There was once a man who had three sons. The eldest was called Heero. The second eldest was called Trowa, and the youngest was a happy-go-lucky youth named Duo.
One day, the man called to his eldest son: "Heero, go into the woods and cut some firewood." Heero nodded his head. "Ninmu ryoukai," he said, and set off at once to the forest. His mother gave him a nice meal of steak (very rare, just the way Heero liked it) and rice to eat on the way.
In the woods he encountered an old gray man who wore a Hawaiian shirt. "Give me a bit of your food and a drop from your cup," the old man bade Heero, "for I am very hungry and thirsty."
Heero scowled at the old man. "You interfere with my mission. Be off or I will kill you." He left the old man standing there and went on his way. But he had not been long at work when the cliff below him crumbled and he fell, breaking his leg.
This was little trouble to him-he just reset his bones by himself-but his ax had been lost and he had to go back home. Choking, he tried to say, "Mission aborted..." but started bawling like a baby before he got to 'abort'. This had never happened to him before, you see.
So while the eldest son had to be sedated, the second son now had to go to the forest to cut wood. Like she did for the eldest, his mother gave some food and drink to munch on the way.
Trowa set off for the woods, talking quietly into a mission recorder the whole way and not minding the pride of lions who followed him like lovestruck calves. The lions disappeared soon enough, as Trowa rounded a bend and came face to face with the old gray man in the garish Hawaiian shirt. Like with Heero, he asked Trowa for a bit of food and drink, and like Heero, Trowa gave a sensible answer. "No. Be off with you."
His punishment was not long delayed. After a few blows at the tree, he hit his own leg and had to be carried home. He also got amnesia from the blow, but was instructed to lie quietly beside his heavily-dosed-up elder brother. Soon the memories returned. He got very tired of lying in a room where there was nothing and no one but a comatose Heero, though.
Meanwhile, while Heero was put into a stupor and Trowa regained his memory, Duo pleaded, "Let me go to cut the wood, father." But his father said, "Your brothers have only come to harm by it. Best you leave it alone."
But Duo begged so hard to be allowed to go that finally his father said, "Well, off you go then. You will be wiser when you hurt yourself."
His mother could only give him some left-over Chinese food and some flat soda. Did Duo mind? Not a whit. He sauntered along, whistling cheerfully, to the woods, also talking to his Gundanium ax, whom he had named Shinigami. When he reached the forest, he met the old gray man. "Give me a bit to eat and drink," the old man pleaded.
Duo said, "I only have these really disgusting limp Chinese noodles and some moo-shoo-something, and my fizzy drink's not exactly fizzy anymore. Still, if you like this gunk, we'll sit down and eat it together."
So they sat down. Duo accidentally sat down on an fire ant hill, and jumped
up screaming in agony, but after slapping all the ants into extinction, everything was just hunky-dory. When he pulled out his Chinese leftovers, he found it had turned into a five-course turkey dinner, and his three-day-old bottle of soda was now an icy-cold six-pack of Budweiser.
So the two ate and drank, and the little man said, "As you have such a good heart (but messed-up head, he muttered to himself) and are willing to share your goods, I will give you good luck. There stands an old tree. Cut it down and you will find something in its roots."
Without further ado, he disappeared without giving Duo any further directions. Duo cut down the tree, and lo and behold! a goose was sitting among the roots, and its feathers were of purest gold. He picked it up and took it with him to an inn where he meant to stay the night. The landlord had three adopted daughters, who saw the goose and were very curious about it.
The eldest, Dorothy Catalonia, thought, 'There will soon be some opportunity for me to get one of those feathers. And if that braided freak comes back inside, why, I'll skewer him with my rapier.' So when Duo went outside to...ah...answer the call of nature, she reached out a hand to pluck one of the golden feathers, but her hand stuck fast and she could not get away.
Soon afterwards, the second sister, Azusa Shiratori, came up, meaning to get a feather, name it 'Petit Jean' and hug it and love it and kiss it forever because it was soooo kawaii!!! But she had no sooner touched her sister Dorothy when she found herself held fast.
The youngest daughter, Marimaia Khushrenada, came with the same intentions. But the others screamed, "Keep away! For the love of God, keep away!" But she, not knowing why, went into a long rant about how she was her true father's daughter and destined to lead the world into a new chapter of history. When she was quite done, she went inside and also got stuck.
In the morning, Duo took up the goose under his arm without noticing (or just not caring) the three girls running behind. They had to keep running behind, dodging his legs right and left.
In the middle of the fields, they met up with a withered old pervert named Happosai. "Pretty girls!" he cried out in glee. He tried to glomp Dorothy and Azusa but ended up stuck fast to Marimaia, a female too young for him to glomp.
A red-headed girl spied the old man and cried out in incoherent rage. A whole mob of females heard the cry and immediately all set to Happosai. When the dust cleared, fully thirty other females had been added to the line, and Happosai was in deep pain.
By and by, they reached a kingdom where the King's daughter, Princess Hilde, would never laugh. Some whispered it was because her father didn't let her play with Mobile Dolls, instead restricting her to regular dolls. (of the non-combat type) Some whispered it was because her spiky black hair resisted any and all attempts at styling by the Royal Hairdresser. (although thousands of people also suffered from spiky, messy hair, a common anime affliction)
Whatever the reason, Princess Hilde never laughed, and her father, in desperation, offered the standard reward (the princess's hand in marriage and half the kingdom) to whomever could make her laugh. When Duo heard this, (and obtained a picture of the princess whom he decided was quite a babe) he took his goose, with all its following, before her. When the princess saw this ridiculous sight, she burst into fits of laughter and seemed she would never stop. When Duo came before her and began tossing off witty lines, contorting his extremely expressive face, her laughter got worse.
So, Duo married the Princess, and she was very happy with her new bridegroom, too. Duo invited his two brothers to the wedding, and Trowa caught the eye (and one of the knives) of one of the entertainers hired for the wedding, a knife-thrower named Catherine. In the morning, they found a note from him saying he'd run off to join the circus.
Meanwhile, one of Princess Hilde's cousins, Princess Relena from the neighboring Sanc Kingdom, saw Duo's eldest brother Heero and immediately fell in love with the handsome boy. Heero fell in love too, though he only admitted it after being chased around the entire world by the persistent girl and having to save her from being kidnapped by her own brother.
And they all lived happily ever after, with the exception of the people still stuck to the goose.