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The Milkmaid and Her Pail Story

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Introduction to the Milkmaid Story

Molly is a milkmaid who lives in a village with her mother. She sells milk to the villagers. Through this, she and her mother live happily. By selling milk, Molly fulfils her mother's needs and also her own needs and wishes. She has her dream world where Molly wishes for every new thing that she dreams. Every time she gets money from selling milk, she dreams of things like fairy dresses, jewellery, candies, etc.

But one day, her dream breaks down and she realises the reality. While there is nothing wrong with thinking about the wishes we want to complete but getting so lost in our own thoughts and daydreaming isn’t very good for us. So in the milkmaid and her pail story, we read how Molly's dream breaks and how she learned to focus on her work.

The Milkmaid and Her Pail Story

Milkmaid and her Pail

Milkmaid and Her Pail

Every time Molly sells milk, she dreams about the things she could buy from the money she gets from selling the milk. Molly thought about buying the new sandals matching her fairy dress. Along with that, she thought about having her new shiny pail which would attract new villagers to buy milk from her.

One day, Molly went out to sell milk with her pail on her head. She walks around and thinks about what she can buy with today's money that she will earn from selling milk. Suddenly, she saw a chicken and did her favourite thing. Can you guess what? Dreaming.

Molly looked at the chicken and thought: “I am going to buy a chicken with the money I get today. The chicken will lay eggs. Then I can sell milk and eggs at the same time and earn more money to spend. With more money, I can buy a bicycle and everyone will be jealous of me. Oh, I can't wait to buy chicken.”

While thinking about these things, she became more excited and got lost in her thoughts and forgot about the milk she was carrying on her head. She started skipping on the road and the milk started spilling over the edges. Soon Molly was covered with milk and her pail became empty. She became very sad to see her empty pail. She said, “Oh no! Now I would not be able to sell milk and buy chicken.”

Milk Fell Down From Her Pail

Milk Fell Down From Her Pail

She took the empty pail and went back home. Her mother saw her and asked: "What happened to you?” Molly explained to her mother the whole thing that she was dreaming about and got lost in her thought that milk fell down and her pail became empty. Her mother screamed at her, “How many times do I need to tell you don't count your chickens before they are hatched!”

Molly asked, “What does it mean, mother?” Her mother replied, “It means that you should focus on what you have rather than making plans based on what might be.” Molly knew her mother was right. She realised her mistake and wanted to return to reality. She loved to dream but, finally, she remembered to focus on her work. From then on, she sells the milk without thinking about the money and the things she can buy. 

Moral of the Story 

The moral of the story is that Do not count your chickens before they are hatched. It means that we should not daydream about things that have not happened.


In this article, we have discussed about the milkmaid and her pail story. The story focuses on the concept that every dream is not a reality. This story says that we should not have to count the chickens before they are hatched. Basically, it teaches us that getting so lost in our own thoughts like the milk selling Molly and daydreaming can be harmful to us. So we should try to live in reality. 

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FAQs on The Milkmaid and Her Pail Story

1. Who was Molly and What did Molly do on the way to her destination?

Molly was a milkmaid. She used to sell milk every day in the village. Her favourite thing to do is to dream. She always thought about the money she would have as she sold the milk. She always had a plan ready to spend the money which she hadn't earned yet. One day, She was on her way to sell the milk. She thought that with the money she would earn, she could buy a new fairy dress with matching sandals, jewellery, candies, and a new shiny pail to attract the villagers to buy milk from her, etc. But she met with an accident due to overthinking and ended up spoiling things.

2. What is the name of the story and  How did her pail become empty?

The name of the story is the milkmaid and her pail story. One day, Molly went to sell milk. There she saw a chicken and decided to buy it with the money she will be going to earn on the same day after the milk will be sold out. She started daydreaming about how she will sell the eggs of the chicken to have extra income and will then buy a bicycle to make people jealous. 

While she was dreaming, she started jumping with excitement and unfortunately ended up spilling milk over the edge. Soon she was covered with milk and this is how her pail became empty.

3. Who wrote The Milkmaid and her Pail?

The Milkmaid and her Pail is a moral story for kids between 2 and 10 years of age. It is a famous folktale about interrupted daydreams of wealth and fame. This story is a big example of why a person should not daydream while working. The author of this famous story is R. F. Gilmor.