Once upon a time there were a fisherman and his wife who lived together in a filthy shack near the sea. Every day the fisherman went out fishing, and he fished, and he fished. Once he was sitting there fishing and looking into the clear water , and he sat, and he sat. Then his hook went to the bottom, deep down, and when he pulled it out, he had caught a large flounder.
Then the flounder said to him, 'Listen, fisherman, I beg you to let me live. I am not an ordinary flounder, but an enchanted prince. How will it help you to kill me? I would not taste good to you. Put me back into the water, and let me swim. '
'Well,' said the man, 'there' s no need to say more. I can certainly let a fish swim away who knows how to talk. 'With that he put it back into the clear water, and the flounder disappeared to the bottom, leaving a long trail of blood behind him. Then the fisherman got up and went home to his wife in the filthy shack.
'Husband,' said the woman, 'didn' t you catch anything today? '' No, 'said the man.' I caught a flounder, but he told me that he was an enchanted prince, so I let him swim away. '' Didn 't you ask for anything first?' said the woman. 'No,' said the man. 'What should I have asked for?'
'Oh,' said the woman. 'It is terrible living in this shack. It stinks and is filthy. You should have asked for a little cottage for us. Go back and call him. Tell him that we want to have a little cottage . He will surely give it to us. '' Oh, 'said the man.' Why should I go back there? '' Look, 'said the woman,' you did catch him, and then you let him swim away. He will surely do this for us. Go right now. '
The man did not want to go, but neither did he want to oppose his wife, so he went back to the sea.When he arrived there it was no longer clear, but yellow and green. He stood there and said: 'Mandje! Mandje! Timpe Te! Flounder, flounder, in the sea! My wife, my wife Ilsebill, Wants not, wants not, what I will? 'The flounder swam up and said,' What does she want then? '
'Oh,' said the man, 'I did catch you, and now my wife says that I really should have asked for something. She doesn' t want to live in a filthy shack any longer. She would like to have a cottage. '' Go home, 'said the flounder.' She already has it. '
The man went home, and his wife was standing in the door of a cottage, and she said to him, 'Come in. See, now isn' t this much better? 'There was a little front yard, and a beautiful little parlor , and a bedroom where their bed was standing, and a kitchen, and a dining room. Everything was beautifully furnished and supplied with tin and brautensils, just as it should be. And outside there was a little yard with chickens and ducks and a garden with vegetables and fruit.
'Look,' said the woman. 'Isn' t this nice? '' Yes, 'said the man.' This is quite enough. We can live here very well. '' We will think about that, 'said the woman. Then they ate something and went to bed.
Everything went well for a week or two, and then the woman said, 'Listen, husband. This cottage is too small. The yard and the garden are too little. The flounder could have given us a larger house. I would like to live in a large stone palace. Go back to the flounder and tell him to give us a palace. '' Oh, wife, 'said the man,' the cottage is good enough. Why would we want to live in a palace? '
'I know why,' said the woman. 'Now you just go. The flounder can do that.' 'Now, wife, the flounder has just given us the cottage. I don' t want to go back so soon. It may make the flounder angry. '' Just go, 'said the woman.' He can do it, and he won 't mind doing it. Just go.'
The man 's heart was heavy, and he did not want to go. He said to himself,' This is not right, 'but he went anyway. When he arrived at the sea the water was purple and dark blue and gray and dense , and no longer green and yellow. He stood there and said: 'Mandje! Mandje! Timpe Te! Flounder, flounder, in the sea! My wife, my wife Ilsebill, Wants not, wants not, what I will?'
'What does she want then?' Said the flounder. 'Oh,' said the man sadly, 'my wife wants to live in a stone palace.' 'Go home. She' s already standing before the door, 'said the flounder .
Then the man went his way, thinking he was going home, but when he arrived, standing there was a large stone palace. His wife was standing on the stairway, about to enter. Taking him by the hand, she said, 'Come inside . '
He went inside with her. Inside the palace there was a large front hallway with a marble floor. Numerous servants opened up the large doors for them. The walls were all white and covered with beautiful tapestry. In the rooms there were chairs and tables of pure gold. Crystal chandeliers hung from the ceilings. The rooms and chambers all had carpets. Food and the very best wine overloaded the tables until they almost collapsed. Outside the house there was a large courtyard with the very best carriages and stalls for horses and cows. Furthermore there was a magnificent garden with the most beautiful flowers and fine fruit trees and a pleasure forest a good half mile long, with elk and deer and hares and everything that anyone could possibly want.