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Folk Tale

Thankfulness Russian Folk Tale: The Fisherman and the Golden Fish   https://sites.google.com/site/valueslessons   
Once upon a time an old man and his wife lived on the shore of the sea. They were poor and lived in an old mud hut. He made a living by fishing, while his wife washed peoples clothes. One day he caught a golden fish in his net. The fish begged him, "Let me go, old man. I will reward you for my freedom by giving you anything you desire."
The fisherman was astonished and frightened because he had never before heard a fish speak. He said kindly to it, "God bless you, Golden Fish. I don't need anything from you," and he let the fish go. 
(Show Image 1)

The fisherman went home and told his wife the wonderful thing that had happened to him at the shore. But she cursed angrily at him and said, "You are such a fool not to make a wish! 
(Show Image 2) At least you could have asked for a new wash tub, since ours is broken." 

The old man returned to the seashore, where little waves were rushing up onto the sand. He called out to the golden fish. It swam up and asked, "What do you need, old man?" He 
bowed and replied that his wife cursed at him because she needed a new wash tub. The fish promised to grant his wish.

When the fisherman returned home he saw the new wash tub, and was very thankful for it. But his wife shouted at him, "'You are such a fool! Go back to the fish! Ask for a new house."

The fisherman went back to the sea, where the water and sky had become overcast. He called the fish, who swam up to where he was standing. He apologized and said that his ungrateful wife wanted a new house. The fish promised to fulfil his wish.
(Show Image 3)
When he returned, he saw a nice new cottage with a gate. He was delighted, but his wife shouted even louder, "You are such a fool! Go back to the fish! I don't want be an ordinary peasant, I want be a noblewoman!"

The poor old fisherman went to the sea. The waves were beginning to rise and beat on the shore, and the sky had become even darker. He called the golden fish, who swam up and asked him what he wanted. He bowed humbly and explained, "Don't be angry, Your Majesty Golden Fish. My wife has gone mad; she wants be a noblewoman." 

The fish agreed to grant this wish. (Show Image 4)

 And what did he see when he returned home? The hut had become a great house. His wife was wearing an expensive fur jacket and had a headdress of brocade. She had pearl necklaces and gold rings. There were many servants bustling around her. She hit and slapped them. The fisherman said, "Greetings, Milady, I hope you are satisfied now." She didn't deign to answer him, but instead ordered him off to live in the stable.

Several weeks later, the wife commanded her husband to appear before her and instructed him to go to the sea again, saying, "I am still subject to the rule of those above me! I want be queen of all the land!" The old man, frightened, said, "Are you crazy, old woman? You have no knowledge of courtly manners. Everybody will make fun of you." At these words his wife stamped her feet with rage, slapped his face, and ordered him to obey.
(Show Image 5)
The old man trudged down to the seashore. The waves were crashing onto the shore, the sky and sea had become almost black. He called the golden fish.

When it swam to the shore, he bowed humbly and said that his wife now wanted to be queen of all the land. The fish comforted him and sent him home.
(Show Image 6)
When the fisherman arrived, he found a great palace, inside which his wife was seated on a throne. 
Lords and other noblemen were her servants. Around her stood menacing guards.
The old man was terrified, but approached the queen and said, "Greetings, Your Majesty. I hope you are happy now." She did not even look at him, and her guards drove him out. 

Several weeks later the queen sent for the old fisherman and again ordered him to go to the sea, this time to ask the golden fish to become her servant and make her Empress of Land and Sea. The fisherman was so terrified of her that he did not even protest. He submissively plodded back to the sea.

A terrible storm was raging there, with lightning, thunder, and giant waves crashing against the shore. The old man yelled as loud as he could and the fish rose out of the waves. He explained to her what his wife wanted now. This time the golden fish did not reply, but turned and swam away out to sea.
(Show Image 7)
After waiting a long time in vain for any answer, the fisherman returned home, where he found his old mud hut, and his poor old wife with a broken wash tub in front of her. And he was very thankful.

Discussion Questions
1. What did the fish give to the fisherman and his wife that they were grateful for? (The fisherman was grateful for the new wash bowl and the new cottage. His wife wasn't grateful for anything.)
2. How did the wife's attitude to her husband change as the story went on? Why? (She got bossier, prouder, more demanding and more violent as she gained more wealth and power)
3. Who do you think the golden fish was? What makes you think this? (Perhaps a sea king. Because it had magic power and the sea reflected its moods)
4. What is the best way to stop becoming proud if you become rich, famous or powerful? (Keep an attitude of thankfulness, give to others in need.)
5. How do you think the fisherman's wife may have changed once she was back in the old cottage again? (Stayed angry and bitter at what she'd lost, or become humbler, wiser and more thankful for what little she had; it's her choice.)

Optional Colouring In A picture of the fisherman and the golden fish is found at: http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/magical-gold-fish-old-fisher-14555769.jpg

Visual Aid

Print out the images or make a powerpoint presentation with them, to help your students to visualise the story.
1. http://www.duotales.com/skazki/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/GoldFish.png2.http://luntiki.ru/uploads/images/3/4/d/b/3/e37a97e372.jpg
3 http://luntiki.ru/uploads/images/e/7/7/3/3/fa4da10095.jpg
4 http://galeri7.uludagsozluk.com/228/balik-ve-balikci-hakkinda-bir-masal_394408_m.jpg
5 http://www.tirnet.ru/sites/default/files/soviet_tales/zolotaja_ribka4.jpg
6. http://s017.radikal.ru/i417/1301/48/dde3f8821fef.jpg
7 http://900igr.net/datai/literatura/Skazki-Pushkina/0017-010-Pochemu-baba-ostalas-u-razbitogo-koryta.jpg

Ref: http://www.tradestonegallery.com/index.php?content=fairytaleview&fairytaleid=6&fairytale=fifi&length=L