The Fisherman and His Soul is a fairy tale first published in Wilde’s A House of Pomegranates. It tells of a fisherman who nets and falls in love with a mermaid.
To get what we want is often the greatest curse of all. The fisherman here accidentally catches a mermaid in his net. He falls in love with the Mermaid and tells her that he wants to marry her. She tells him that he can only marry her if he sends away his soul.
From a Witch, the Fisherman learns how to send his soul away. The Soul makes several attempts to persuade the Fisherman to take him back, eventually convincing him to do so with the tale of a beautiful dancer who lives nearby.
Too late does the Fisherman discover that the soul which he sent out into the world without a heart has become evil. So be careful what you set your heart on.
The Fisherman and His Soul was first published in 1891 in A House of Pomegranates. E-Book, ePUB, length 14,100 words, average reading time 1 hour, 15 min. Unabridged full version. Also available as audiobook read by Phil Chenevert, running time 1 hour, 42 min.