The Magic Fish Bone


Once upon a time there was a man who had twelve children, but was not able to give them enough to eat. Alice, the obedient and hard working eldest daughter, became very thin, and it was, perhaps, for this reason that the Sea Fairy took pity on her and brought her a gift of a sardine, telling her to be sure to keep the bone after she had eaten the fish. 'It is a magic fish bone,' the Sea Fairy told Alice, 'and it will grant you one wish, but only one. So be sure to use it wisely,'
Alice was tempted on many occasions to use her magic fish bone; when one of her brothers was ill; when her sister was lost; but she always managed to put things right by herself, without resorting to the magic.
One day, however, Alice found her father in desperate poverty: he had no money left at all. 'Is there no way to find any money?' she asked, worri­edly 'No, I have already done every­thing possible!' her father replied, sadly. 'Well, then, if there really is no other answer....,' and the young girl put her hand it her pocket and stroked the fish bone.
The Sea Fairy appeared and at once set about resolving all their problems: she even managed to find a handsome young man who married Alice, so that she never again felt the need to use the services of a magic fish bone!

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