The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid story tells us a very important lesson here; aside from the mistakes and challenges she went through, she still achieved her goal and got to explore the human world.
The lesson here is that if we were to give up during challenges, we would never reach our dreams. But if you try your best, you can succeed or not, by the way, but we should always try.

   The Little Mermaid

 part 1

far out at sea, the water is as blue as the bluest cornflower and as clear as

the clearest Crystal, but it is very deep, too deep for any cable to fathom, and if many

steeples were piled on top of one another; they would not reach from the bed

of the sea to the surface of the water, it is down there that the mermen live, now don’t

imagine that there are only bare white sands at the bottom; oh No, the most wonderful

trees and plants grow there with such flexible stalks and leave that at the slightest

motion of the water, they move just as if they were alive; all the fish, big and little, glide

among the branches just as up here Birds glide through the air, the palace

of the mermen King lies in the very deepest part; its walls are of coral, and the long

pointed windows of the clearest amber, but the roof is made of mussel shells that

open and shut with the lapping of the water.

This has a lovely effect, for there are gleaming pearls in every shell, any one of which

would be the pride of a Queen’s crown.

the mermen King had been for many years a widower but his old mother kept house

for him, she was a clever woman but so proud of her noble birth that she wore twelve

moistures on her tail while the other Grandy were only allowed six, otherwise,

she was worthy of all praise, especially because she was so fond of the little mermaid

princesses, her grandchildren, they were six beautiful children, but the youngest was

the prettiest of all, her skin was as soft and delicate as a rose leaf, her eyes as blue as

the deepest to see but like all the others, she had no feet, and its set of legs she had

a fish’s tail, all the livelong days they used to play in the palace in the great halls where

living flowers grew out of the walls.

when the great amber windows were thrown open, the fish swam in just

as the swallows fly into our rooms when we opened the windows, but the fish swim

right up to the little princesses, ate out of their hands, and allowed themselves

to be petted.

outside the palace was a large garden with fiery red and deep blue trees, the fruit

of which shone like gold while the flowers glowed like fire on their ceaselessly waving

stalks, the ground was of the finest sand, but it was of a blue phosphorescent tint,

everything was bathed in a wonderous blue light down there.

You might more readily have supposed yourself to be high up in the air with only

the sky above and below you, then that you were at the bottom of the ocean, in a dead

calm, you could catch a glimpse of the Sun like a purple flower with streams

of light radiating from its calyxes.

Each little princess had her little plot of the garden where she could dig and plant just

as she liked, one made her flower bed in the shape of a whale; another thought it nice

to have hers like a little mermaid, but the youngest made hers quite round like the Sun

and she would only have flowers of a rosy hue like its beams.

she was a curious child, quiet and thoughtful, and while the other sisters decked out

their gardens with all kinds of extraordinary objects which they got from wrecks,

she would have nothing besides the rosy flowers like the Sun up above except

a statue of a beautiful boy; it was hewn out of the purest white marble and had gone

to the bottom from some wreck, by the statue, she planted a rosy red weeping willow

which grew splendidly, and the fresh, delicate branches hung around and over it till

they almost touched the blue sand where the shadows showed violet and were ever

moving like the branches, it looked as if the leaves and the roots were playfully

interchanging kisses.

Nothing gave her greater pleasure than to hear about the world of human beings up

above, she made her old grandmother tell her all that she knew about ships and

townspeople and animals, but above all, it seemed strangely beautiful to her that upon

the earth, the flowers were scented, for they were not so at the bottom of the sea also

that the woods were green and that the fish which were to be seen among

the branches could sing so loudly and sweetly that it was a delight to listen to them,

you see, the grandmother called little birds fish, or the mermaids would not have

understood her as they had never seen a bird

“When you are fifteen,” said the grandmother, “you will be allowed to rise from the sea

and sit on the rocks in the moonlight, and look at the big ships sailing by, and you will

also, see woods and towns.”

One of the sisters would be 15 the following year, but the others, well, they were each

one year younger than the other so that the youngest, at five whole years, wait

before she would be allowed to come up from the bottom to see what things were like

on earth, but each one promised the others to give a full account of all that she had

seen and found most wonderful on the first day, their grandmother could never tell

them enough for there were so many things about which they wanted information.

None of them was so full of longings

as the young, the very one who had the longest time to wait and who was so quiet

and dreamy.

Many a night, she stood by the open windows and looked up through the dark

bluewater, which the fish were lashing with their tails and fins she could see,

the moon and the stars, their light was indeed pale, but they looked much bigger

through the water than they do to our eyes when she saw a dark shadow glide

between her and them, she knew that it was either a whale swimming above her

or else a ship was laden with human beings,

I am certain they never dreamt that a lovely little mermaid was standing down below

stretching up her white hands toward the keel.

The eldest princess had now reached her 15th birthday and was to venture above

the water, when she came back, she had hundreds of things to tell them, but the most

delightful of all she said was to lie in the moonlight on a sandbank in a calm sea

and to gaze at a large town close to the shore where the lights twinkled like hundreds

of stars, to listen to music and the noise and bustle of carriages and people, to see

the many church towers inspire and to hear the bells ringing, and just because

she could not go on shore, she longed for that most of all.

