THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE

CHARACTERS (4) - NARRATOR, FISHERMAN, WIFE, FISH

NARRATOR - Long ago a poor fisherman and his wife lived in an old hut by the sea. The man caught fish and sold the fish. That is the way he earned his living. One day he caught a beautiful golden fish.

MAN - This is a fine fish. My wife can cook it for our supper.

FISH - Let me go. Please throw me back into the sea.

MAN - I have caught thousands of fish but never have I caught one that talked.

FISH - You shall have a reward for throwing me back. What would you like?

MAN - Let me think. Hmmmmm. I cannot think of a thing that I want.

FISH - Well, if I can ever be of service, come to me. I promise that I will give you a reward.

NARRATOR - Then the fish dived into the sea. The man returned to his hut.

WIFE - Did you catch any fish today?

MAN - Yes, I did catch a fish, but I let it go. It wanted to give me a reward but I could not think of a single thing that I needed.

WIFE - You silly man! Why didn't you make a wish? We haven't a crumb of bread or a piece of cheese. Our cupboard is empty. Yet you didn't ask for any food! Go back and ask the fish for a loaf of bread.

NARRATOR - The man knew that his wife would not stop complaining unless she had her way. So he went back to the sea.

MAN - Oh fish in the sea, come listen to me. My wife begs a wish from the magic fish.

NARRATOR - With a great splash of its tail, the golden fish appeared on the water.

FISH - What do you want?

MAN - Our cupboard is empty. We haven't a piece of cheese or a loaf of bread. My wife sent me here to ask you for a loaf of bread.

FISH - Go home.

MAN - Oh dear. My wife will be very angry when I come home without a loaf of bread.

NARRATOR - When the fisherman got home, his wife was waiting.

WIFE - Come in. Sit down and eat. A loaf of bread appeared in our cupboard.

NARRATOR - But the next day she began to complain again.

WIFE - A loaf of bread isn't much of a reward for letting the fish go. Ask the fish for a new house. This hut is no better than a pigpen.

MAN - I do not dare ask for so much.

WIFE - I want you to go back and ask the fish for a house.

NARRATOR - So once more the old man went to the sea.

MAN - Oh fish in the sea, come listen to me. My wife begs a wish from the magic fish.

FISH - What do you want?

MAN - My wife sent me here to ask for a new house. The roof and walls of our hut are falling in. My wife says it is no better than a pigpen.

FISH - Go home!

NARRATOR - The fish flapped its tail and dissapeared into the sea. The man went home.

MAN - Oh, my! What has happened to our house?

WIFE - Welcome, husband. See the house that the fish has given us. We have three rooms, a new table and chairs and all the things that we need. We have beautiful new dishes.

MAN - We have enough food here to last for a week.

NARRATOR - The fisherman's wife was happy to have a new house instead of a hut. But after a week she began to complain.

WIFE - This house is not big enough. I have decided that I will become a queen. I want to have a gold crown and fancy velvet clothes instead of this ragged dress. Go to the fish.

MAN - No. I do not want to go.

WIFE - Husband, go and tell the fish that I want to be a queen and live in a palace with dozens of servants.

NARRATOR - So the fisherman went back to the sea.

MAN - Oh fish in the sea, come listen to me. My wife begs a wish from the magic fish.

FISH - Well, what does she want now?

MAN - My wife wants to be a queen and live in a palace.

FISH - GO HOME !

NARRATOR - the fisherman returned home to find a palace. When he went inside he saw his wife on a throne. She wore a gold crown and was dressed in purple velvet trimmed with gold. Before her bowed two servants.

WIFE -Away with you! Can't you see that the palace is too fine a place for a ragged old fisherman? Go and stay in the barn.

MAN - I will gladly go and sleep in the barn. I hope she stops complaining now.

NARRATOR - His wife was happy for two weeks. Then she sent for her busband again.

WIFE - I have decided to become Queen of the Sun and the Moon and the Stars. Go speak to the fish.

MAN - OH! NO! I dare not ask for such things. The fish will surely be angry.

NARRATOR - Against his wishes, the old man went down to the sea.

MAN - Oh fish in the sea, come listen to me. My wife begs a wish from the magic fish.

FISH - What does she want now?

MAN - She wants to become Queen of the Sun and the Moon and the Stars.

NARRATOR - The fish did not say a single word. Suddenly there was a fierce storm. Waves smashed against the shore. The sea grew dark. The storm got worse. The fisherman was very frightened. He went home.

MAN - I cannot believe my eyes. What has happened to the palace? There is our old hut!

NARRATOR - When he went inside he found his wife dressed in ragged clothes.

WIFE - Husband come and sit down for supper.

NARRATOR - They had bread and water for supper. Their plates and cups were cracked but she did not complain.

MAN - Now we can be happy in our little hut by the sea.

NARRATOR - The old man caught many more fish. Sometimes one would shine in the sun and he would think of the golden fish. But it never appeared again.