Once upon a time there was a very old man whose name was Paul. He lost his family in a house fire tragedy and was survived by his 10-year old only grandchild- Steve; who became the apple of his eyes. They had nothing but a little hut and Paul supported the house by fishing.
Though they were living hand-to-mouth, but Paul loved to spoil his grandson with love and candies each day after coming back from work. Steve’s wish was Paul’s command and Paul tried to fulfill all the wishes of his little grandson, even if that meant giving up on his share of food. Paul was determined to let Steve have a childhood full of happy moments and not a sad room of disappointments. His grandson was the only person he could call his own, after all.
Years passed on. Until one day, when Steve who was now in the teenage, was playing outside with his friends, saw a golden bicycle riding past him. This quickly made him long for that golden bicycle.
On learning about his grandson’s latest desire, Paul knew there was no way he could buy the bicycle, but he didn’t want to break his heart, so made a promise to Steve of getting one home as early as he could.
Paul started working extra hours so that he could earn more shillings, but it was nowhere closer to what a bicycle would cost. Unhappy Paul was sitting by the water’s edge and casting out his net, when he pulled a fish made entirely of gold. While he was looking at the fish, it began to speak and said, “Listen to me, O’ good, old fisherman. If you put me back into the river, I will turn your little hut into a glorious Palace.”
“What is the use of a Palace if I cannot make my little Prince (grandchild) happy with what he has asked me of?” asked the sad fisherman.
“Oh, do not worry about that! I will take care of all his needs too,” continued the golden fish. “There will be a backyard to your Palace. When you open the door for it, you shall find the golden bicycle you were saving all your money for. But there is a condition to this: You must not tell anyone, how you came by this good luck. If you do so, then all will be gone.”
“If what you’re telling is true, then I must throw you back in water. But what if none of this is correct?” asked the man to the golden fish.
“You can see for yourself or you can come back to the same point where I will come out of the water myself for you.” smiles the magical fish.
The fisherman relied on golden fish’s words. He put the sparkling fish back into the river and ran back home only to find his little hut converted into a golden-shiny Palace and his little grandchild- Steve was wearing a Prince golden suit. He could not believe his luck and rubbed his eyes hard.
On seeing his grandpa, Steve came running to him and said, “Dada, we are no longer poor people. I am still confused how did this change happen.”
“Do not ask me about it ever. I am told not to say a word on it.” told Paul firmly.
“If that is the case then let it be,” shouts the excited Steve. “I am happy that now we can rule our destiny and also get the golden bicycle soon.”
On hearing about the golden bicycle, Paul immediately put Steve down and rushed to the backyard of his Palace where he caught the sight of a brand-new golden bicycle, as promised by the golden fish. Paul remembered the miraculous fish and thanked her for bringing the great change into their lives.
Days passed by, but Paul’s grandson would not stop thinking about the reason behind their good fortune. He kept asking his grandpa and one final day Paul let it all out. He told Steve about the magical fish and as the golden fish had predicted, everything was gone. They went back to living in the old hut and his grandson Paul lost his precious golden bicycle.
“See what you just did!” said the angry grandpa Paul to his grandchild Steve. “Now we have no other way but to live in poverty again.”
Paul knew he would have to begin all over again, so he got back to fishing. He became second time lucky by trapping the golden fish once more.
“Thank goodness I found you again,” said the happy Paul to the golden fish. “I will throw you back in the water but please give me my good luck back, dear golden fish.”
“Listen,” said the fish, “you failed to keep your promise. Now I cannot gift you with the same fortune. It is better that you kill me this time. I cannot offer you more.”
Paul felt sorry for his poor position but at the same time, could not bear the heart to kill the generous fish who had filled his and his grandchild’s life with great happiness at one point of time. He was in-debt of the favour and could not act selfish this time around.
“Dear golden fish, I may kill you and that could get me little money in return, but I shall never be able to face myself again after that. You gave me and my teenage grandson everything when we had nothing at all and today just because you’re not able to give us the same good luck back, my values will never allow me to be greedy and kill you. I must let you go. Thank you for all your help.”
On hearing this, the golden fish showed her big smile and said, “I was hoping that you would kill me because it was your only chance to get the Palace and golden bicycle back. I am also aware of the love you have for your grandchild, but your heart is bigger than I imagined. Here, I grant you back your good, old fortune with the golden bicycle. But make sure you never tell anyone who granted you all this, otherwise you will lose everything, and you may never find me again.”
Paul thanked the magical fish with watery-eyes and put her back into the river.
He got his Palace back and his teenage boy-Steve was happy to have his golden bicycle back. Both of them never spoke about the golden fish again and everything went smooth for the two of them as they became famous for living under the golden roof and the little Steve got known as the boy with a golden bicycle.