THE GOLD CHILDREN.
" Dear husband," cried the wife, full of joy, "what more can we desire than this ?"
Then they sat down, and ate and drank together in great comfort
After they had finished, the wife said : " Husband* where do all these good things and riches come from ?"
" Ah !" he replied, " do not ask me, I dare not tell you. If I disclose anything, all our good fortune will come to an end."
"Very well,"she replied, "if I am not to be told, I shall not desire to know f but this was merely pretence, for she gave her husband no peace night or day, and she tormented and worried the poor man so terribly that she exhausted his patience, and he told her at last.
" This good fortune," he said, " all comes from a wonderful gold fish which I caught, and afterwards gave it freedom by throwing it back into the water."
No sooner had he uttered these words than the castle with its wonderful cupboard disappeared, and they were again sitting in the fisherman's hut.
The husband was now again obliged to follow his trade and go fishing, and, as luck would have it, he again caught the golden fish.
" Listen," cried the fish, " if you will again throw me into the water, I will once more give you a castle and a cupboard full of good things; but be firm this time, and reveal to no one from whom it comes, or all will be again lost."
"I will keep it to myself," answered the fisherman, and threw the fish into the water.
Everything at home now was in its former splendour, and the fisherman's wife joyful over their good fortune; but her curiosity gave her no peace, and two days had scarcely passed before she began to ask how it all happened, and what was the cause.
Her husband kept silence for a long time, but at last she made him so angry that he incautiously revealed the secret. In a moment the castle and all that it contained vanished, and they were again sitting in their little old hut.
" See what you have done !" he said, " we shall have again to starve with hunger."
" Oh, well," she replied, " I would rather not have such riches