The Story of the Fisherman and His Wife
Round her were numbers of Church dignitaries, and on either side were standing two rows of tapers, the largest of them as tall as a steeple, and the smallest as tiny as a Christmas-tree candle. All the emperors and kings were on their knees before her, and were kissing her foot.
'Wife,' said the fisherman looking at her, 'are you pope now?'
'Yes,' said she; 'I am pope.'
So he stood staring at her, and it was as if he were looking at the bright sun. When he had watched her for some time he said:
'Ah, wife, let it be enough now that you are pope.'
But she sat as straight as a tree, and did not move or bend the least bit. He said again:
'Wife, be content now that you are pope. You cannot become anything more.'
'We will think about that,' said his wife.
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. The fisherman slept well and soundly, for he had done a great deal that day, but his wife could not sleep at all, and turned from one side to another the whole night long, and thought, till she could think no longer, 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, 'Ha! could I not make the sun and man rise?'
'Husband,' said she, poking him in the ribs with her elbows, 'wake up. Go down to the flounder; I will be a god.'
The fisherman was still half asleep, yet he was so frightened that he fell out of bed. He thought he had not heard aright, and opened his eyes wide and said:
'What did you say, wife?'
'Husband,' she said, 'if I cannot make the sun and man rise when I appear I cannot rest. I shall never have a quiet moment till I can make the sun and man rise.'
He looked at her in horror, and a shudder ran over him.
'Go down at once; I will be a god.'
'Alas! wife,' said the fisherman, falling on his knees before her, 'the flounder cannot do that.