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.
103
stable-yard for horses and cattle, and carriages of the finest; besides, there was a splendid large garden, with the most beautiful flowers and fine fruit trees, and a pleasance full half a mile long, with deer and oxen and sheep, and everything that heart could wish for.
"There! " said the wife, "is not this beautiful?"
" Oh yes," said the man, " if it will only last we can live in this fine castle and be very well contented."
" We will see about that," said the wife, " in the meanwhile we will sleep upon it." With that they went to bed.
The next morning the wife was awake first, just at the break of day, and she looked out and saw from her bed the beautiful country lying all round. The man took no notice of it, so she poked him in the side with her elbow, and said,
" Husband, get up and just look out of the window. Look, just think if we could be king over all this country! Just go to your fish and tell him we should like to be king."
" Now, wife," said the man, "what should we be kings for? I don't want to be king."
"Well," said the wife, "if you don't want to be king, I will be king."
" Now, wife," said the man, " what do you want to be king for? I could not ask him such a thing."
" Why not ? " said the wife, " you must go directly all the same ; I must be king."
So the man went, very much put out that his wife should want to be king.
" It is not the right thing to do—not at all the right thing," thought the man. He did not at all want to go, and yet he went all the same.
And when he came to the sea the water was quite dark grey, and rushed far inland, and had an ill smell. And he stood and said,
" O man, O man !—if man you be, Or flounder, flounder, in the sea— Such a tiresome wife I've got, For she wants what I do not."
" Now then, what does she want ?" said the fish. " Oh dear !" said the man, " she wants to be king."