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#6

Aloha! and...

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...to Mermaids Cove

  

aquamarine6888 got their Neopet at http://www.neopets.com




Aloha! and Welcome, you can never have too many welcomes ya know hahaha. Anyway...my very good friend introduced to me anime and well I can't seem to get enough of it and therefore i thought it would be nice to add some anime flare to my pages. Cool huh? Well, here is what you can expect yourself to find on this page: poetry, graphics (lots!), stories and legends and of course information on mermaids. NOw here is what is to COME, more legends and graphics and poetry but also some new information to cover the believes of other countries on mermaids and the differences in the believes and names and such. SO please dive in the water i assure is you fine and enjoy!


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#15

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING
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#1

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Adoption-#3

www.xandorra.co.uk

 If you were to look up legends and tales of mermaids you would come across a million different sites with many different versions of stories and beliefs. However, if you were to read closely enough you would come to find a certain set of of things to be concistant on almost all the sites you come across.
  One of which is how mermaids are viewed by people. They are believed to be beautiful women from the waist up and fish like from the waist down. Now even here there is variety. Some Artists display mermaids with tail fins that resemble more to a dolphin fin then fish were as other artists depict mermaids with more of a fish like tail.Other beliefs differ in how mermaids behave and act towards human. Some legends make them out to be suductive, luring men and saliors to a watery death beneath the unforgiving ocean waves. Where as other legends protray mermaids to be more playful and curious in humans then seeking revenge or plotting there death.
   Some, tell them as happy carefree creatures enjoying there life under the sea where as others show them as depressed sad being seeking Love, and companionship. Which ever ones you choose to believe in this page will have the varity of sorts. Showing both sides of the fence and addressing all legend types I have found on the net. Before you dive in keep in mind many artists display mermaids in a way that might not be suitable for younger or imature children or adults for that matter. Many being shown topless, or just barely covered by there long beautiful hair. So concerned Parents, who dont want there kids viewing such things stop here.

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Adoption #1

I am a creature of the Fey
Prepare to give your soul away
My spell is passion and it is art
My song can bind a human heart
And if you chance to know my face
My hold shall be your last embrace.
~*Author not listed*~

sleepingmermaidmermaiddreams.jpg
#6

Dolphins more your thing than mermaids or your just a lover of the sea in general? Then check of this site designed by moi! Hey i'm a dolphin lover too and a fantasty lover too! Check out: Dolphins24-7.tripod.com

dolphin
A Dolphin! "To the dolphin alone, nature has given that
which the best philosophers seek: Friendship
for no advantage. Though it has no need of help
from any man, it is a genial friend to all and
has helped mankind. Plutarch

What Is Your Spirit Animal?
brought to you by Quizilla

Shadows cast on unseen worlds
The sea's precious pearl
hidden in the cover of night
lit by the moon's pale light
 
Perched upon a stone
letting out a soft moan
sad and alone
Captive to her watery home
 
Listening to the sea's melody
Forbidden to be seen
looking from afar
held back by an invisable bar
unable to surpass
her born class
her soul fragile as glass
forever watching another world pass
 
Gently combing her hair
pretending not to care
lost in a continuous stare
unable to bear
The pain of being alone
constant fear of being scorned
 
Keeping feelings concealed
unable to deal
this scene seems so unreal
keeping her soul sealed
secrete wishes
of passionate kisses
 
From someone unkown
wantingn to be reborn
sounds of fog horns
force her to return
to watery depths
of miss concepts
 
Singing a soft tune
to the winds of june
Calls ships to bay
Forcing them to stay
Forcing them to pay
with the rising of a new day
 
A fiery crash
A ship all to ash
A boy unable to swim
At her very whim
Taking him up in her arm
the soft sounds of alarm
sealing him with a kiss
they sink into the abyss
 
No longer alone
in her watery home
the mournful stone
Sits alone
 
The sea's melody
no longer has company
As one sould became two
 
~Akalie~

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Sign my Guestbook E'olu'olu'oe (please)

Love my mermaid page? Want to see more? Then dive into this wonderful lil site i happened to stubble upon! ;o) remembering when signing the guestbook who sent ya there will ya!

