从前有一对贫穷的夫妻，他们除了有一座小棚子外，其它一无所有，他们靠打鱼来维持生计，生活常常捉襟见肘。 有一天傍晚，丈夫坐在水边下网捕鱼，起网的时候，发现网里有一条全身都是纯金的鱼。 就在他满心惊诧地打量着这条鱼的时候，鱼开始说话了："听着，渔夫，如果你把我扔回水里，我将把你的小棚子变成豪华的城堡。"可是渔夫却回答："如果我连肚子都喂不饱，城堡又有什么用呢？"金鱼接着说："那没关系，到时城堡里会有一个橱柜，你打开柜门，里面就有最精美的饭菜，而且你想要多少就会有多少。""如果这是真的，"渔夫说，"那我就帮你这个大忙了。""是真的，"鱼说，"但得有个条件，当你的好运降临的时候，千万别跟世界上任何人透露此事，无论是谁，一旦你说漏了一个字，那可就全完了。"渔夫于是将鱼扔回水里，然后扭头回家了。
老婆高兴地大叫："亲爱的，真是应有尽有。"他们坐下来一起大吃大喝。 吃饱后，老婆问："夫君，这些好东西是从哪儿来的？""哎呀，"他回答："可别问我这个问题，我可不敢告诉你，因为如果我向别人透露这事，我们所有的财富就会消失。""非常好，"她说，"不应知道的还是不知道为好。"然而，她没说真话，白天黑夜她都不安宁，把她丈夫纠缠得失去了耐心，他只好告诉她那是由于他捕到一条美丽的金鱼，作为回报，他给了它自由。 就在这秘密泄露的一瞬间，豪宅和橱柜消失了，破旧的渔棚又恢复了原样，丈夫重操旧业去捕鱼了。 可是他的运气不错，又一次捕到了那条金鱼。 "听着，"鱼说："如果你再把我投入水中，我还会给你城堡和装满烤肉和煮肉的橱柜。但是可别动摇，千万千万别透露你从哪儿得到了这一切，要不然一切可就又没了！""我会非常注意的。"渔夫答应着，然后把鱼投回水中。 现在家中的一切又重新恢复往日的辉煌了，老婆面对大宗财富大喜过望，可仍是好奇心折磨得她坐卧不安，仅过数日，她又开始问这问那了，这是怎么回事呀，他是用什么法子弄到这些的呀等等。 丈夫保持着沉默，但是时间不长，他又被折腾得肝火上升，脾气大发了，终于违背诺言，又泄露了秘密。 转眼间城堡就没了，他们又重新住在了破旧的棚子里。 "现在你可得到你想得到的了，"他说，"可我们又得过那啃光骨头没肉的日子了。""唉，"老婆说，"我宁愿过穷日子，如果我不知道那财富是从哪儿来的，我一时都不得安宁。"
丈夫只得回去捕鱼，可是没想到那金鱼第三次撞入他的网内。 "听着，"鱼说，"看来我是命里注定逃不出你的手掌，那就带我回家 ，把我切成六片：让你老婆吃两片，你的马吃两片，剩下两片埋在地下，这样他们会赐福于你。 "渔夫带着鱼回了家，并且按鱼所说的做了。时间过得很快，埋鱼肉的地方长出了两朵金荷花，马生了两只金马驹，而渔夫的老婆则生下了两个全身是金的孩子。孩子们长成了魁梧英俊的小伙子，荷花和马驹也长大了。这时他们请求道："父亲，我们想骑上我们的金马出去闯闯世界。 "他忧伤地答道："要是你们都走了，我怎能放心呢，我怎能知道你们的情况呢？ "他们说："那两朵金荷花不是在这儿呐。 看着它们，你就会知道我们的情况了：如果它们鲜艳美丽，那我们就身体健康；如果它们变蔫了，那我们就是生病了；如果它们枯萎了，那我们也死了。 "他们骑着马出发了，他们走进一家酒店，发现里面有很多人，人们一看见两个金孩子就开始拿他们取笑。兄弟中的一个受不了众人的嘲讽，打消了闯世界的念头，取道回府去陪伴老父亲。另一位坚持向前骑，到了一片大森林。他正准备进去，旁边有人劝他："你骑马穿过森林可不安全，林子里全是盗匪，他们可不是善人。 一旦你生病，他们发现你和你的马全身是金，他们肯定会杀了你。 "可是他暗中给自己打气壮胆，说道："我必须、而且能够骑过去。 "然后他取了熊皮穿在自己和马的身上，这样他们的金身就不被别人看见了，他毫无畏惧地进入了林子。走了不远，他听见丛林中有响声，并且有人说话：一边有人喊："这儿来了一个。 "另一边答："别理这个穿熊皮的，一看就是穷得跟教堂里的耗子一样，他身上能有什么值钱的？ "于是金孩子高高兴兴、平平安安地走出了森林。
一天他走进了一个村庄，看到一位非常美丽的姑娘，在他眼里姑娘简直是世界上最最美丽的了。 他顿时被爱情巨大的力量所征服，走上前去向姑娘表白："我爱你，我真心真意地爱你，你肯嫁给我吗？"姑娘也同样深深地爱慕着他，于是她同意说："是的，我愿意嫁给你，并同你白头偕老。"他们结婚了，新婚的日子无比甜蜜，这时新娘的父亲回到家来，知道了女儿已经举行了婚礼，感到非常惊诧，问道："新郎在哪里？"旁人给他指点了仍然穿着熊皮的金孩子。 父亲一看便勃然大怒："一个穿熊皮的决不能娶我的女儿！"说完就准备杀了他。 新娘苦苦央求道："他是我的丈夫，而且我真心实意地爱他！"父亲终于平静下来了，然而，实在放不下这个念头，第二天他早早起了床，想看看女婿是否真的是个衣着褴褛的乞丐。 没想到当他偷偷地往房间里看的时候，却见床上躺着一个浑身放金光的男人，地上是那张破旧的熊皮。 他回来暗中感叹道："我能及时克制住自己真是万幸！否则我可真是罪不可恕啦。"此时金孩子正在梦乡中，他梦见自己骑马出去猎到一只漂亮的牡鹿，早上醒来后，便对妻子说："我必须出去打猎。"她感到不安，求他呆在家里，并且劝他："你会大祸临头的。"可是他回答："我必须去。"
他站起身来，骑上马进了森林，走了不远，发现有一只漂亮的牡鹿从他的路前面穿过，那的的确确就是他梦中的那只鹿。 他瞄准了正准备射箭时，那鹿跑开了。 他穿灌木、过壕沟，不知疲倦地追呀，整整追了一天，到了天黑时分，牡鹿从眼前消失了。 金娃娃看了看四周，发现自己正站在一座小房子前，里面坐着一个巫婆。 他敲敲门，那矮小的老太婆从里面出来问道："这么晚了你还在这大林子里干什么？""您看见一只鹿了吗？""是的，"她回答，"我知道这鹿在哪儿。"就在这时，从房子里奔出一条小狗，冲着他恶狠狠地叫着。 "别叫了，你这仗势欺人的家伙，"他说，"再叫我就打死你。"不想这话把巫婆给惹火了，她喊着："什么，你敢杀我的小狗？"随即把他变成了一块石头，孤单单地躺在那里，这时他的新娘正在徒劳地等待他，一边等，一边想："一定是我最害怕、最担心的事情发生了！"在家里，他的兄弟站在金荷花前，看到其中一朵突然凋萎了。 "天呐！"他喊道："我的兄弟一定惨遭不幸了！我必须设法去救他。"可是父亲说："留下别去，再失去你，我可怎么办？"他坚持道："我非得去！"
于是他骑着他的金马上路进入了森林，找到了他那变成石头的兄弟。 老巫婆从房子里出来叫住了他，想让他也中圈套，可是他不让她靠近，并且威胁说："你要是不把我兄弟变活了 ，我就射死你。 "巫婆虽然极其不乐意，但不得不用食指点了一下石头，让他兄弟马上恢复了人的形状。两个金娃娃又见面了，他们非常高兴，相互拥抱亲吻，一块儿骑马离开了森林，然后一个回家去见他的新娘，另一个回去见父亲。一见面老父亲就说道："我已经知道你救活了你的兄弟，因为那朵金荷花忽然间又竖起来了，并且还开了花。 "从此以后，他们的一生都幸福和富裕。
