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Fisherman's Wife

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The Fisherman's Wife is an antagonistic character from the German fairy tale The Fisherman and His Wife.

History

The fisherman and his wife live in a hovel by the sea. One day the fisherman catches a golden flounder who claims to be an enchanted prince. The fisherman kindly releases it.

When his wife hears the story, she says he ought to have had the flounder grant him a wish. She tells him to go back and ask the flounder to grant her wish for a nice house instead of their hovel. He returns to the shore and is uneasy when he finds the sea seems to be turning dark when it was so clear before.

He makes up a rhyme to summon the flounder, and it grants the wife's wish. However, the wife gets greedy and makes increasingly outrageous demands: a castle, become queen, become empress, and become pope.

The fisherman knows this is wrong but there is no reasoning with his wife. The flounder grants the wishes, but the sea grows increasingly stormy every time the fisherman goes to summon it. Eventually the wife goes too far when she wishes to become equal to God. The flounder revokes everything it granted, and the fisherman and his wife are back in their hovel.

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