The Fisherman and His Wife

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Fish clip art, prince as fish

Characters:
Fish
Man
Wife

SCRIPT:

Narrator: Once upon a time… In a hut by the sea there lived once a fisherman and his wife. The fisherman used to go down every day to fish; and he would fish and fish. One day he pulled a big fish out of the water. The fish told him.
Fish: Listen, fisherman. Please let me go; I am not a real fish, I am an enchanted Prince. What good will it do if you get rid of me–I will not taste nice? Put me back into the water and let me swim away.

Man: Well. I don´t like a fish that talks. Swim away!.

 

Narrator: With these words he put him back again into the shining water, and the fish sank to the bottom. Then the fisherman got up, and went home to his wife in the hut.

 

Wife: Husband, did you catch a fish?.

 

Man: I caught a fish who said he was an enchanted prince, so I let him swim away.

 

Wife: Did you ask the fish for anything ?.

 

Man: No, What should I ask for?.

 

Wife: Ah! , I don`t this hut that is so small and dirty. Go now and call him, tell him that we choose to have a cottage, and he will certainly give it you.

 

Man: Why should I go down there again?.

 

Wife: Why? You caught him, and then let him go again, so he is sure to give you what you ask. Go down quickly.

 

Narrator: The man did not want to go, but he did. When he came there the sea was quite green and yellow, and was no longer shining. So he stood on the shore and said.

 

Man: Once a prince, but changed into a fish in the sea. Come! for my wife, Ilsebel, she wants me to ask you for a wish.

 

Narrator: Then the fish came swimming up and said.

 

Fish: Well, what does she want?.

 

Man: My wife want something from you. She does not want to live any longer in the hut, she want to live in a pretty cottage.

 

Fish: Go home, then. You will find your wife in a cottage.

 

Narrator: So the man went home, and there was his wife no longer in the hut, but in its place was a beautiful cottage, and his wife was sitting in front of the door on a bench. She took him by the hand and said to him.

 

Wife: Come inside, and see if this is not much better.

 

Narrator: They went in, and inside the cottage was a tiny hall, and a beautiful livingroom, and a bedroom, a kitchen and a diningroom all furnished with the best of everything. And outside was a little yard in which were chickens and ducks, and also a little garden with vegetables and fruit trees.

 

Wife: See, Isn’t this nice?.

 

Man: Yes. Here we will stay and live very happily.

 

Wife: We will see.

 

Narrator: With these words they had their supper and went to bed. All went well for a week or so, then the wife said.

 

Wife: Listen, husband. The cottage is too small, and so is the yard and the garden. I would like to live in a great castle. Go and tell the fish to send us a castle.

 

Man: Ah, wife! The cottage is good enough. Why should we live in a castle?.

 

Wife: Why? You go down to the sea, the fish will do that.

 

Man: No, wife. The fish gave us the cottage. I do not like to go to him again.

 

Wife: Go. He can certainly give it to us. Go now.

 

Narrator: The man did not wanto to go, but he did. When he came to the sea, the water was all violet and dark-blue, and dull and thick, and no longer green and yellow, but it was still smooth. So he stood there and said.

 

Man: Once a prince, but changed into a fish in the sea. Come! for my wife, Ilsebel, she wants me to ask you for a wish.

 

Fish: What does she want now?.

 

Man: Ah!. She wants to live in a great castle.

 

Fish: Go home. she is in the castle now.

 

Narrator: The fisherman went home and thought he would find no house. When he came near, there stood a great palace, and his wife was standing on the steps, about to enter. She took him by the hand and said.

 

Wife: Come inside.

 

Narrator: Inside the castle was a large hall with a marble floor, and there were many servants, the walls were covered with beautiful tapestry, there were fine chairs and tables, crystal chandeliers, and all the rooms were beautifully carpeted. The best of food and drink also was set before them when they wished to eat. Outside the house there were horse and cow stables, a splendid garden with the most beautiful flowers and fruit, and in a park there were quite deer and roe and hares, and everything one could wish for.

 

Wife: Now. Isn’t this beautiful?.

 

Man: Yes, it is. Now we will stay here and live in this beautiful castle, and be very happy.’

 

Wife: We will see.

 

Narrator: The next morning the wife woke up first at daybreak, and looked out of the bed and saw the beautiful country. Her husband was still sleeping, so he woke him up.

 

Wife: Husband, get up and look out of the window. We could be the king of all this land? Go down to the fish and tell him we choose to be king.

 

Man: Ah, wife! Why should we be king? I don’t want to be king.

 

Wife: Well, if you don’t want to be king, I will be king. Go down to the fish. I will be king.

 

Man: Why do you want to be king? I can’t ask him that.

 

Wife: Why not? Go down at once. I must be king.

 

Narrator: the fisherman did not want to go, but he did. When he came to the sea, the water was a dark-grey colour, so he stood by the sea and said.

 

Man: Once a prince, but changed into a fish in the sea. Come! for my wife, Ilsebel,  she wants me to ask you for a wish.

 

Fish: What does she want now?.

 

Man: She wants to be king.

 

Fish: Go home, she is that already.

