I had sent the little girl-fish on such an arduous adventure to reclaim my crown that I began to doubt she would ever return.
My ladies had started to become restless. “I am tired of staying here,” said one fish. Her colors changed with every anxious twist of her body. “How will she ever be able to get your crown back from the giant?” another fish 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 on the river are hatching now, and they’ll all be eaten by the river fish. It’s really too bad!”
Fish are not accustomed to staying in one place, even a sea palace with pink coral walls and windows rimmed with pearls.
I had almost changed my mind when I saw a bright golden light moving swiftly towards us through the green water. The girl-fish was returning. With my crown!
Queen of the Fishes in The Girl-Fish, Orange Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.