There was once a poor man and a poor woman who had nothing but a little cottage, and who earned their bread by fishing, and always lived from hand to mouth. But it came to pass one day when the man was sitting by the water-side, and casting his net, that he drew out a fish entirely of gold. As he was looking at the fish, full of astonishment, it began to speak and said, "Hark you, fisherman, if you will throw me back again into the water, I will change your little hut into a splendid castle." Then the fisherman answered, "Of what use is a castle to me, if I have nothing to eat?" The gold fish continued, "That shall be taken care of, there will be a cupboard in the castle in which, when you open it, shall be dishes of the most delicate meats, and as many of them as you can desire." - "If that be true," said the man, "then I can well do you a favour." - "Yes," said the fish, "there is, however, the condition that you shall disclose to no one in the world, whosoever he may be, whence your good luck has come, if you speak but one single word, all will be over." Then the man threw the wonderful fish back again into the water, and went home. But where his hovel had formerly stood, now stood a great castle. He opened wide his eyes, entered, and saw his wife dressed in beautiful clothes, sitting in a splendid room, and she was quite delighted, and said, "Husband, how has all this come to pass? It suits me very well." - "Yes," said the man, "it suits me too, but I am frightfully hungry, just give me something to eat." Said the wife, "But I have got nothing and don't know where to find anything in this new house." - "There is no need of your knowing," said the man, "for I see yonder a great cupboard, just unlock it." When she opened it, there stood cakes, meat, fruit, wine, quite a bright prospect.
Then the woman cried joyfully, "What more can you want, my dear?" and they sat down, and ate and drank together. When they had had enough, the woman said, "But husband, whence come all these riches?" - "Alas," answered he, "do not question me about it, for I dare not tell you anything; if I disclose it to any one, then all our good fortune will fly." - "Very good," said she, "if I am not to know anything, then I do not want to know anything." However, she was not in earnest; she never rested day or night, and she goaded her husband until in his impatience he revealed that all was owing to a wonderful golden fish which he had caught, and to which in return he had given its liberty. And as soon as the secret was out, the splendid castle with the cupboard immediately disappeared, they were once more in the old fisherman's hut, and the man was obliged to follow his former trade and fish. But fortune