The Princess and the Crown

In the garden of a great castle, a young princess called Irene was playing. She happened to come across a pond. She sat on a rock and leaned over to look at the water. The water was still was and reflective like a huge mirror. Irene watched her reflection on the water and giggled. The young princess leaned over further and further to see better. Then – SPLASH – the princess’s crown fell into the pond. “Oh no! Dad will be angry!” the princess gasped and started to cry. Salty tears fell into the water. A fish noticed the tears and swam to the surface to see where they came from. “What’s wrong?” the fish asked. “My crown fell into the water!” the princess sobbed. “I’ve always wanted to see the vast ocean. If I retrieve your crown, will you help me get to the ocean?” the fish asked. “Yes, yes, I promise!” the princess answered. The fish dove deep into the pond. At first it didn’t find the crown. It searched and searched and finally found the crown behind a rock. The fish swam under the crown and tried to rise to the surface. But the crown was too heavy. The fish used all its strength to try to move the crown. It thought about the ocean; it had always wanted to go there. Bit by bit, the crown started to rise. The fish was exhausted when it finally reached the surface. The princess grabbed the crown joyfully and ran away. Right away she forgot her promise to the fish. The fish stayed waiting in the pond, full of hope. Finally it would see the ocean! But the princess didn’t come back, no matter how long the fish waited.
A few days later, the princess sat down to eat with her father. When the food was brought to the table, she saw that it was fish. This fish was bigger than the one in the pond, but it reminded her of the fallen crown. Irene told the king about the event. “Well, did you help the fish get to the ocean?” the king asked. “Nooo…” the princess answered reluctantly. “You made a promise. The fish fetched your crown, but you didn’t keep your promise!” the father scolded. The king rose from the table and asked the princess to come with her. They picked up a bucket and walked over to the pond. “Fish? I’m here to take you to the ocean now,” said the princess shyly. The water was still. They saw nothing. The princess felt very bad. She imagined the fish waiting day after day, full of hope. Had it lost hope? Maybe the fish had died of sorrow, never seeing the sea. Finally the water started to ripple and the fish rose to the surface. “You came after all,” the fish said. “I came. I’m sorry that it took so long,” the princess said and lowered the bucket into the water. It filled up with water and the fish swam in. The princess wanted to carry the heavy bucket herself. They walked out of the garden, through the gate and down the path to the ocean. Irene kneeled down on the beach and emptied the bucket into the ocean. “Thank you!” the fish said. The princess and the kind both watched the fish swim in the ocean. Then they walked home. The princess felt proud and happy. She had kept her promise.

Kirjoittanut Päivi Honkakoski

How did the fish feel when it was waiting in the pond?
Do you always keep your promise?

Work together and continue the story. What adventures will the fish have in the ocean?