The Fisherman and His Wife (end)
"Well, wife," said the man, and sat and stared at her, "so you are pope."
"Yes," said she, "now I am pope!"
And he went on gazing at her till he felt dazzled, as if he were sitting in the sun. And after a little time he said, "Well, now, wife, what is there left to be, now you are pope?"
And she sat up very stiff and straight, and said nothing.
And he said again, "Well, wife, I hope you are contented at last with being pope; you can be nothing more."
"We will see about that," said the wife. With that they both went to bed, but she was as far as ever from being contented, and she could not get to sleep for thinking of what she should like to be next.
The husband, however, slept as fast as a top after his busy day, but the wife tossed and turned from side to side the whole night through, thinking all the while what she could be next, but nothing would occur to her, and when she saw the red dawn, she slipped off the bed and sat before the window to see the sun rise, and as it came up, she said, "Ah, I have it! What if I should make the sun and moon to rise — husband!" she cried and stuck her elbow in his ribs; "wake up, and go to your fish, and tell him I want power over the sun and moon."
The man was so fast asleep that when he started up he fell out of bed. Then he shook himself together, and opened his eyes and said, "Oh, — wife, what did you say?"
"Husband," said she, "if I cannot get the power of making the sun and moon rise when I want them, I shall never have another quiet hour. Go to the fish and tell him so."
"O wife!" said the man, and fell on his knees to her, "the fish can really not do that for you. I grant you he could make you emperor and pope; do be contented with that, I beg of you."
And she became wild with impatience, and screamed out, "I can wait no longer; go at once!"
And so off he went as well as he could for fright. And a dreadful storm arose, so that he could hardly keep his feet, and the houses and trees were blown down, and the mountains trembled, and rocks fell in the sea; the sky was quite black, and it thundered and lightened; and the waves, crowned with foam, ran mountains high. So he cried out, without being able to hear his own words,
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.
"Well, what now?" said the flounder.
"Oh dear!" said the man, "she wants to order about the sun and moon."
"Go home with you!" said the flounder, "you will find her in the old hovel."
And there they are sitting to this very day.