The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

Click the image above to fetch a new random story.


One day, when I was sitting by the river with my father’s net, I caught a fish.

It spoke to me and said that if I didn’t throw it back into the river, something dreadful would happen to me.

I ignored it and brought it home. When I told my mother what had happened, she told me to throw it back in the river because a speaking fish has power.

“No!” I said. “I want to have it for supper. And anyway, what kind of power does a fish have over me?”

I would soon find out! The moment I put a piece of the fish in my mouth, my body changed. My head flattened; my hands were pressed to my sides. My eyes rolled oddly to the sides of my head, and I gasped for breath. When I couldn’t get any, I leaped out of the open window and landed in the river.

The river carried me to the sea. Now I have met the Queen of the Fishes who lives in the depths.

She was once queen of the land, but a giant stole her crown, the source of her power. She and her maids were turned into fish, “doomed to be fished.”

I will turn myself into anything to bring her crown back.

Girl-Fish in The Girl-Fish, Orange Fairy Book. Vintage ad, 1955.