Friday, August 7, 2015

Fairy Tale and Folktale Fridays #4: The Fisherman and his Wife

Hey there!  Welcome to "Fairy Tale and Folktale Fridays," a new feature on my blog where I discuss about some fairy tales and folktales I have read throughout the years. 

The Fisherman and his Wife 

Type: Fairy Tale

Country of Origin: Germany / Brothers Grimm

Main Character Hero or Heroine: Hero

Recommend?: Yes!

The story starts out with a poor fisherman going out to fish in the sea when suddenly, he snags a flounder.  The flounder begs the fisherman to spare its life and it promised that if the Fisherman will spare his life, it will grant the fisherman several wishes that he desires.  The fisherman then lets the flounder go and he returns home to his shabby hut where his wife was waiting for him.  The wife then asks the fisherman if he caught anything that day and the fisherman starts to tell his wife about the magic flounder that he found at the sea.  The fisherman's wife then gets excited and told the fisherman that he should have asked the flounder to give them a nice cottage to live in and commands him to go back to the flounder to wish for a cottage. The fisherman hesitates at first, but then he decided to go back to the flounder and wish for a cottage and the flounder was able to grant his wish.  When the fisherman returned home, he found a beautiful cottage in place of his old hut and his wife greeted him at the door and for awhile, the fisherman and his wife were happy living in their new cottage.  Unfortunately afterwards, the fisherman's wife now wanted to live in a castle instead of the cottage and the fisherman tried to argue with her that she should be satisfied with what they have now, but the wife wouldn't hear of it and forced the fisherman to go back to the flounder to wish for a castle.  This goes on throughout the rest of the story from the wife becoming king to eventually wanting to rule the entire universe!

This has always been one of the most interesting fairy tales to me as it really taught me the consequences of greed and how you should be satisfied with what you have in life, even if it isn't as glamorous as you wanted it.  I remembered when I read this story,  I often got frustrated with how greedy the wife had become over the course of the story and I've often wondered to myself about why she couldn't just be satisfied with living in a nice cottage in the first place (at least, if a magical flounder granted me some wishes, I would have been satisfied with the cottage and nothing else)!  That's why this story has always rang out to me because it shows how bad greed can get and how it's best to be satisfied with what you have.

1. If you came across a magical flounder that will grant you wishes, what would you wish for?

If I came across a magical flounder that granted me wishes, I would wish to be rich forever so that way I don't have to worry about annoying the flounder every five seconds about living in a bigger house and I can just buy whatever I want!  I also would wish to travel around the world if the flounder can make it possible!

2. Do you think that the wife got too greedy for her own good?

Yes, I believe that the wife got a bit too greedy because what she really wanted was more power and she kept on wishing to take on big roles in life like being king, being emperor, being pope and then trying to be God towards the end of the story.

3. Do you think that the Fisherman should have stood up to his wife?

Yes, I think that the Fisherman should have at least warned his wife that it wouldn't be a good idea to trouble the flounder with so many wishes and that she should be satisfied with what they have as long as they are happy.

4. Would you like to be a ruler of a country or a kingdom?

Personally, I wouldn't want to be a ruler of a country because there would be so many responsibilities that you would have to take care of for your country and I'm not the type of person who could handle so much responsibility.

5. What other Brothers Grimm tales would you like to check out next?

I would like to check out "How Six Made their Way Into the World" and "Hansel and Gretel" next!


The Fisherman and his Wife by Eric Metaxas




The Fisherman and his Wife by Rachel Isadora



The Fisherman and his Wife by Rosemary Wells

Finn McCoul

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