THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE.
Then the fish came swimming up to the surface, and said, "What do you want with me?"
" Ah," said the man, " I caught you and let you go again to-day, without wishing, and my wife says I ought to have wished, for she cannot live any longer in such a miserable hut as ours, and she wants a better one."
"Go home, man," said the fish, "your wife has all she wants,"
So the husband went home, and there was his wife, no longer in her dirty hovel, but sitting at the door of a neat little cottage, looking very happy.
She took her husband by the hand, and said, " Come in, and see how much better it is than the other old hut"
So he followed her in, and found a beautiful parlour, and a bright stove in it, a soft bed in the bed-room, and a kitchen full of earthenware, and tin and copper vessels for cooking, looking so bright and clean, and all of the very best. Outside was a little farmyard, with hens and chickens running about, and beyond, a garden containing plenty of fruit and vegetables.
" See," said the wife, " is it not delightful ?"
"Ah, yes," replied her husband, "as long as it is new you will be quite contented ; but after that, we shall see."
" Yes, we shall see," said the wife.
A fortnight passed, and the husband felt quite happy, till one day his wife startled him by saying, " Husband, after all, this is only a cottage, much too small for us, and the yard and the garden cover very little ground. If the fish is really a prince in disguise, he could very well give us a larger house. I should like, above all things, to live in a large castle built of stone. Go to thy fish, and ask him to build us a castle."
" Ah, wife," he said, "this cottage is good enough for us ; what do we want of a castle ?"
"Go along," she replied, "the flounder will be sure to give us what you ask."
" Nay, wife," said he, " the fish gave us the cottage at first, but if I go again he may be angry."
" Never mind," she replied, "he can do what I wish easily, and I have no doubt he will; so go and try."
The husband rose to go with a heavy heart j he said to himself, :f This is not right," and when he reached the sea he noticed that