would so have it, that he once more drew out the golden fish. "Listen," said the fish, "if you will throw me back into the water again, I will once more give you the castle with the cupboard full of roast and boiled meats; only be firm, for your life's sake don't reveal from whom you have it, or you will lose it all again!" - "I will take good care," answered the fisherman, and threw the fish back into the water. Now at home everything was once more in its former magnificence, and the wife was overjoyed at their good fortune, but curiosity left her no peace, so that after a couple of days she began to ask again how it had come to pass, and how he had managed to secure it. The man kept silence for a short time, but at last she made him so angry that he broke out, and betrayed the secret. In an instant the castle disappeared, and they were back again in their old hut. "Now you have got what you want," said he; "and we can gnaw at a bare bone again." - "Ah," said the woman, "I had rather not have riches if I am not to know from whom they come, for then I have no peace."
The man went back to fish, and after a while he chanced to draw out the gold fish for a third time. "Listen," said the fish, "I see very well that I am fated to fall into your hands, take me home and cut me into six pieces; give your wife two of them to eat, two to your horse and bury two of them in the ground, then they will bring you a blessing." The fisherman took the fish home with him, and did as it had bidden him. It came to pass, however, that from the two pieces that were buried in the ground two golden lilies sprang up, that the horse had two golden foals, and the fisherman's wife bore two children who were made entirely of gold. The children grew up, became tall and handsome, and the lilies and horses grew likewise. Then they said, "Father, we want to mount our golden steeds and travel out in the world." But he answered sorrowfully, "How shall I bear it if you go away, and I know not how it fares with you?" Then they said, "The two golden lilies remain here. By them you can see how it is with us; if they are fresh, then we are in health; if they are withered, we are ill; if they perish, then we are dead." So they rode forth and came to an inn, in which were many people, and when they perceived the gold-children they began to laugh, and jeer. When one of them heard the mocking he felt ashamed and would not go out into the world, but turned back and went home again to his father. But the other rode forward and reached a great forest. As he was about to enter it, the people said, It is not safe for you to ride through, the wood is full of robbers who would treat you badly. You will fare ill, and when they see that you are all of gold, and your horse likewise, they will assuredly kill you.'
