The Fisherman and his wife
Once upon a time there was a young boy who went out to the country to visit his grandparents over summer. He always found it interesting to do what they did every week; catch fireflies, play with their dogs, read the old scriptures written years ago by his ancestors, and run amuck in the hills, sometimes collecting berries. But his favorite activity was to go fishing with his grandfather at the lake. He spent 57 days there- which would be his last summer there until he was 28.
He had gotten married, started a business, moved to the city, and had a son and an older daughter. He thought he had everything he wanted- until he went back to his grandparents’ place. His wife was safe inside (with her baby boy in her lap and her 5 year old girl asking when Christopher would wake up) when he decided he wanted to go fishing like he used to. So, he picked up a rod, hiked down to the lake, and sat down at the tip of the pier. He almost instantly got a fish on the other end. He yanked with all his might and saw a shimmery silver fish with glistening scales. “Are you okay, lad? You look a little pale; almost clammy! Do you get it? Clammy? You know, because I’m a fish . . . oh, never mind.” said the fish, grinning widely,”Okay, I’m sorry, it’s just been 117 long years since someone picked me up out of the pond. In return for sparing my life, I am forever in debt, blah, blah, blah . . . and I get to grant your deepest desires, your wishes! So, what’s your first?”
The man had very obviously never met a talking fish before, and was fascinated with it. He said to it, just to see if the fish really could grant wishes,” I wish to be a billionaire?” The fish merely pointed behind him and gestured to a huge stack of money laying across the pier. “It’s yours, you know.” whispered the fish. The man then wished for everything he could think of; cars, tvs, phones, yachts, fancy mansions, and anything and everything else. Finally he ended his wishing spree by saying,”I wish to have all the gold and silver on Earth!” Something different happened this time, though.The the fish smirked and disappeared, saying,”Your choice.” Instantly, a tornado appeared, swirling around and stealing all his gifts from the fish. The man fell to his knees, starting to get sucked into the vortex.
He got swept into unconsciousness, and, the next day, he woke up to acute hearing and razor-sharp hearing. He was now a fox, and a big one at that. He suddenly heard the fishes’ voice in his ears,”You are now no more than a disgusting piece of vermin, a fox. Forget about your wife and children. Forget about the fancy company and city views you have back home in New York. You’re now trapped in this body until someone speaks your true name without the greed of fulfilling a wish.” That night, the fox yelped in self pity, regretting with all his might that he had made so many wishes.
The man wandered the streets, trapped in the body of a mere fox, growing more and more savage like one with each passing day. It had been 15 long years and he still thought of all the things he used to have but gave up for a bunch of useless desires and trinkets. His grief laid down on him like a metal blanket, hard and merciless.
Though, fate smiled down on the father, sending a savior. His son went back to the house by the lake one fall, wondering how his father had went missing here. Why this serene, calm setting? What danger laid right beyond the blooming hills? The thought sent a rush of adrenaline up his spine. He called out into the night,”Dad! Where are you?” Something came out of the night; a red-pleated fox. The boy sighed. What a disappointment. Then anger arose. His dad should have been there for his family. “You’re not my dad!” he yelled,”You’re not Jake Winters! You’re just a stupid fox!”In that moment, that ‘stupid fox’, did in fact, become Jake himself. He smiled, recognizing his son at once. He sobbed as his son Christopher held him. He was finally reunited with his family, and he hoped to never leave again.