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LINK

Several mermaid legends tell of those who can transform themselves to human to walk on land. These legends typically come from other countries and give "warning signs" of a mermaid who has taken human form to steal some unspecting fellow to a watery grave. The most common sign being that of a wet hem ( the bottom of a skirt) and cold and clamy hands. These legends and stories are old however at the time ALL women wore floor length gowns and dresses. Not all trapped young mens hearts in a doomed death bind. Some seeked true love and brought there lover to live amoung them under Neptunes crashing waves and wonderous waters.

Amy Brown (c)
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Adoption #1

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#6

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#11

Is it she or is it you?
 
Every young girls dream
A beautiful treasure, not as she seems
In a watery world of wonder
 with eerie depths that plunder
She dreams of thee
to live out her live like yours beneath the sea
 
What she doesnt know
is the front you show
With a voice of luring tones
A forever lost sailors moan
 
She sees you as a creature of delight
A world so wonderful she feels it right
If she only knew
The things you do
The front you play
The stories of you they say
 
Your world she wouldnt long so badly
She will discover soon, you'll bruise her badly
or is it you who is cast in the wrong light
Uncover forced to stay out of sight
Is it you who is seen wrong
and not your meaning of your mornful song
 
Is it she or is it you
who is being played the fool?
The stories and the legends show both sides
which do you decide?
 
~Akalie
 
 

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Artist: Jim Warren-#6

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#10

~Neptune's Daughter~

The white water thundered;
And the waves did curl
And from his ship he saw the sea's precious pearl,
With a captivating stare and sly lil grin
It was his heart she knew she'd surely win.

With little resistance and not a second thought,
Her song filled his heart with happiness and happiness he sought.
With this he dove into the icy water,
And into the sea with Neptune's decietful daughter.

~Akalie~

A Meeting
Under the linden the music is gay,
The couples are gossiping loudly
And two are dancing whom nobody knows,
They carry themselves so proudly.
Now here, now there, they glide and sway
In wave-like measures beguiling.
They bow to each other, and as they nod,
She whispers, gently smiling:
"A water-pink is hanging from
Your cap, my fair young dancer;
It only grows in the depths of the sea-
You are no mortal man, sir.
"You are a merman, and to lure
These village maids your wish is.
I knew you at once by your watery eyes
And your teeth as sharp as the fishes'."
Now here, now there, they glide and sway
In wave-like measures beguiling.
They bow to each other, and as they nod,
He answers, gently smiling:
Your hand's so cold and shiny~
And why is the border of your gown
So damp and draggled and briny?
"1 knew you at once by your watery eyes,
And your bow so mocking and tricksy
You're never a daughter of earth, my dear;
You are my cousin, the nixie."
The fiddles are silent, the dancing is done;
They part with a ripple of laughter.
They know each other too well, and will try
To avoid such a meeting hereafter.
HEINRICH HEIN~

http://www.lair2000.net/mermaid_poetry/mer-poetry/A_Meeting.html

Siren
You are a Siren. More adventurous than all with a
voice like no other you sit on warm rocks and
sing to the moon and sea. Yet sometimes
shipwrecks find you and raving men want you.
You are a bottle of talent and power. What the
unknown is you seek to find, and a lover. You
have the moon and stars as freinds. There are a
very few of you, what a rare find. Will you
rate my quiz, I think your voice in just
beautiful?

What kind of mermaid are you? (Gorgeous Pics)
brought to you by Quizilla

Legends and Myths:

The Mermaid Wife II
(The full version)

The Goodman of Wastness was a well-to-do young fellow. Handsome and strong, well-liked and with a profitable farm, it was not at all surprising that many of the unmarried local girls set their sights on him. However, despite their ample attentions, the Goodman was quite simply not interested in marriage.

Their advances spurned, the local girls soon began to treat the Goodman with contempt, describing him as "an old young man" and "old before his time". As far as they were concerned he was committing the unpardonable sin of celibacy. The Goodman however paid these malicious creatures little heed and as is more often the case the gossips soon turned their attentions elsewhere.

When questioned by his friends as to the reason he would not take a wife, the Goodman would smile and simply explain: "Weemin are like minny ither things in this weary wurld, only sent fur a trial tae man an' I hae trials enough withoot bein' tried be a wife. If yin owld fool Adam hiddno been bewitched be his wife, he might still be in the Gerdeen o' Eden tae this day.."

