I had sent the little fish on such an arduous adventure to reclaim my crown that I began to doubt she would ever return.
My ladies, the other fish who were with me in the sea palace, had started to become restless. “I am tired of staying here,” said one. She was a beautiful fish whose colors changed with every movement of her body. “How will she ever be able to get crown back from the giant?” another asked. She was right. Even with the magic I’d given her to change her shape, it would be almost impossible to reach the giant’s castle.
Another fish mumbled, “The flies will be coming out now, and they’ll all be eaten by the river fish. It’s really too bad!”
Creatures in the sea are not accustomed to staying in one place, even if it’s a marvelous sea palace with pale pink coral walls worn smooth by the current, and windows rimmed with pearls.
I had almost changed my mind when I saw a bright thing moving swiftly towards us. She was returning. With my crown!
Queen of the Fishes in The Girl-Fish, Orange Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.