The Fisherman and His Wife

Then he went home, and when he arrived there, his wife was sitting on a throne that was two miles high, wearing three large crowns. She was surrounded with church-like splendour, and at her sides there were two banks of candles. The largest was as thick and tall as the largest tower, down to the smallest kitchen candle. “Wife,” said the man, giving her a good look, “are you pope now?”

“Yes,” she said, “I am pope.”

“Oh,” said the man. “It is good that you are pope. Wife, we can be satisfied, now that you are pope. There’s nothing else that you can become.”

“I have to think about that,” said the woman. Then they both went to bed, but she was not satisfied. Her desires would not let her sleep. She kept thinking about what she want­ed to become next. Then the sun came up. “Aha,” she thought, as she watched the sunrise through her window. “Couldn’t I cause the sun to rise?” She then became very grim and said to her husband, “Husband, go back to the flounder. I want to become like God.”

The man, who was still mostly asleep, was so startled that he fell out of bed. “Oh, wife,” he said, “Go on as you are and remain pope.”

“No,” said the woman, tearing open her bodice. “I will not be qui­et. I can’t stand it when I see the sun and the moon coming up, and I can’t cause them to rise. I want to become like God!”

“Oh, wife,” said the man. “The flounder can’t do that. He can make you emperor and pope, but he can’t do that.”

“Husband,” she said, looking very gruesome, “I want to become like God. Go to the flounder right now!”

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