(Women are like many other things in this weary world, only sent as a trial to men and I have enough trials without being tried by a wife. If that old fool Adam had not been bewitched by his wife, he might still be in the Garden of Eden to this day)

One old woman who heard this oft-repeated speech, remarked; "Tak thou heed thee sell, thou'll mibbe be yursel' bewitched some day."

(Heed well what you say, you will maybe be bewitched yourself one day)

"Aye," said the Goodman, laughing. "That'll be when thou waaks dry-shod fae the Alters o' Seenie tae the Boar o' Papa"

(That will be when you walk from the Alters o' Seenie to the Boar o' Papa [placenames] without wetting your feet)

So it came to pass that one fine day, the Goodman was down on the ebb when he saw, a short distance away, a number of selkie-folk lying on a flat rock. Some were lying sunning themselves while others jumped and played in the clear Orkney waters. All were naked with skins as white as snow, their seal-skins strewn carelessly on the sand and rocks around them.

The Gooman crept closer to their basking rock and when he neared the place the selkie-folk played, leapt to his feet and ran towards them. The alarmed selkie-folk snatched up their seal skins and ran to the safety of the sea. However, as quick as they were, the Goodman was quicker for he managed to seize a skin belong to one beautiful seal-maiden who in the hasty rush to safety had forgotten to retrieve her skin.

By this time the selkie-folk had swum out a little distance and now gazed mournfully at the Goodman. He stared back and realised that all, save one, had resumed the shape of seals. Grinning, he put the captured skin under his arm and whistling a merry tune set out for home. No sooner had he left the ebb than he heard the most sorrowful wailing and weeping coming from behind him. He turned and saw a fair woman following him. She was a most pitiful sight. sobbing and howling in grief with her arms held out in a plea to have her skin returned. Huge tears ran from her large dark eyes and down her fair cheeks. Falling to her knees, she cried: "O bonnie man! If thur's inny mercy in thee human breest, gae me back me ain selkie skin! I cinno live in the sea withoot it. I cinno bide amung me ain folk withoot me selkie-skin."

(Oh handsome man, if there is any mercy in your human breast give me back my seal-skin. I can not live in the sea without it. I cannot live among my own people without my seal-skin)

The Goodman was not a soft-hearted man but nevertheless he could not help but pity the poor creature. Pity, however, was not the only emotion he felt for with the pity came the softer and sweeter passion of love. The icy heart that had yet to love a mortal woman had been melted by this seal-maiden's resplendent beauty.

Eventually the Goodman managed to wring from the Selkie-wife a reluctant consent to remain with him as his wife. She had little choice in the matter for as we have heard, she could not return to the sea without her skin. So the sea-maiden went with the Goodman and stayed with him for many days, turning out to be a thrifty, frugal and kindly wife. Although she was a creature of the sea, the Goodman had a happy life with her.

The selkie-wife bore the Goodman seven children - four boys and three girls and it was said that there were no children as beautiful as them in all the isles. And all the while the sea-wife seemed content and merry.

But all was not as it seemed - there was a weight in the selkie-wife's heart and many a time she was seen to gaze longingly out to the sea. The sea that was her true home.

So to all the islanders and to the Goodman himself all seemed well with the Goodman and his family - but as is always the same in these tales. The bliss was not to last.

One fine day, the Goodman and his three sons were out in their boat fishing. With the menfolk out of the house, the selkie-wife sent three of the girls to the ebb to gather limpets and whelks. The youngest girl had to remain at home as some days earlier, she had hurt her foot climbing on the sharp rocks by the shore. As usual, as soon as the house emptied, the selkie-wife set to looking for her long-lost seal-skin. She searched high and she searched low. She searched "but" and she searched "ben". She searched out and she search in but to no avail. She could not find the skin.

As the time passed, the sun swung to the west and the shadows grew, the peedie lass seated in a straw-backed chair with her sore feet on the creepie watched her mother carry out the frantic hunt. "Mam, whit are thoo luckin' fur?" she asked (Mam, what are you looking for?).

"O' bairn, dinna tell bit I'm luckin' fur a bonnie skin tae mak a rivlin that wid sort thee sore fit" replied the selkie-wife.