Oh, how eagerly the youngest sister listened, and then later in the evening, she stood

at the open window and looked up through the dark blue water, she thought of

the big town with all its noise and bustle and fancied that she could even hear

the church bells ringing, the year after him, the second sister was allowed to mount up

through the water and swim about wherever she liked; the Sun was going down

when she reached the surface of the most beautiful sight, she thought that she had

ever seen, “The whole sky had looked like gold,” she said, “and as for the clouds, well,

their beauty was beyond description” They floated in red and violet splendor over her

head, and far faster than they went, a flock of wild swans flew like a long white veil

over the water toward the Setting Sun, she swam toward it, but it sank in all the rosy

light on clouds in the water faded away.

the year after that, the third sister went up and became much the most adventuresome

of them all swam up a broad river which ran into the sea, she saw beautiful green

flying clad Hills palaces and country seats peeping through splendid woods,

she heard the birds singing, and the Sun was so hot that she was often obliged to dive

to cool her burning face, in a tiny Bay, she found a troop of little children running

about naked and paddling in the water, she wanted to play with him, but they were

frightened and ran away, then a little black animal came up it was a dog but she had

never seen one before, it barked so furiously at her that she was frightened and made

for the open sea, she could never forget the beautiful woods, the green hills,

and the lovely children who could swim in the water although they had no fishtails.

the fourth sister was not so brave; she stayed in the remotest part of the ocean

and according to her account, that was the most beautiful spot you could see from

miles and miles around you, and the sky above were like a great glass dome,

she had seen ships, but only far away so that they look like seagulls; there were

grotesque dolphins turning somersaults and gigantic whales squirting water through

their nostrils like hundreds of fountains on every side.

Now the fifth sister’s turn came; her birthday fell in the winter so that she saw sights

that the others had not seen on their trips, the sea looked quite green and large

icebergs were floating about, each one of which looked like a pearl, she said

but was much bigger than the church towers built by men; they took the most

wonderful shapes and sparkled like diamonds, she had seated herself on one

of the largest, and all the passing ships sheared off an alarm when they saw her sitting

there with her long hair streaming loose in the wind.

In the evening, the sky became overcast with dark clouds; it thundered, enlightened

and the huge icebergs glittering with the bright Lightning were lifted high into the air

by the black waves, all the ships shorten sail, and there was fear and trembling on

every side, but she sat quietly on her floating iceberg, watching the blue lightning flash

in zigzags down onto the shining sea.

the first time any of the sisters rose above the water, she was delighted

by the novelties that beauty she saw but once grown up and at liberty to go where

she liked she became indifferent and longed for her home; in a month or so, they all

said that, after all, their own home in the deep was best; it was so cozy there.

Many an evening, the five sisters interlacing their arms would rise above the water

together they had lovely voices much clearer than any mortal, and when a storm

was rising, and they expected ships to be wrecked; they were saying in the most

seductive strains of the wonders of the deep bidding, the seafarers have no fear

of them, but the sailors could not understand the words; they thought it was the voice

of the storm, nor could it be theirs to see this Eliseo of the deep for when the ship

sank, they were drowned and only reached the merman’s palace in death.

When the elder sisters rose in this manner arm and arm in the evening, the youngest

remained behind quite alone, looking after them as if she must weep, but mermaids

have no tears, and so they suffer all the more.

“Oh, if I were only 15,” she said. “I know how fond I shall be of the world above

and of the mortals who dwell there”,

at last, her 15th birthday came, “now we shall have you off our hands,”

said her grandmother, the old Queen Dowager. “Come now, let me adorn you like

your other sisters”, and she put a wreath of white lilies around her hair, but every petal

of the flowers was a happy pearl, then the old Queen had eaten oysters fixed onto

the princess’s tail to show her high rank,

“but it hurts so,” said the little mermaid,

“you must endure the pain for the sake of the finery,” said her grandmother,

but oh, how gladly would she have shaken off all this splendor and laid aside

the heavy wreath of her red flowers in her garden suited her much better, but she did not

dare to make any alterations,

“Goodbye,” she said and mounted as lightly and airily as a bubble through the water,

the Sun had just set when her head rose above the water, but the clouds were still

lighted up with a rosy and golden splendor, and the evening star sparkled in the soft

pink sky, the air was mild and fresh, and the sea as calm as a Mill Pond

a big three-masted ship lay close by with only a single sail set, for there was not

a breath of wind, and the sailors were sitting about the rigging on the crosstrees

and at the masthead, there was music and singing on board, and as the evening

closed in, hundreds of gaily colored lanterns were lit; they looked like the flags

of all nations waving in the air, the little mermaids swam right up to the cabin windows

and every time she was lifted by the swell, she could see through the transparent

panes crowds of gaily dressed people, the most handsome of them all was the young

prince with large dark eyes he could not be much more than 16 and all,

these festivities were in honor of his birthday; the Sailor danced on the deck, and when

