The Violet Fairy Book HTML version
How A Fish Swam In The Air And A Hare In The Water
Once upon a time an old man and his wife lived together in a little village. They might
have been happy if only the old woman had had the sense to hold her tongue at proper
times. But anything which might happen indoors, or any bit of news which her husband
might bring in when he had been anywhere, had to be told at once to the whole village,
and these tales were repeated and altered till it often happened that much mischief was
made, and the old man's back paid for it.
One day, he drove to the forest. When he reached the edge of it he got out of his cart and
walked beside it. Suddenly he stepped on such a soft spot that his foot sank in the earth.
'What can this be?' thought he. 'I'll dig a bit and see.'
So he dug and dug, and at last he came on a little pot full of gold and silver.
'Oh, what luck! Now, if only I knew how I could take this treasure home with me----but I
can never hope to hide it from my wife, and once she knows of it she'll tell all the world,
and then I shall get into trouble.'
He sat down and thought over the matter a long time, and at last he made a plan. He
covered up the pot again with earth and twigs, and drove on into the town, where he
bought a live pike and a live hare in the market.
Then he drove back to the forest and hung the pike up at the very top of a tree, and tied
up the hare in a fishing net and fastened it on the edge of a little stream, not troubling
himself to think how unpleasant such a wet spot was likely to be to the hare.
Then he got into his cart and trotted merrily home.
'Wife!' cried he, the moment he got indoors. 'You can't think what a piece of good luck
has come our way.'
'What, what, dear husband? Do tell me all about it at once.'
'No, no, you'll just go off and tell everyone.'
'No, indeed! How can you think such things! For shame! If you like I will swear never to-
'Oh, well! if you are really in earnest then, listen.'
And he whispered in her ear: 'I've found a pot full of gold and silver in the forest! Hush!--
'And why didn't you bring it back?'
'Because we'll drive there together and bring it carefully back between us.'
So the man and his wife drove to the forest.