the little princess loved to hear about people who were not the same as she was. These people have feet and did not live in the sea: they lived on land. She made her grandmother tell her everything she knew about ships, cities, and men. She was very pleased when she heard that the flowers on land had a lovely smell: the flowers in the sea had no smell at all. She was very pleased, too, when she heard that the small fishes in the sky could sing. The old lady was speaking about birds, but she called them fishes because the little princesses did not know about birds.
"When you are fifteen years old, you can go to the top of the sea, " their grandmother said. "You will then sit at night and see the ships go by. And you will know about cities and men. "
the next year the oldest of the sisters would be fifteen. She was very happy, but the other sisters were unhappy. They could not go to the top of the sea. The oldest sister said that she would tell them about everything that she saw.
But none of the sisters wanted to go so much as the youngest sister wanted to go. On many nights she stood by the open window, looking up through the blue water. She could see the sun and it looked very big to her. If a ship went by up there, above her, she thought that it must be a very big fish.
the day now came when the oldest of the princess was fifteen and could go to the top of the sea.
When she came back she had many things to tell.