For 33 years an old fisherman and his wife led a very poor life in a cottage on the seaside.
The fisherman was fishing to provide food for him and his wife. One day he caught a gold fish. When he saw her in his net she talked in human voice. She begged him to let her go and in return she promised to grant him three wishes.
The old man was kind and modest so he had mercy upon the fish and let her go without making a single wish. But when his wife found out about everything she demanded that he goes back to the sea, finds the fish and wishes a new trough.
The old man pleased his wife and went to the shore. He noticed that the sea was unsettled. He called the gold fish and she granted his wish. The greedy woman got her wish.
But the women did not want to back down. She wanted a new house. The old man went back and saw that the sea was even more restless than last time. He called the gold fish again and she granted him his wish. When he came home he saw a beautiful and big house with a new chimney and a door made of oak wood.
He thought that now his wife would stop with the wishes but she didn't. She wanted more and more. This time she wanted to become a rich noblewoman and she sends her husband back to the sea again. The sea was even worse than the last time. The man found the fish and she granted him his wish.
When he came back home he saw his fancy dressed wife while she was ordering and hitting the servants. She send her husband to the stable to serve her.
Two weeks passed by and the women wanted something again. She sent her husband to find the fish and tell her that she wants to be a rich empress. The old man told her that she was being unreasonable but she wouldn't back down. From a dark sea the fish comes again and grants another wish.
The women became a rich and powerful empress that lives in a castle and has many servants. She chased the old man out of the castle while the citizens were laughing at him. The servants nearly killed him and the people kept on saying that it was rude of him to come to the castle.
The women wanted to be the queen of the sea and to have the gold fish always at her service.
The poor fisherman went to the sea again and there was a storm. He found the fish but this time she did not grant his wish. She just went back to the sea.
Even though the old man waited a long time for her she never showed up. When he came back home he saw his old cottage and his wife standing beside it with a broken trough.
Time and place: time is undetermined and everything happens on the seaside
Characters: old fisherman, his wife, gold fish
Author: Alexander Pushkin biography