 

Narrator: The fisherman went home, and when he came near the palace he saw that it had become much larger, and that it had great towers. A sentinel was standing before the gate, and there were soldiers with drums and trumpets. And when he went into the palace, he found everything was of pure marble and gold. Then the doors of the hall opened, and there stood the whole Court round his wife, who was sitting on a high throne of gold and diamonds; she wore a great golden crown. Then he went to her and said.

 

Man: Ah, wife! are you a king now?.

 

Wife: Yes, now I am king.

 

Man: It´s enough, wife, now that you are king we have nothing more to wish for.

 

Wife: No, husband. Go down to the fish. Now I must be emperor.

 

Man: Why do you want to be emperor?.

 

Wife: Husband, go to the fish. I will be emperor.

 

Man: Ah, wife, he cannot make you emperor. I don’t like to ask him that. There is only one emperor in the kingdom. He cannot make you emperor.

 

Wife: What! I am king, and you are my husband. Will you go at once? Go! If he can make me a king he can make me an emperor, and emperor I must and will be. Go!

 

Narrator: So he had to go. But as he went, he felt quite frightened, and he thought to himself, This can’t be right; to be emperor is too ambitious. When he came to the sea, it was quite black and thick, and it was breaking high on the beach, and the wind was blowing; everything looked bleak. The fisherman was chilled with fear. He stood and said.

 

Man: Once a prince, but changed into a fish in the sea. Come! for my wife, Ilsebel, she wants me to ask you for a wish.

 

Fish: What does she want now?.

 

Man: My wife wants to be an emperor.

 

Fish: Go home, she is that already.

 

Narrator: So the fisherman went home, and when he came there he saw the whole castle was made of polished marble. Inside the palace were walking barons, counts, and dukes, acting as servants; they opened the door, which was of beaten gold. And when he entered, he saw his wife in a throne of gold. She had on a great golden crown with brilliants and sparkling gems.

 

Man: Wife, are you emperor now?.

 

Wife: Yes. I am emperor.

 

Man: Ah, wife, that´s enough, now that you are emperor.

 

Wife: Husband, why are you standing there? I am emperor now, and I want to be pope too; go down to the fish.

 

Man: Wife. What more do you want? You cannot be pope; there is only one pope in and he cannot make you that.

 

Wife: Husband. I will be pope. Go down quickly. I must be pope today.

 

Man: No, wife. I can’t ask him that. It is not right. It is too much. The fish cannot make you pope.

 

Wife: Husband. If he can make emperor, he can make, pope too. Go down this instant. I am emperor and you are my husband. Go now!.

 

Narrator: So he went. But he was trembling and shaking. The wind was blowing fiercely across the land, and the clouds flying across the sky looked as gloomy as if it were night; the leaves were being blown from the trees; Still the sky was very blue in the middle, although at the sides it was an angry red as in a great storm. So he said.

 

Man: Once a prince, but changed into a fish in the sea. Come! for my wife, Ilsebel, she wants me to ask you for a wish.

 

Fish: Well, what does she want now?.

 

Man: She wants to be pope.

 

Fish: Go home, then. She is that already.

 

Narrator: Then he went home, and when he came there he saw a large church surrounded by palaces. He pushed his way through the people. The interior was lit up with thousands and thousands of candles, and his wife was dressed in cloth of gold and was sitting on a much higher throne, and she wore three great golden crowns. Round her were numbers of Church dignitaries. All the emperors and kings were on their knees before her, and were kissing her foot.

 

Man: Wife, are you pope now?.

 

Wife: Yes, I am pope.

 

Man: Ah, wife, it`s enough now that you are pope. Wife, be happy now that you are pope. You cannot become anything more.

 

Wife: We will think about that.

 

Narrator: With these words they went to bed. But the woman was not content; her greed would not allow her to sleep, and she kept on thinking and thinking what she could still become. She turned from one side to the other the whole night thinking what more she could become. Then the sun began to rise, and when she saw the red dawn she went to the end of the bed and looked at it, and as she was watching the sun rise, out of the window, she thought.

 

Wife: Ha! Can I make the sun and man rise? Husband, wake up. Go down to the fish. I will be a god.

 

Man: What did you say, wife?.

 

Wife: Husband, if I cannot make the sun and man rise when I appear I will not rest. I will never have a quiet moment until I make the sun and man rise. Go down at once. I will be a god.

 

Husband: (falling on his knees) Wife, the fish cannot do that. He could make you an Emperor and a pope. I implore you, be happy and remain as a pope.

 

Wife: I am not happy, and I will not be contented! Will you go?.

 

Narrator: So, he went. But the storm was raging so fiercely that he could scarcely stand. Houses and trees were being blown down, the mountains were being shaken, and pieces of rock were rolling in the sea. The sky was as black as ink, it was thundering and lightening, and the sea was tossing in great waves as high as church towers and mountains.

 

Man: (shouting) Once a prince, but changed into a fish in the sea. Come! for my wife, Ilsebel, wants me to ask you for a wish.

 

Fish: Well, what does she want now?.

 

Man: She wants to be a god.

 

Fish: Go home, then. She is sitting again in the hut.

 

Narrator: And there they are sitting to this day.

 

The End


Author:  Brothers Grimm

Moral:  Greediness and the thirst for more can never be quenched and will ultimately lead to nothing

 

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