I couldn’t make a living as a cobbler, for all my hard work. My wife and I went without eating, but that couldn’t go on forever. Finally I borrowed a neighbor’s fishing rod and went out to fish in the stream. I was there for days and didn’t hook anything, and then one morning I said to myself, “I’m giving it one last chance, and if I don’t catch a fish, I’m going to go out and hang myself.”

I did not have the line in the water for more than ten minutes before I drew up the most beautiful fish I have ever seen. Then, to my surprise, the fish started to speak to me in a squeaky voice. He told me exactly what to do with him, and how he was to be cut up and apportioned to my family.

Well, I was in no position to argue!

The Starving Cobbler in The Knights of the Fish, Brown Fairy Book. Art from Old Roman mosaic.

fishing cobbler