In ”The Fisherman and his Soul”, a young Fisherman finds a Mermaid and wants nothing more than to marry her, but he cannot, for one cannot live underwater if one has a soul. He goes to his priest, but the priest tells him his soul is his most precious possession, and the soulless mermen are lost. He tries to sell it to merchants, who tell him it is not worth anything. He goes to a witch, who tells him his soul is his shadow, and says how it can be cut away with a viper-skin knife after he dances with her.
After cutting his shadow and soul free from his body, his Soul tells him that the world is cruel and asks to take with him his heart to allay his fears. The Fisherman, however, refuses to give his Soul his heart, because his love needs it, and he sends the Soul away and joins his Mermaid under the sea.
Each year that passed, the Soul comes to the Fisherman to tell him what he has done in his absence. Each year, he travels in a different direction and meets different people from distant cultures, and each time, he comes into the possession of a magical object, but the Fisherman values love greater than everything the Soul tried to tempt him with. He first talks of the Mirror of Wisdom, which is worshipped as a 'God' in the East, then the Ring of Riches from an Emperor who was willing to give his whole treasury to the Soul rather than this after the Soul survived all his attacks.