Harriette Taylor Treadwell

The Fisherman and His Wife

Part 1 of 2


[Illustration]

[97]

Once a fisherman and his wife lived

in a little hut by the sea.

One day the fisherman sat on the shore

with his rod.


"The fish do not bite to-day," he said.

Just then something pulled his line.

He drew up a large fish.


[98]

"Let me go," said the fish.

"I am not good to eat.

I am not a real fish.

I am an enchanted prince.

Please put me back into the water,

and I will swim away."


The fisherman put him back into the water,

and went home to his wife.


"Did you catch no fish to-day?"

said his wife.


"I caught a very large fish,"

said the fisherman.

"But it said to me,

'I am not a real fish.

I am an enchanted prince.

Put me back into the water,

and I will swim away.'


[99]

So I put it back into the water,

and it swam away."


"Did you wish for something?"

said his wife.


"What should I wish for?"

said the fisherman.


"You could wish for a pretty cottage,"

said she.

"I am tired of this little hut.

Go quickly and tell the fish

that we want a pretty cottage."


So the fisherman went back to the sea.

The water was all dark and green.

He stood by the shore, and said,

"O prince of the sea!

Come listen to me,

For my wife Isabel

Has a wish to tell."


[100]

The fish swam to the shore and said,

"What does she want?"

"She wants a pretty cottage," said he.

"She is tired of our little hut."


"Go, home," said the fish.

"Your wife is in her cottage now."


The man went home.

There stood his wife at the cottage door.

She took him by the hand and said,

"Come and see our cottage."

There was a pretty little parlor,

and a bedroom and a kitchen.

There was a little yard

with ducks and chickens.

And there was a little garden.


"Is this not beautiful?" said the wife.


"We shall always be happy now,"

said the fisherman.


[101]

But one day his wife said,

"This cottage is too small.

I want a large castle.

Go quickly and tell the fish."


So he went back to the shore.

The sea was all purple and dark blue.

The fisherman stood by it and said,

"O prince of the sea!

Come listen to me,

For my wife Isabel

Has a wish to tell."


"What does she want?" said the fish.


"She wants a large castle," said he.


"Go home," said the fish.

"Your wife is in her castle now."