The gift from the Sea Fairy

A villager and his wife were in the middle of the sea casting their nets for some fish. Fishing had not been very good for the past few days and the village was hungry.

The villager and his wife were good folks but they had one problem. They didn’t have a child that they can call their own.

Fishing in the sea had not yielded much fish and as a result the whole village was hungry. The villager felt something heavy tugging on the net. Thinking that he snagged a big fish, the villager and his wife pulled in the net with all of their might.

It was hard labor but soon enough they hauled in the net after so much effort.

Inside the net was a huge giant clam. It was so big that the clam could hardly fit into their small boat. It looked gray with barnacles clinging to it, and wide leafy sea grass hanging out of its shell.

The villager and his wife looked at each other in wonder. Surely a clam this big must have a huge giant pearl within its center. They could sell it in the market and never have to worry about having nothing to eat ever again.

They brought the giant shell to shore where the villager took an ax and pried the clam open.

To their surprise, instead of a valuable pearl, out came a sea fairy from within the shell.

“Thank you for letting me out of there, thank you for setting me free” the pixie little sea fairy said in her soft lilting voice. “I was eaten by that clam a long time ago and have been in its belly for a hundred years.”

Because she was so grateful for being set free, the little sea fairy wanted to reward the villager and his wife. They could have one wish which their hearts desired and the little sea fairy can grant it.

They could have asked for food or great treasures, but the villager and his wife asked for a son instead.

Soon enough the villager’s wife started growing her belly.

A few months have passed and the wife gave birth to a son.

But the son was different from all the other children around the village. On his back grew a fin, and instead of legs, he had a fishtail. Instead of skin he grew some scales, and if truth were told, he looked like a fish.

The fishermen in the village thought it was bad luck to have a creature such as this. They wanted to get rid of the boy. But the villager and his wife begged them to leave their son alone. And they did.

From that day onwards, all the fishermen in the village caught so many fish. All kinds of fish, in many different colors and shapes, came willingly into the nets that they cast out to sea.  They had more than enough to feed their families. So they sold their excess fish to neighboring towns and counties. The village that once was so poor was now a rich and prosperous place.

All would have been well if the fishermen in the village had grateful hearts. But instead of compassion for the little boy fish, greed grew in their hearts.

They murmured to one another, “We should get rid of the boy fish,” they said. “More fish will come to our nets if we get rid of the bad luck in our village.”

Or so they thought.

Without further ado, they all ran to the house of the villager and his wife and dragged the boy fish out into to sea. They cast him into the water and wished that the sea would claim him forever.

Suddenly all the water around them churned and foamed.  The sky grew dark and lightning flashed on the horizon. The waves grew so big that they all feared for their lives.

From out of the water came a giant seahorse with the sea fairy sitting on its back.

With a voice so sad she said, “Oh, you cruel fishermen of the village, I showed you some compassion when I was set free from my prison and gifted you with luck. But instead you have shown cruelty to one of my own and threw him into the sea.”

In a blink of an eye the sea fairy disappeared and all was calm again.

From that day forward, none of the fishermen of the village ever caught a single fish again. They would cast their nets from dawn to dusk and not a single fish came willingly to their nets. Soon they hardly had any fish to sell, and none to feed their families.

They became a poor village once again. The fishermen would often sit by the shore and give offerings to the sea in the hope that the boy fish would return.

But he never did.

 

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