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The Swan Story - A Story on Greed and its Consequences

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Let’s be honest! We have all been greedy at some point or another in our lives. It is normal human nature to experience such emotions. However, we should know when it needs to stop and what can be the consequences of being too greedy. Let us read a swan story to understand how people can get greedy and how they can ruin their chances of success.

The Golden Swan Story

There was once a golden swan who lived in a pond. Beside the pond, there lived a family of two daughters and a mother. They were so poor that they could not afford to eat two proper meals sometimes. The swan noticed their situation and took pity on the poor family. It thought and thought, and finally, came up with a solution. The swan decided to shed its golden feathers one by one and give them to the poor family. They could sell the feathers and earn enough to live a comfortable life.

A golden swan swimming in a pond

A golden swan swimming in a pond

The swan contemplated a lot and finally decided to go forward with the plan. The mother was surprised at the swan’s arrival at their house. She asked the swan why it had come to their place knowing well that they could not provide anything for it. The swan replied that it was not there to take anything, it had a proposal instead. The swan shed one of its feathers and gave it to the family. It started doing the same every day. The family was earning enough from selling the gold to lead a happy and comfortable life.

However, the mother soon became greedy and decided to pluck all the feathers off the swan the next time it came to their place. She told her daughters that she was not being able to trust the swan fully and was of the doubt that the swan may not arrive after a few days, which would leave the family poor again. The daughters were not happy to hear this and felt sympathy for the swan.

The next day, when the swan arrived, the mother grabbed it and plucked all its feathers. But to her surprise, the feathers were no more golden, they were normal feathers. The swan explained that it was willingly shedding the golden feathers, and since the mother had forcibly plucked its feathers, they were nothing but regular feathers to her.

An evil mother plucking all the feathers off a swan

An evil mother plucking all the feathers off a swan


The mother was shocked after hearing this, and she begged and apologised to the swan. But the swan wouldn’t repeat the same mistake. The swan had helped them out of sympathy, and they had tried to kill it. As it flew away, the swan asked the family not to be greedy.

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FAQs on The Swan Story - A Story on Greed and its Consequences

1. What is the moral of the swan story?

The story tells us about the consequences of greed and selfishness. We may desire something, but it should not be so intense that it can prove harmful for someone else, even us. We should know when to stop and how much is enough. 

2. Why did the mother decide to pluck all the feathers off the swan?

The mother thought that she should collect as much as she could gather from the golden swan so that she could be richer and would not have to rely further on the swan for her lifestyle. So, she decided to rip the poor swan off all its feathers, without thinking about the pain the swan would have to go through.