Sunday 11 June 2023

A fairytale that has nothing to do with Scotland. Part 13

 Part 12

Once upon a time there was a fisherman called Paul and a fishwife called Nancy. They lived in a small hut and although Paul worked hard every day Nancy was never happy with her hut or the rather limited diet of fish. But one day Paul caught a Golden Salmon and was surprised indeed that this fish could speak.

The Golden Salmon plead for its life and offered to grant Paul any wish if only he would let the Golden Salmon go. But Paul told the Golden Salmon that he didn’t want anything and ran back home to Nancy.

Nancy was furious with Paul and told him to go back to the Golden Salmon and ask him for a new trough. Paul went back and meekly asked the Golden Salmon and lo and behold the trough appeared outside their hut the next morning. Nancy and Paul were so delighted with the trough that they proceeded to share it with the pigs.

The Golden Salmon told a tale of how he had tried to separate the land from the sea and was in fact the leader of the Sea Nautical Party. But he had failed in his quest as the sea kept washing up on the shore no matter how often he told the tide to cease coming in.

Nancy thought she could do better than the Golden Salmon and so told Paul to ask that she be made leader of the Sea Nautical Party. The Golden Salmon granted her wish.

Were there any limits to the wishes that the Golden Salmon might grant her? Nancy told Paul to ask the Golden Salmon for a new house and lo and behold the next morning they awoke not so much in the House of Repute but in the House of Loot.

Every day Paul went down to the sea to talk to the Golden Salmon with requests from Nancy. Soon Loot House was redecorated and filled with every conceivable object. It was a scheme way ahead of its time. You just searched for what you wanted, sent Paul to tell the Golden Salmon and the next day it was delivered as if by magic.

But it wasn’t enough for Nancy. She wanted to be a Saint and so Paul asked the Golden Salmon to arrange for pictures of Nancy accidentally in front of objects that looked like haloes.

Still, it wasn’t enough. Nancy wanted fame and adoration and so the Golden Salmon arranged for an ultra-modern device that would allow Nancy to talk to all of the fish in the sea every day and tell them when to stay at home, how far they could swim each day and in return she heard their fins slapping together enthusiastically. She would separate the sea from the land and succeed where the Golden Salmon had failed. What could stop her? She controlled the waves. She controlled the tides. She could stop hunger, she could even stop disease.

But still it wasn’t enough for Nancy. Loot House just wasn’t large enough and she asked the Golden Salmon if he could provide her with a Palace bigger than even than Thunderstruckingham. Her palace would make the seas storm and rebel against the land.

But the palace needed to be filled and so each day Nancy ordered from the Golden Salmon a new bathroom, a new kitchen, a jacuzzi, some solid gold cutlery, stationary that self-destructed by burning after it was sent and an especially elaborate cellar/dungeon which in the absence of the invention of refrigeration was necessary to keep the butter fresh.

If Nancy was going to ruler of the seven seas, she would need a means of visiting her realm and so she asked the Golden Salmon for a second palace only this time it would have to be mobile over both land and sea.

But unfortunately, Nancy had failed to obtain her ship’s pilot’s licence at the usual age of 17, but she was determined with the help of the Golden Salmon to receive her licence and boasted joyfully when she passed the theoretical test on navigation with sextant and by the stars.

But the Golden Salmon was becoming uneasy at Nancy’s continual demands and sometimes hesitated to fulfil them. He pointed out that the pigs were resentful about having to share their trough and word was getting around about how the Golden Salmon was supplying things to Nancy without Nancy paying for them.

But Nancy thought she could do anything and get away with anything after all the fish fins clapping were still ringing in her ears and so she demanded that the Golden Salmon make her and Paul part of the nobility.

But even this was not enough for Nancy, and she demanded that the Golden Salmon separate the sea from the land and make her ruler over all that swam in the sea. But the Golden Salmon realised that this would make Nancy ruler of him and so he hesitated and showed his reluctance, which made Nancy furious.

At this point Nancy found some loaves and some fishes and turned them into witnesses against the Golden Salmon because of where he had been putting his fins.

The Golden Salmon begged Nancy for help. He reminded her that he was responsible for everything she had and that if the sea pigs came to get him, he would be unable to fulfil any more of her wishes.

Nancy now thought that she did not need the Golden Salmon she could grant her own wishes. Not only would she be ruler of the seas, she would be ruler of the universe.

But the Golden Salmon escaped and had seen that was there was no limit to Nancy’s wishes and that she would never be content no matter what wishes he granted her and so he went to the pigs at their trough and then went to the sea pigs and told them all he knew about how Nancy had first filled her house and then filled her palace and how she wanted to rule land and the seas in her super mobile amphibious home.

First the pigs demanded that Paul come to the trough, and they oinked at him, and he oinked back. Then they demanded that the supposed keeper of the Sea Nautical Party treasure come to the trough and the same oinking went on except he didn’t know anything and so merely squealed.

Nancy thought throughout that she was safe. She would not have to squeal with the pigs. She could control the seas. She could eradicate disease and stop it at her border. What could mere feeders at a trough do to her.

But it was not merely the Golden Salmon who was against Nancy. Two others had seen the extent of her ambition and how it stretched without limit. One was a Pretty Woman the other might have been president of the United States apart from hanging chads. It is because of these two that Nancy is squealing to the pigs.

Having wished for the universe Nancy and Paul found themselves back in the same hut in which they began the story. Except they were separate huts and Paul was no longer a fisher and Nancy was no longer a fishwife. Their huts were locked and there was no key on the inside.


 Part 14