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A Rootbook Author
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Chapter 7

J
ust go to your fish and tell him we should like to be king."
"Now, wife," said the man, "what should we be kings for? I don't want to be king."
"Well," said the wife, "if you don't want to be king, I will be king."
"Now, wife," said the man, "what do you want to be king for? I could not ask him such a thing."
"Why not?" said the wife, "you must go directly all the same; I must be king."
So the man went, very much put out that his wife should want to be king.
"It is not the right thing to do-not at all the right thing," thought the man. He did not at all want to go, and yet he went all the same.
And when he came to the sea the water was quite dark grey, and rushed far inland, and had an ill smell. And he stood and said,
'' O man, O man!-if man you be, Or flounder, flounder, in the sea- Such a tiresome wife I've got, For she wants what I do not."
"Now then, what does she want?" said the fish. "Oh dear!"said the man, "she wants to be king."
"Go home with you, she is so already," said the fish.
So the man went back, and as he came to the palace he saw it was very much larger, and had great towers and splendid gateways; the herald stood before the door, and a number of soldiers with kettle-drums and trumpets.
And when he came inside everything was of marble and gold, and there were many curtains with great golden tassels. Then he went through the doors of the saloon to where the great throne-room was, and there was his wife sitting upon a throne of gold and diamonds, and she had a great golden crown on, and the sceptre in her hand was of pure gold and jewels, and on each side stood six pages in a row, each one a head shorter than the other. So the man went up to her and said,
"Well, wife, so now you are king!"
"Yes," said the wife, "now I am king."
So then he stood and looked at her, and when he had gazed at her for some time he said,
"Well, wife, this is fine for you to be king! now there is nothing more to wish for."
"O husband!" said the wife, seeming quite restless, "I am tired of this already. Go to your fish and tell him that now I am king I must be emperor."
"Now, wife," said the man, "what do you want to be emperor for?"
"Husband," said she, "go and tell the fish I want to be emperor.!'
"Oh dear!" said the man, "he could not do it-I cannot ask him such a thing. There is but one emperor at a time; the fish can't possibly make any one emperor-indeed he can't."
"Now, look here," said the wife, "I am king, and you are only my husband, so will you go at once? Go along! for if he was able to make me king he is able to make me emperor; and I will and must be emperor, so go along!"
So he was obliged to go; and as he went he felt very uncomfortable about it, and he thought to himself,
"It is not at all the right thing to do; to want to be emperor is really going too far; the flounder will soon be beginning to get tired of this."
With that he came to the sea, and the water was quite black and thick, and the foam flew, and the wind blew, and the man was terrified. But he stood and said,
"O man, O man!-if man you be, Or flounder, flounder, in the sea- Such a tiresome wife I've got, For she wants what I do not."
"What is it now?" said the fish.
"Oh dear! "said the man, "my wife wants to be emperor."
"Go home with you," said the fish, "she is emperor already."
So the man went home, and found the castle adorned with polished marble and alabaster figures, and golden gates. The troops were being marshalled before the door, and they were blowing trumpets and beating drums and cymbals;