HOUSEHOLD STORIES from The BROTHERS GRIMM

51 Tales translated to English by Lucy Crane & Illustrated by Walter Crane

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The FISHERMAN and his WIFE
HERE was once a fisherman and his wife who lived together in a hovel by the sea-shore, and the fisherman went out every day with his hook and line to catch fish, and he angled and angled.
One day he was sitting with his
rod and looking into the clear water,
and he sat and sat.
At last down went the line to the bottom of the water,
and when he drew it up he found a great flounder on the
hook. And the flounder said to him,
" Fisherman, listen to me; let me go, I am not a real fish but an enchanted prince. What good shall I be to you if you land me ? I shall not taste well; so put me back into the water again, and let me swim away."                        *
" Well," said the fisherman, " no need of so many words about the matter, as you can speak I had much rather let you swim away."
Then he put him back into the clear water, and the flounder sank to the bottom, leaving a long streak of blood behind him. Then the fisherman got up and went home to his wife in their hovel.
" Well, husband," said the wife, " have you caught nothing to-day ? "
" No," said the manó" that is, I did catch a flounder, but as he said he was an enchanted prince, I let him go again."