A retelling of the Grimm brothers’ folk tale, “The fisherman and his wife”, for our times

One day Melania was walking along the beach wondering what to do about her husband. She was worried that he would not make it through another month, much less his term, without a miracle. While she was walking, feeling hopeless and deep in thought she came upon a beautiful iridescent fish that had been washed up on the beach, that was gasping for breath. Feeling sorry for the creature she picked it up by its tale and flung it back into the surf at which the fish lifted its head out of the water and said, “Beautiful woman, you have saved me from certain death. Name your wish and it will be granted.” Melania could think of nothing but her bedeviled husband. She answered, “O fish, my husband is the president of the United States. You would think he would be happy now, but he is miserable because Congress will not let him build a wall between Mexico and the United States.” The fish said, “Go home to the White House, Melania, your husband has his wall.”

Sure enough, when she got home Trump was running around the white house hugging everyone and babbling about how they voted yes. “My wall, my wall. 6 billion! More than I asked for!” But the next day Melania was back at the beach, calling, “Fish, O fish, please grant me one more wish.” The ocean waves were wild and crashing around Melania’s feet and the wind was blowing sand into her eyes. The fish rose again from the surf and stared at Melania with its soulful eyes. “What is your wish Melania?” “My husband is not happy with the wall. Now he would be emperor of the Western World.” “Go home Melania”, the fish called out above the wind, “Your wish has been granted.”

When Melania got back to the White House, Donald was seated on a lavish throne surrounded by men in black suits and red ties responding to his every whim. He was wearing a crown studded with diamonds and emeralds and he was shouting orders left and right.

But the next day Melania was back on the beach. This time the waves were mountainous and thundering on the sand. Melania could hardly hear herself shouting against the wind: “Fish, O Fish, just one last wish.” She was about to give up when she heard the familiar voice over the chaos of the waves, “What is your wish Melania?” She could just make out the fish, his head barely visible between the monstrous breakers. “My husband is not satisfied being Emperor of the Western World. Now he would be Master of the Universe!” “It is done Melania. Go home. Your husband is Master of the Universe.” Melania started to turn around, when she was suddenly frozen with terror at the thought of her husband wrecking everything! “O fish”, she cried against the gale, “Now he will destroy creation!”

All at once the waters and sky grew calm. Melania stared in wonder. The sea was as smooth as glass with little wavelets plashing on the golden sand. There was a beautiful ancient, multi-headed man floating above the water, bare-chested to his waist, draped in flowers and jeweled necklaces. His skin was golden, his eyes were as blue as sapphire. “I have revealed myself to you Melania. I am Brahma. There are infinite universes. The one I have given to Donald to master is of no consequence. Go home and make peace with your life.”

Melania returned to the White House and there was her husband on the patio gleefully tweeting inanities and shouting proclamations as happy as a clam. And that was how it was for the rest of his days.