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116 The Gold Fish 75. In the sea, in the ocean, on the island Buian, there stood a tiny, tumbledown hut. In this hut there lived an old man and old woman. They lived in great poverty. The old man made a net and started going out to sea to catch fish. By this means he managed to obtain just enough to feed them each day. Once, the old man somehow threw out his net and began pulling it in, and it seemed to him heavy, much heavier than ever before. He could hardly pull it in. He looked: The net was empty. He’d caught just one tiny fish, and the fish was no ordinary one: It was gold at that. The little fish pleaded with him in a human voice: “Don’t take me, old man! Better to let me go back to the blue sea. I’ll be of use to you. Whatever you wish, I’ll do it.” The old man thought and thought, and then said,“I need nothing from you. Go on back and play in the sea!” He tossed the little gold fish into the water and went home. The old woman asked him, “Well, did you catch a lot, old man?” “Only one little gold fish, and I tossed it back into the sea. It had pleaded with me most ardently. Let me go, it said, into the blue sea. I’ll be of use to you. Whatever you wish, I’ll do it!” “Oh,you old devil! A great fortune was in your hands,and you couldn’t take hold of it.” The old woman raged. She cursed the old man from morning to evening, and gave him no peace. “If you’d only asked it for some bread! Soon there won’t be even a dry crust. Then what will you eat?” The old man couldn’t take it any longer and went out to ask the little gold fish for some bread. He went down to the sea and shouted in a loud voice,“Little fish, little fish! Stand with your tail in the sea and your head to me!” The little fish swamp up to the shore:“What do you need, old man?”“The old woman’s angry. She sent me for some bread.”“Go on home, you’ll have quite enough bread.” The old man returned.“Well, old woman, is there any bread?”“There’s plenty of bread but here’s the misfortune: The trough has come apart, and there’s nothing to do the washing in. Go to your gold fish and ask her for a new one.” The Gold Fish h 117 The old man went back to the sea: “Little fish, little fish! Stand with your tail in the sea and your head to me!” The little fish swamp up with its head to the old man and its tail in the sea and asked,“What do you need, old man?”“The old woman sent me, she’s asking for a new trough.” “Very well, you shall have a trough.” The old man went back. He was barely in the door when the old woman attacked him once more:“Go to your little gold fish and ask it to build us a new hut.You can’t live in ours, just see how it’s falling apart!” The old man went to the sea: “Little fish, little fish! Stand with your tail in the sea and your head toward me.” The little fish swam up and stood with its head toward him and its tail in the sea and asked,“What do you need, old man?”“Build us a new hut. The old woman is bawling me out and gives me no peace. She says she doesn’t want to live in the old hut: Just see how it’s falling down!”“Don’t grieve, old man! Go home and pray to God, all will be done.” The old man returned. In his yard there stood a new hut of oak, and with rich carvings. The old woman came running out to meet him, angrier than ever:“Oh, you old hound! You don’t know how to make use of your fortune. You asked for a hut and, I suppose, think it’s a done deed! No, go back once more to your little gold fish and tell her I don’t want to be a peasant. I want to be a voevoda, whom...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781626740549
Related ISBN
9781628460933
MARC Record
OCLC
878813021
Pages
560
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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