THE TWO BROTHERS1
Long ago there lived two brothers, both of thern very handsome, and both so very poor that they seldom had anything to eat but the fish which they caught. One day they had been out in their boat since sunrise without a single bite, and were just thinking of putting up their lines and going home to bed when they felt a little feeble tug, and, drawing in hastily, they found a tiny fish at the end of the hook.
' What a wretched little creature!' cried one brother. 'However, it is better than nothing, and I will bake him with bread crumbs and have him for supper.'
' Oh, do not kill me yet!' begged the fish; ' I will bring you good luck — indeed I will! '
' You silly thing!' said the young man; ' I've caught you, and I shall eat you.'
But his brother was sorry for the fish, and put in a word for him.
' Let the poor little fellow live. He would hardly make one bite, and, after all, how do we know we are not throwing away our luck! Put him back into the sea. It will be much better.'
'If you will let me live,' said the fish, 'you will find on the sands to-morrow morning two beautiful horses splendidly saddled and bridled, and on them you can go through the world as knights seeking adventures.'
1 Sicilianische Mahrchen. L. Gonzenbach. 14