Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/202

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Tales of Old Lusitania - chapter 29 headpiece.jpg


In former days there lived a man who, though he had been married many years, had no children. This was a great sorrow to him; and to divert his mind from the sad subject he took to the occupation of fishing, which he plied daily.

One day as he was thus employed he was surprised to find only one large fish in his net, but greater was his astonishment when, on laying hold of it, he heard the fish say to him: "Oh, man, do not kill me."

The good man took pity upon the fish, and restored it to its native element. The next day, however, the same thing happened to him, and again the man allowed the monster to swim back to sea at its own request. After three days the same fish appeared once more in the fisherman's net; but this time it said: "Now kill me, and cut me into six slices. Give two of them to your wife to eat and two to your mare; but the two last slices you must bury behind your kitchen garden gate."