But he would not allow himself to be frightened, and said, "I must and will ride through it." Then he took bear-skins and covered himself and his horse with them, so that the gold was no more to be seen, and rode fearlessly into the forest. When he had ridden onward a little he heard a rustling in the bushes, and heard voices speaking together. From one side came cries of, "There is one," but from the other, "Let him go, 'tis an idle fellow, as poor and bare as a church-mouse, what should we gain from him?"
So the gold-child rode joyfully through the forest, and no evil befell him. One day he entered a village wherein he saw a maiden, who was so beautiful that he did not believe that any more beautiful than she existed in the world. And as such a mighty love took possession of him, he went up to her and said, "I love thee with my whole heart, wilt thou be my wife?" He, too, pleased the maiden so much that she agreed and said, "Yes, I will be thy wife, and be true to thee my whole life long." Then they were married, and just as they were in the greatest happiness, home came the father of the bride, and when he saw that his daughter's wedding was being celebrated, he was astonished, and said, "Where is the bridegroom?" They showed him the gold-child, who, however, still wore his bear-skins. Then the father said wrathfully, "A vagabond shall never have my daughter!" and was about to kill him. Then the bride begged as hard as she could, and said, "He is my husband, and I love him with all my heart!" until at last he allowed himself to be appeased. Nevertheless the idea never left his thoughts, so that next morning he rose early, wishing to see whether his daughter's husband was a common ragged beggar. But when he peeped in, he saw a magnificent golden man in the bed, and the cast-off bear-skins lying on the ground. Then he went back and thought, "What a good thing it was that I restrained my anger! I should have committed a great crime." But the gold-child dreamed that he rode out to hunt a splendid stag, and when he awoke in the morning, he said to his wife, "I must go out hunting." She was uneasy, and begged him to stay there, and said, "You might easily meet with a great misfortune," but he answered, "I must and will go."
Thereupon he got up, and rode forth into the forest, and it was not long before a fine stag crossed his path exactly according to his dream. He aimed and was about to shoot it, when the stag ran away. He gave chase over hedges and ditches for the whole day without feeling tired, but in the evening the stag vanished from his sight, and when the gold-child looked round him, he was standing before a little house, wherein was a witch. He knocked, and a little old woman came out and asked, "What are you doing so late in the midst of the great forest?" - "Have you not seen a stag?" - "Yes," answered she, "I know the stag well," and thereupon a little dog which had come out of the house with her, barked at the man violently. "Wilt thou be silent, thou odious toad," said he, "or I will shoot thee dead." Then the witch cried out in a passion, "What! will you slay my little dog?" and immediately transformed him, so that he lay like a stone, and his bride awaited him in vain and thought, "That which I so greatly dreaded, which lay so heavily on my heart, has come upon him!" But at home the other brother was standing by the gold-lilies, when one of them suddenly drooped. "Good heavens!" said he, "my brother has met with some great misfortune! I must away to see if I can possibly rescue him." Then the father said, "Stay here, if I lose you also, what shall I do?" But he answered, "I must and will go forth!"
Then he mounted his golden horse, and rode forth and entered the great forest, where his brother lay turned to stone. The old witch came out of her house and called him, wishing to entrap him also, but he did not go near her, and said, "I will shoot you, if you will not bring my brother to life again." She touched the stone, though very unwillingly, with her forefinger, and he was immediately restored to his human shape. But the two gold-children rejoiced when they saw each other again, kissed and caressed each other, and rode away together out of the forest, the one home to his bride, and the other to his father. The father then said, "I knew well that you had rescued your brother, for the golden lily suddenly rose up and blossomed out again." Then they lived happily, and all prospered with them until their death.