(Oh child, don't tell but I'm looking for a pretty skin to make a shoe/sandal that would cure your sore feet)

"Bit Mam, " said the bairn. "I ken fine whar hid is. Wan day when ye war oot and me Fither thowt I wis sleepin' i' the bed, he teen a bonnie skin doon, gloured at hid for cheust a peedie meenit, then foldit hid an' laid hid up under dae aisins abeun da bed"

(But Mam, I know well where it is. One day when you were out and my Father thought I was asleep in bed, he took a pretty skin down, glowered at it for a short time, then folded it and put it away in the aisins over the hill)

When the selkie-wife heard this she clapped for joy and rushed to the place where her long-concealed skin lay. "Fare thee well, peedie buddo" she said to her child and ran out of the house. Rushing to the shore she threw on her skin and with a wild cry of joy, plunged into the sea. A male selkie was waiting for her there and greeted her with great delight.

(Peedie Buddo - little friend. A term of endearment)

All the while, the Goodman was rowing home and happened to see these two selkies from his little boat. His wife uncovered her beautiful face and cried out to him. "Fare thee well. Goodman o' Wastness. Farewell tae thee. I liked thee well enough fur thoo war geud tae me bit I love better me man o' the sea."

(Fare you well Goodman of Wastness. Farewell to thee. I liked you well enough because you were good to me but I love my husband from the sea better.)

And that was the last the Goodman ever saw of his sea-wife. Often though, in the twilight of his years, he could be seen wandering on the empty sea-shore, hoping once again to meet his lost love, but never again did he look upon her fair face.

 

1 Taken from: http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/1620/legends.html

Little JohnBottlejohn

Little Johnbottlejohn lived on the hill,

and a bilth lil man was he.

And he won the heart of a pretty mermaid

Who lived in the deep blue sea,

"Oh! little John Bottlejohn, pretty John bottlejohn, wont you come out to me?"

Little John Bottlejohn heard he song,

And he opened his little door,

And out he hopped and skipped,

And he skipped and hopped,

Until he came down to the shore.

And there on the rocks sat the little mermaid,

And still was she singing so free,

"Oh! little John Bottlejohn, Pretty John Bottlejohn wont you come out to me?"

Little John Bottlejohn made a bow,

And the mermaid, she made one too;

And she said,  " Oh! I have never saw anyone half so perfectly sweet as you!"

In my lovely home 'neath the ocean foam,

How happy we both might be!

Oh! little John Bottlejohn, Pretty John BottleJohn,

wont you come down with me?

Little John Bottlejohn said, "oh! yes I'll willingly go with you,

And i shall never quail at the sight of your tail,

For perhapes i may grow one too."

So he took her hand, and left the land,

and plunged into the foaming main.

And little John Bottle John, Pretty John Bottlejohn

was never seen again.

~ Laura E. Richards~

The Water Maid

At the time when there was nothing in the Harz but virgin forest, a knight came here to hunt. Before he could orient himself, he became lost, and he wandered about for several days without finding a path.

Finally he came upon a beautiful castle situated in a large meadow and surrounded with water. A pathway led to a drawbridge, which had been suspended.

He called out; he whistled; he waited. He didn't hear anything from within. It was as though the castle had died out.

"Wait," he thought. "The castle cannot be empty. Someone will have to appear shortly. Just sit here and wait until someone comes." So he sat and waited, but the castle remained silent. Finally his patience wore out, and he was just making preparations to leave when he saw a beautiful girl emerge from the forest and walk toward the bridge.

"Wait," he thought. "She knows her way around here. She is going inside." And that is what happened. When she was within a few steps of him, he spoke to her, telling her that he had lost his way in the Harz Forest, that he had camped out eight days in the open, and that he was eager at last to spend a night under a proper roof. He had already sat here for three hours asking for admission, but no one had shown himself or let himself be heard. Further, he asked if she would be so good to ask permission for him to enter once she was inside.

She said that that would not be necessary. He could come with her. She did not need to ask anyone for permission, for she herself was in charge here. With that she stepped on a stone that was mortared into the earth in front of the bridge, and the bridge immediately descended. Then she took out a large key and unlocked the gate. Together they walked though a large courtyard and into the castle.

She led the knight into a beautiful room and asked him to make himself comfortable. She told him that before anything else, she wanted to go and prepare a proper evening meal. Surely he would like something hot to eat, she said, adding that she too was hungry. Because she had no servants, she would have to take care of everything by herself.

With that she left the room. A short time later she returned with a beautiful roast, cakes, and many other delicious things. She set the table and invited her guest to help himself. He did not need to be asked a second time.

