The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book I Chapter 46

The rumour ran among the people that the Emperor Charles was minded to take away from the monks the free heirship of all who died in their convents, which mightily displeased the Pope.

Ulenspiegel being then upon the banks of the Meuse thought that the Emperor thus reaped his profit on all sides, since he was the heir when the family did not inherit. He sate him down on the bank of the river and cast into it a well-baited line. Then munching an ancient piece of brown bread, he regretted that he had no wine of Romagna to wash it down withal, but he bethought him that a man cannot always have his comforts.

However, he tossed some of his bread into the water, saying that he who eats without sharing his meal with his neighbour is not worthy to have victual to eat.

Up came a gudgeon, that first came to nose at a crumb, licked it all about and opened up his innocent mouth, believing, doubtless, that the bread would fall into it of its own accord. While he was thus gazing into the air, he was all at once gulped down by a treacherous pike that darted out on him like an arrow.

The pike did the same to a carp that was catching flies in their flight, heedless of any danger. Being thus nobly replete, he remained motionless and still, dilly-dallying, scorning the small fry that in any case made haste to flee from his presence with all their fins. While he was basking in this fashion, upon him came swift, voracious jaws agape, a fasting pike that with one bound hurled himself upon him. A fierce battle was joined between them: undying jaw strokes were given and taken; the water ran red with their blood. The pike that had dined could ill defend himself against the pike that was fasting; and the latter having hauled off, returned with a rush and flung himself like a bullet on his adversary, who, awaiting him with wide-open jaws, swallowed his head half way, and would fain have got rid of it again, but could not because of his backward slanting teeth. And both thrashed about miserably.

Thus interlocked together, they saw not a stout hook that, fastened to a silk twine, rose up from the bottom of the water, sank deep in under the fin of the pike that had dined, drew him out of the water with his adversary, and cast them both rudely on the grass together.

Ulenspiegel, as he killed them, said:

“Pikes, my dears, would you two be the Pope and the Emperor devouring each the other, and would not I be the people who in God’s hour seize you on the hook, both of you amid your battles?”