A good-hearted if unexceptional story about a good-hearted fisherman named Pilchard, who wants little for himself and makes a practice of helping his neighbors. ""l can give a friend a hand and still have two left,"" is how Pilchard puts it. When the king sends him off in search of the water of life, Pilchard comes across a tethered basilisk in a deep dark wood. Characteristically, he frees the creature, who reciprocates with directions for finding the precious water, a bottomless bottle to carry it, a whistle to charm its lion guards, and a magic key to unlock the gate. By the time he's reached his destination, Pilchard has given all three away--but then, as his sort of luck would have it, he discovers that the magic fountain pours into a stream. . . which flows straight past his village and the king's castle. The pictures give this a medieval setting and an amiable cast, but not much life.