|Asterix and the Golden Sickle
(La serpe d'or)
Cover of the English edition
|Main characters||Asterix and Obelix|
|Published in||Pilote magazine|
|Date of publication||11 August 1960-1961|
|Translator||Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge|
|Preceded by||Asterix the Gaul|
|Followed by||Asterix and the Goths|
Asterix and the Golden Sickle (French: La serpe d'or, "The Golden Sickle") is the second volume of the Asterix comic book series, by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations). It was first serialized in Pilote magazine issues 42-74 in 1960.
Disaster strikes in the Gaulish village when Getafix the druid breaks his golden sickle, on grounds that without one, he cannot attend the annual conference of druids, or cut mistletoe for the magic potion which keeps the Roman armies at bay. Asterix and Obelix therefore set out for Lutetia (present-day Paris) to buy a new one from Obelix's cousin, the sicklesmith Metallurgix. On the way there (and later, in returning to their village), they encounter bandits, but easily defeat them, and learn from a fellow-traveller that "sickles are in short supply in Lutetia". In Lutetia itself, they find that Metallurgix is missing; and when they inquire of his neighbors, one of these gives a description of them to the spy Clovogarlix, who in turn directs them to his superior Navishtrix (Metallurgix's chief competitor) to buy a new sickle at a high price. They refuse, and defeat Navishtrix and his followers; but are pardoned by Roman Prefect Surplus Dairyprodus, and learn from a Centurion that Metallurgix may have been kidnapped by his competitors. From a drunkard imprisoned by Dairyprodus, they learn that these are based at a portal dolmen in the Boulogne forest. In the competitors' underground store-room, Asterix and Obelix find a hoard of Golden Sickles, but are attacked by Clovogarlix, Navishtrix, and their minions. Upon defeat, Navishtrix escapes, and Asterix and Obelix follow him to Surplus Dairyprodus, who confesses having sponsored the illegal monopoly for his own amusement. The Centurion thereupon releases Metallurgix and imprisons Dairyprodus and Navishtrix; whereafter Metallurgix, in gratitude at having been freed, gives Asterix and Obelix the best of his sickles, free of charge. With this, they return to their village and celebrate their achievement.