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A Story for children age 4 to 6.
The Fisherman and his Wife part 1
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There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a pigsty, close
by the seaside. The fisherman used to go out all day long a-fishing; and
one day, as he sat on the shore with his rod, looking at the sparkling
waves and watching his line, all on a sudden his float was dragged away
deep into the water: and in drawing it up he pulled out a great fish.
But the fish said, 'Pray let me live! I am not a real fish; I am an
enchanted prince: put me in the water again, and let me go!' 'Oh, ho!'
said the man, 'you need not make so many words about the matter; I will
have nothing to do with a fish that can talk: so swim away, sir, as soon
as you please!' Then he put him back into the water, and the fish darted
straight down to the bottom, and left a long streak of blood behind him
on the wave.
When the fisherman went home to his wife in the pigsty, he told her how
he had caught a great fish, and how it had told him it was an enchanted
prince, and how, on hearing it speak, he had let it go again. 'Did not
you ask it for anything?' said the wife, 'we live very wretchedly here,
in this nasty dirty pigsty; do go back and tell the fish we want a snug
The fisherman did not much like the business: however, he went to the
seashore; and when he came back there the water looked all yellow and
green. And he stood at the water's edge, and said:
'O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'
Then the fish came swimming to him, and said, 'Well, what is her will?
What does your wife want?' 'Ah!' said the fisherman, 'she says that when
I had caught you, I ought to have asked you for something before I let
you go; she does not like living any longer in the pigsty, and wants
a snug little cottage.' 'Go home, then,' said the fish; 'she is in the
cottage already!' So the man went home, and saw his wife standing at the
door of a nice trim little cottage. 'Come in, come in!' said she; 'is
not this much better than the filthy pigsty we had?' And there was a
parlour, and a bedchamber, and a kitchen; and behind the cottage there
was a little garden, planted with all sorts of flowers and fruits; and
there was a courtyard behind, full of ducks and chickens. 'Ah!' said the
fisherman, 'how happily we shall live now!' 'We will try to do so, at
least,' said his wife.