The idea of a country goose being buffeted about on the streets of London is probably as old as Freeman's "Mettle Olde England" setting, and the language of the young actor-playwright that Willoughby Waddle meets in the lane is downright hokey. "Forsooth, it does seem life is full of woe, e'en for a lowly goose," says the stranger as he brushes garbage from Willoughby's wings. The grateful goose follows his rescuer, causing hilarity by nipping his on-stage duel. opponent in the breeches, and later hears the young man (called Will) answer his companions' plea with "poetic lines": "I can but try. This very night I intend to finish the play I have been working on for lo, these many moons." Thus Willoughby gets his chance to return Will's kindness, for when the playwright that night throws feathers from his window, grumbling "Curse these quills! How can I write with such wretched pens?" the goose donates some of his own long, strong ones and becomes the writer's boon companion. Freeman bathes the encounter in a soft, affectionate glow that invites participation--but if this sentimental dolt can be proved to be William Shakespeare, Bacon's stock is sure to rise.