After they had eaten, they sat together and talked with one another. The knight said that he felt sorry for the friendly girl, because she lived here all alone, observing that time must pass very slowly for her.

"Oh no," she said. "Time does not pass slowly for me," adding thatnonetheless she sometimes did wish for company, but if she did not have any, she could still manage just fine.

The knight answered that if she did not mind, he would stay here a few days and keep her company.

The hostess replied that she would be happy if he would do so.

The guest remained one, two, three days, and they became so accustomed to one another that in the end the knight asked her if she did not want to become his wife. The girl was pleased with this, and she said that she would love to do so, if he would only promise her that every Friday she would be able to go out and do whatever she wanted to, and that he would not try to follow her or look after her. This he promised her, and they became a couple.

They lived together a long time, satisfied with one another. They produced lovely children, and in their happiness they lacked nothing.

One day a strange knight came and was given lodging. It was on a Friday, and he asked about the lady of the house, because she had not made an appearance. The master of the house told him that his wife was never to be seen on a Friday, and that he -- in keeping with his promise -- had never sought after her. With that the strange knight asked what kind of a housewife would not tell her husband where she could be found. Nothing good could come from such behavior.

This conversation so alarmed the master of the house that he immediate set out to find his wife. After a long search, he finally came to the cellar, where he found a door. Opening it, he saw his wife, half fish and half human, swimming in a small pond. When she saw her husband, she cast a sad and serious glance at him, and then disappeared.

The bewildered man went back upstairs to tell the strange knight what he had experience, but he too had disappeared. Now the poor man realized that he and his wife had been cruelly deceived and victimized by the stranger.

He grieved so much for his good wife that he died soon afterward. The lovely children also died one after the other, and the castle fell into ruins. It is not even known where it formerly stood. Only the story remains.

1Taken From: http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/1620/legends.html

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#8

ANGEL OF THE SEA

All under the white caps, under the wave,
Our ship it went down like lead.
While above the storm, now down to my grave
I'd shortly be cold and dead.

But my hand was grabbed and my breast was clasped,
By an angel of the sea.
She was strong as a whale, her sleek green tail
It warped itself around me.

There in that dark sea I was able to stare--
Above us was roiling hells!--
She was soft and sweet and was passing fair,
Her skin was as smooth as shells.

Gold hair was as long as her arm was long,
She kissed me in winding hair.
My lungs then inhaled, they were hale and strong
And I had no need for air!

Her breasts were so full and pale as a queens
And  we swam down hand in hand,
Into her cave jeweled in reds and in greens,
Where I lived by her command.

At night we would love and she'd sing me a song
A sad soulful reverie.
Our love is still true, our love is still strong,
Strong as the white capped sea.

Michael Fantina  

http://www.lair2000.net/mermaid_Poetry/page35.html

And we couldnt forget the classic:

