayed you in the forest?
  • Ani starts small and asks if she can go with Finn to market, where he sells stuff his mom grows and makes—it sounds like a big farmer's market, where people from the forest go and sell stuff to the Bayern folk.
  • Gilsa agrees to let Ani stay there for the next eight days until market week, and Ani tries not to be a burden, though she's not really sure how to do anything, having spent her whole life as a princess with servants.
  • One night Ani notices the hens are all on edge and figures out they are telling each other there is a rat under the floorboard—and sure enough, when Ani tells Gilsa, they find a rat right there. Gilsa's not really sure how Ani knew about the rodent, but she's amazed all the same.
  • The night before they head to the market, Ani helps Finn and Gilsa wrap up all the sweaters Gilsa made, and pack up their stuff.
  • Gilsa tells her that language is in everything—all of us talk to a bird, a goat, and a dog every now and again.

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