Some of the most important lessons can be taught via story. In all of our Camp Millionaire or Creative Wealth for Adults programs, we always tell a very funny version of “The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg” and it really teaches people not to kill their goose…i.e., don’t spend the money that’s paying you every month.

This is your retirement money and the assets that are producing your passive income. I like to tell the story in a cowgirl hat and do it with a little southern drawl…the kids love it and laugh. And if you have older kids (15ish), just admit it’s a silly story but ask if they’ll just play along! Works ‘most of the time’.

Here it is…embellish as you wish and tell it with gusto! I tell it with lots of fill in the _______ (blanks) so it’s more interactive. Try it…it’s a lot more fun that way.

The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg

Once upon a time, there was a poor farmer who worked the fields day and _________ (night). Every day he worked so hard he went to bed plumb tuckered. Plumb what? (tuckered). He did this for many years and was getting really tired of working in the fields.

One day he decided to take a break and go for a walk and as he was walking along the road he heard the loudest racket coming from a ditch. He looked down and there was a goose with a broken wing. The poor farmer took pity on the goose and decided to take it home and nurse it back to health. So that night, the farmer put the goose in his chicken coop and went to bed.

Farmer and his 'golden goose'

The next morning, when the farmer went to go collect his chicken eggs from the chicken coop for breakfast, what do you think he found? A golden egg. The farmer took the egg in his hand, wondering if this could possibly be real. He found an axe and chopped the egg in half and it was gold through and through. The farmer jumped up and yelled, “I’m rich, I’m rich, I’m rich!!” and immediately went to the bank to exchange the gold for money. That day, the farmer didn’t go to work—instead he bought everything he’d always wanted to buy—a brand new tractor for his farm, new tools for his garden, an ipod to put all his music on, a laptop, a flat-screen TV and a new surround sound stereo system. That night the farmer went to bed and thought, “Wow, today I got to do everything I’ve always wanted to do and I didn’t have to work. This was probably the best day of my life. I will always keep it in my memory.”

But the next morning, when the farmer went to collect the eggs from his chicken coop, lo and behold, he found another golden egg. This time the farmer didn’t even have to check if the egg was real, instead he just jumped up, screamed, “I’m rich, I’m rich, I’m rich!” and ran to the bank and exchanged the gold for money. This day, the farmer bought even more things that he wanted, including trips he’d always wanted to take and dinners he could never afford before and lots and lots of jewelry for his loving wife, and a speedboat for good measure. That night, the farmer went to bed under his brand new comforter and thought, “Wow, two days in a row where I didn’t have to work and could do anything to my heart’s content. I will always keep these two days in my memory.”

When the farmer went again to collect chicken eggs from his chicken coop, though, he found yet another golden egg, and the day after that another golden egg, and the day after that and the day after that and the day after that and the day after that and the day after that and the day after that and this went on for a while and pretty soon, the farmer became really good at spending this money – so good in fact that the money was running out faster than the day. So the farmer got an idea. He thought to himself, “I bet if I went into the coop and killed the goose and gutted it, then I could have all the eggs at once!”

The farmer went into his brand new tool shed that be bought with the golden goose egg money and grabbed the shiny new axe that he bought with his golden goose egg money and went into the new goose coop that he bought with his golden goose egg money and hoisted the axe above his head and CHOPPED the goose’s head off and GUT the goose in half…and what do you think he found inside? Nothing but goose guts.

And so the farmer went back to working the fields day and night for the rest of his life and his wife ended up leaving him for the golden goose farmer across the street.

So what’s the moral of the story? (Let them tell you.)

Exactly. Don’t kill the goose that’s laying the golden eggs, especially if it’s producing your passive income.