The Fisherman and His Wife


[A review of a short story entitled The Fisherman and His Wife]

There were a fisherman and his wife who lived in a pigsty, near to the seaside. One day, when the fisherman went fishing, he got a fish that was able to talk. The fish said that actually he was a prince. It wanted the man to let it go back to the water. The man did it because he had nothing to do with a fish that can talk. When he went home, he told his wife, Dame Ilsabil, about what had happened. The wife wanted him to ask to the fish to give them a snug little cottage. Actually, he did not really like that idea, but he went. He stood at the seashore, at the edge of yellow and green water, and told the fish his wife`s will. The fish made it true easily.

One or two weeks later, Ilsabil said that there was not near room enough for them in that cottage. She wanted to have a large stone castle to live in. The man went to the sea with heavy heart. The water looked blue and gloomy when he went close to the edge of the waves and told his wife`s will to the fish. Unbelievably, the fish made it real easily.

The next morning, Ilsabil woke her husband up and told him that they must be king of all the land. The man did not want to be king, but he was forced by his wife to ask the will to the fish. The sea looked a dark grey colour. It was overspread with curling waves and the ridge of foam when he cried out to call the fish. For the third time, the fish accepted what his wife`s will.

Ilsabil was not satisfied by being king. She wanted to be an emperor. Her husband could not refuse the will because she was king. When he came to the seashore, the water was quite black and muddy and a mighty whirlwind blew over the waves. The man told his wife`s will doubtfully, but for the fourth time, the fish made it true.

Ilsabil did not want to just stop at being an emperor. She wanted to be a pope. She did not care that there was but one pope at a time in Christendom. When the man went to the shore, a dreadful storm was rising. The man was dreadfully frightened, but he still told his wife`s will to the fish. For the fifth time, the fish realized it.

Thinking what she should be next, Ilsabil could not sleep all night long. At last, when she was dropping asleep, morning came. She was angry and wanted to prevent the sun rising. She wanted to be lord of the sun and moon. The man went shivering with fear to the shore. There was an extremely bad storm at that time. But, this time, the fish did not give the wife`s will. The fish sent the couple back to their pigsty.


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