THE LITTLE MERMAID
    Danish 

        Once upon a time, far out to sea, where the water was as blue as the petals of the loveliest cornflower, lived the Mer - king.  Since the Mer - king's wife was dead, his old mother kept house for him and his six daughters.  His youngest daughter was very quiet and thoughtful.  And nothing pleased her more than hearing her grandmother tell stories about the far-off world of humans, about ships and towns and people.
        "As soon as you are fifteen," her grandmother said, "you may rise to the surface of the sea and sit on the rocks and watch the ships sail by."
        One by one the sisters turned fifteen, until at last it was the little mermaid's turn.  Her grandmother put a wreath of white lilies and pearls on her head.  The mermaid said good-bye, and she floated up through the water as lightly as a bubble.
        When she came to the surface of the sea, the little mermaid saw the evening star shining in the pink sky.  A three - masted ship was anchored in the water.  There was singing and dancing on board; and as the night grew darker, hundreds of lanterns lit the deck.
        The little mermaid swam about the ship, peeking in all the portholes. Every time she rose with the waves, she saw a crowd of people dancing.  They were elegant and well-dressed.  But the most striking of all was a young prince.  He could not have been more than sixteen.  How handsome he was-shaking hands with all the guests, laughing and smiling while beautiful music filled the night.
        But as the little mermaid watched the prince, a sudden storm swept over the sea.  The waves rose like mountains.  The ship creaked and cracked.  Water came rushing into the hold.  Just as the ship broke in two, the prince fell into the deepest part of the sea.
        The little mermaid swam through the dangerous waves until she reached the prince.  She held his head above the water to keep him from drowning. At dawn, she carried him into a bay and laid him on the sand.  Then she sang to him in her lovely voice.  When she heard people coming, she hid behind some rocks.
        A young girl appeared.  She woke up the prince, and he smiled gratefully at her.  He did not turn and smile at the little mermaid, though, for he had no idea that she was the one who had saved him and sung to him.  Soon others came to help the prince, and he was carried away from the shore.
        Thereafter, many evenings and many mornings, the little mermaid returned to the shore where she had left the prince.  She saw the fruit ripen on the trees; she saw the snow melt on the high mountains - but she never saw the handsome prince.
        At last she told the story to her sisters, and one of them showed her the palace where the prince lived.  Thereafter, night after night, the little mermaid rose to the surface of the water and watched the gleaming palace. She even pulled herself up the marble steps, so she could gaze at the prince, standing on his balcony in the moonlight.
        The more she visited the palace, the closer the little mermaid felt to humans, and she longed to be one of them.
        "Do humans live forever?" she asked her grandmother.
        "No," said the old lady.  "Their lives are much shorter than ours.  We live for three hundred years, but when our lives come to an end, we turn to foam upon the water.  But a human has a soul which lives on after the body dies.  It flies up through the sky to the stars."
        "Oh," breathed the little mermaid, "how can I get a human soul?"
        "Well, if a human being loved you dearly and married you, you could get one," the grandmother said.  "But that will never happen.  The very thing that is so beautiful in the sea - your mermaid tail - is ugly and disgusting to humans."
        The little mermaid looked sadly at her tail.
        As time passed, the little mermaid could not forget her prince.  One day she was filled with such longing that she made a terrible decision.  "I will call on the sea witch, " she said.  She had always been afraid of the terrible witch, but now it didn't seem to matter.
        The sea witch's house lay deep in the eerie sea forest.  Her trees and bushes had long slimy arms that writhed like worms.  Her yard was filled with fat water snakes slithering about.  The witch's house itself had been built from the bones of shipwrecked humans.
        "I know what you want," the sea witch said to the mermaid before she had a chance to speak.  "You want to get rid of your fish's tail and have two walking stumps like humans have.  You hope the prince will fall in love with you, and you'll be able to marry him and get a human soul."  She let out a hideous laugh that sent her snakes sprawling to the floor of the sea.
        "Well, I shall make a special potion for you," the witch went on.  Before the sun rises, you must carry it to the shore and drink it.  Then your tail will divide into two parts.  When those parts shrink into what humans call 'legs,' the pain will be almost more than you can bear.  Though you will glide along more gracefully than any dancer, every step you take will be like treading on sharp knives.  Are you willing to suffer this to be a human?"
        "Yes, said the little mermaid. 
        "Remember, once you've taken a human shape, you can never be a mermaid again.  Never be with your sisters or your father.  If you fail to become the prince's wife, you won't be a human either!  If he marries someone else, you will turn into foam the morning after his wedding.  Are you willing to drink the potion and risk your life?"
        "Yes, " whispered the mermaid.
        "And one more thing," said the witch. "You have the loveliest voice in the sea.  I want it for my payment."
        "But if you take my voice, what will I have?" the mermaid asked.
        "Your beauty, your graceful movements, your speaking eyes.  Now give me your voice, and I'll give you the potion."
        "Oh dear, no," said the little mermaid.  She was horrified at the thought of giving up her lovely voice.
        "All right then," said the hideous sea witch, "you will never become human."
