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There was once

There was once

By john hernandezPublished 4 months ago 4 min read

There was once a fisherman who could never catch enough fish to feed his family. One day, when he was pulling the net, he felt that the net was very heavy, and he pulled and pulled and pulled and pulled up a crab so huge that the fisherman could hardly see it with his two eyes. Oh, I got it this time! You can trade it for some corn mash to give the children a supper."

He carried the crab home and told his wife to put the rice pot on the fire while he went to change the corn mash. Then he took the crab and went into the palace.

"My good Majesty," he said to the king, "I have come to beg you to have mercy and buy this crab. My wife has cooked the pot, but I haven't got the money to buy the corn flour yet."

The king answered, "But what can I do with a crab? Aren't you going to sell it to someone else?"

Just then the king's daughter came in, and as soon as she saw the crab, she said, "Oh, what a beautiful crab, what a beautiful crab! Daddy, please buy it. Please buy it. I'll put him in the fish pond and let him play with the other fish."

The king's daughter loved fish very much, and she would sit for hours by the fish pond in the garden, watching the fish swim about. The father could not resist his daughter's plea, so he gave it to her. The fisherman put the crab into the fish pond and got a small bag of gold coins, which was enough to feed his family a month's worth of mushy corn.

Ever since she got the crab, the princess could not get enough of looking at it, and whenever she had time she would go to the fishpond and look at it. As time went on, she became so familiar with the habits of the crab that she noticed that it disappeared between noon and three o 'clock in the afternoon, without knowing where it went. One day, the princess went to the fish pond again to look at him, when someone rang the doorbell. She looked down from the balcony and saw a poor tramp begging for money. She threw him a bag of gold coins, but the bum fumbled and missed, and the coins fell into a nearby ditch. The tramp had to go down into the ditch to get it. He dived into the water and swam to the bottom. At the bottom of the ditch there was an underground passage which led to the king's fish pond and to something else. He swam along the passage until he came to a beautiful pool, an underground hall with curtains all around it and a large table in the middle. The tramp emerged from the water and hid behind a curtain. Just before noon, a fairy appeared from the pool sitting on the back of a crab. The fairy and the crab jumped into the hall, and saw the fairy with a little stick in her hand, and immediately drilled out a handsome young man from the shell of the crab. The young man sat down at the table, when the fairy touched the stick a little more, and at once some delicious food appeared on the plates on the table, and some wine appeared in the bottle. When the young man had eaten and drunk enough, he went back into the shell of the crab. The fairy touched him again with her stick, and he sank into the pool with the fairy and disappeared.

When they were gone, the tramp came out from behind the curtain, sank into the pool, swam under the king's fish pond, and emerged from the water. The princess was watching the fish at the fish pond when she saw the head of the tramp sticking out. She was frightened and asked, "What are you doing down there?"

"Be quiet, little princess," said the tramp, "but I will tell you a strange thing." He got out of the water and told the princess what had happened.

"No wonder the crab disappears from noon to three every day!" "Well," said the princess, "we will go and see it at noon tomorrow."

So the next day the two swam down the underpass from the fish pond to the hall, and together they hid behind the curtain. As soon as noon came, the fairy came out of the water riding the crab. With a little stick in her hand, the fairy immediately emerged from the shell of the crab a handsome young man, and went to the table to eat. But the little princess, who had long been fond of the crab, was even more delighted to see a young man come out of it, and fell in love with him.

The princess saw the crab shell lying beside her, and when no one was looking, she crept into it.

When the young man got back into the shell, he found a beautiful girl inside. "What do you want?" he whispered. If the fairy finds out, we'll both die."

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