        The little mermaid felt great despair.  She didn't think she could bear to live if she didn't become human.  "I will give up my voice if I must, " she said sadly.
        So the witch cut off the mermaid's tongue.  Then she gave her a vial of magic potion.  The drink glowed like a glittering star.
        The little mermaid swam away from the horrible forest.  When she saw her father's house, she felt as if her heart would break.  She threw hundreds of kisses towards the palace.  Then she rose up through the dark blue sea and
    swam to the prince's palace.
        In the moonlight she made her way up the marble steps and drank the burning potion.  A sword seemed to thrust itself through her body; and she fainted from the pain.
        At dawn the little mermaid woke up.  She felt the pain again.  When she looked down at her fish's tail, she saw that it was gone.  In its place were two beautiful white legs.  She had no clothes on, so she Wound her long hair around her body.
        When the little mermaid looked up, she saw the prince standing before her.  His coal-black eyes stared intensely at her. 
        "Who are you?  Where have you come from?" he said.
        The mermaid looked at him softly, yet sadly, for she could not speak. The prince took her hand, and led her to the palace.
        The little mermaid was the fairest maid in all the kingdom and the prince was enchanted by her.  They rode together on horseback and climbed mountains together.  And when they went to parties, the little mermaid danced as no one had ever danced, and everyone marvelled at her graceful, flowing movements.
        Sometimes, at night, the little mermaid crept down to the sea, and she heard the mournful song of her sisters as they swam over the water.  In the distance, she saw her grandmother and her father stretching out their arms to her.
        Though the prince was very fond of the little mermaid, he often seemed distracted, as if he were thinking of someone else.  One night, he confided in her, "I'm in love with a girl I saw long ago.  Once I was shipwrecked, and the waves carried me ashore.  There a young girl found me and saved my life. She sang to me with her golden voice - a voice more beautiful than I've ever heard. I've never seen her since that day."
        The mermaid felt great despair.  Since she could not speak, she could not tell the prince what had really happened, that it was she who had saved him and sung to him.
        Soon the mermaid heard a rumor that the prince was to be married to the daughter of a neighboring king.
        "I am obliged to make a sea journey to meet this princess," the prince told the little mermaid.  "My mother and father have insisted.  But if I cannot find that girl who saved my life on the shore, I would like to marry you, my silent orphan with the speaking eyes."  And he kissed her.
        The prince and the mermaid journeyed together to the neighboring kingdom.  In the moonlit night, the little mermaid sat by the ship's rail, gazing into the water.  She thought she saw her father's palace and her grandmother's crown of pearls.
        Soon the ship sailed into the harbor of the neighboring king's city. Church bells rang, and trumpets blared.  The princess was brought to the ship.
    When the prince looked upon her, he cried out with great joy. "It is you!" he said.  "You're the one who saved me when I lay almost dead on the shore! My wish has come true!" 
        Indeed it was the girl who had discovered the prince on the shore.  But the little mermaid would never be able to tell the prince that she herself was the one who had saved him from drowning at sea. She felt as if her heart would break.
        The wedding ceremony was held immediately.  The mermaid was dressed in silk and gold, and she held the bridal train.  But she did not hear the festive music, nor pay attention to the ceremony.  This was her last day in the world.  The prince's wedding would soon bring her death; tomorrow she would turn to foam upon the sea.
        That evening the bride and bridegroom slept in a royal tent on deck. The sails filled in the breeze; the vessel flew swiftly over the shining sea.
        The little mermaid leaned her white arms on the rail and looked out to sea.  Dawn would bring an end to her life.  Suddenly she saw her sisters rising out of the water. They were as pale as ghosts, and their hair was cut off.
        One sister held up a knife.  "We gave our hair to the witch in return for help," she said.  "She gave us this knife.  When the sun rises, you must plunge it into the prince's heart.  When his blood splashes on your feet, you will have a tail again.  You can join us below in the sea.  Hurry!  Either he dies or you die."
        The little mermaid took the knife and crept into the royal tent.  She drew back the purple curtain and looked at the prince sleeping with his bride. She looked at the knife, then back at the prince.
        The knife quivered in her hand.  Suddenly she rushed out of the tent and hurled it into the sea.  The waves shone red as though they were made of blood.
        The little mermaid threw herself into the water.  She saw lovely transparent creatures floating above her. 
        "You are one of us now, " one of the lovely creatures said.  "We are spirits of the air.  We have no souls, but with good deeds we can win them.  We fly to hot countries and send cool breezes to suffering people.  We spread the fragrance of flowers.  Then after we serve people for three hundred years, we are given a human soul."
        The little mermaid felt great joy as she raised her arms towards the sun and floated through the water into the air.  She saw the prince and his bride on the deck of the ship.  They seemed to be searching for her.
        Invisible to all, the little mermaid floated to the ship.  She kissed the bride and smiled at the prince.  Then she rose like a pink cloud high into the morning sky.

From: Mermaid Tales From Around The World
By: Mary Pope Osborne
Illustration: Troy Howell

 

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