the prince appeared; among them, hundreds of rockets were let off, making it as light

as day and frightening the Little Mermaid so much that she had to dive under

the water, she soon ventured up again, and it was just as if all the stars of heaven were

falling as showers round about her, she had never seen such magic fires great Suns

world round gorgeous firefish hung in the blue air, and all was reflected in the calm

and glassy sea, it was so light on board the ship that every little rope could be seen,

and the people still better, oh how handsome the prince was, how he laughed

and smiled as he greeted his guests while the music rang out in the quiet night,

it got quite late, but the Little Mermaid could not take her eyes off the ship

and the beautiful Prince, the colored lanterns were put out, no more Rockets were

sent up, and the cannon had ceased its thunder, but deep down in the sea, there was

a dull murmuring and moaning sound.

Meanwhile, she was rocked up and down on the waves so that she could look into

the cabin, but the ship got bored and more weight on sale after the sale was lifted

by the wind, the waves grew stronger great clouds gathered, and it lightened

in the distance.

Oh, there was going to be a fearful storm, and soon the sailors had to shorten sail,

the great ship rocked and rolled as she dashed over the angry sea, the black waves

rose like mountains high enough to overwhelm her, but she dived like a swan through

them and rose again and again on the towering crests.

The Little Mermaid thought it a most amusing race, but not so the sailors; the ship

creaked and groaned, the mighty Timbers bulged and bent under the heavy blows,

and the water broke over the decks snapping the mainmast like a reed.

she heeled over on her side, and the water rushed into the hold.

Now the Little Mermaid saw that they were in danger, and she had for her own sake

to beware of a floating beam and wreckage, one moment it was so pitch dark that

she could not see it all, but when the lightning flashed, it became so light that

she could see all on board; every man was looking out for his own safety as best

he could, but she more particularly followed the young prince with her eyes, and when

the ship went down; she saw him sink into the deep sea, at first she was quite delighted

for now, he was coming to be with her, but then she remembered that human beings

could not live underwater and that only if he were dead could he go to her father’s

palace, “No, he must not die,” so she swam toward him all among the drifting beams

and planks, quite forgetting that they might crush her; she dived deep down under

the water and came up again through the waves and, at last, reached the young prince

just as he was becoming unable to swim any further in the stormy sea, his limbs were

numbed, his beautiful eyes were closing, and he must have died if the little mermaid

had not come to the rescue, she held his head above the water and let the waves

drive them with her soever they would, by daybreak, all the storm was over of the ship

not a trace was to be seen.

The Sun rose from the water in radiant brilliance, and his rosy beams seemed

to cast the glow of life into the prince’s cheeks, but his eyes remain closed,

the mermaid kissed his fair and lofty brow and stroked back the dripping hair,

it seemed to her that he was like the marble statue in her little garden; she kissed

him again and longed that he might live; at last, she saw dry land before her high blue

mountains on whose summits the white snow glistened as if a flock of swans had

settled there, down by the shore where beautiful green was and in the foreground

a church or temple, she did not quite know which, but it was a building of some sort,

lemon and orange trees grew in the garden, and lofty palms stood by the gate,

at this point, the sea formed a little Bay where the water was quite calm but very deep

right up to the cliffs, at their foot was a strip of fine white sand to which she swam

with the beautiful prints and laid him down on it, taking great care that his head

should rest high up in the warm sunshine.

The bells now began to ring in the great white building, and several young maidens came

into the garden, then the little mermaids swam further off behind some high rocks

and covered her hair and breast with foam so that no one should see her face,

and then she watched to see who would discover the poor Prince.

part 2
It was not long before one of the maidens came up to him, at first she seemed quite

frightened but only for a moment, and then she fetched several others,

and the mermaids saw that the prince was coming to life and that he smiled at all

those around him, but he never smiled at her; you see, he did not know that she had

saved him, she felt so sad that when he led her away into the great building, she dived

sorrowfully into the water and made her way home to her father’s palace, always silent

and thoughtful she became more so now than ever; her sisters often asked her which

she had seen on her first visit to the surface, but she never would tell them anything.

Many an evening and many a morning, she would rise to the place where she had left

the prince, she saw the fruit in the garden ripen and then gathered; she saw

the snowmelt on the mountaintops, but she never saw the Prince, so she always

went home still sadder than before.

At home, her only consolation was to sit in her little garden with her arms twined

round the handsome marble statue, which reminded her of the prince; it was all

gloomy shade now as she had ceased to tend her flowers, and the garden had

become a neglected wilderness of long stalks and leaves entangled with the branches

of the tree, at last, she could not bear it any longer, so she told one of her sisters

and from her, it soon spread to the others but to no one else except one or two

other mermaids who only told their dearest friends, one of these knew all about

the prince, she had also seen the festivities on the ship; she knew where he came

from and where his kingdom was situated, “come little sister,” said the other

princesses and throwing their arms around each other’s shoulders, they rose

from the water in a long line just in front of the Prince’s Palace, it was built of light

yellow glistening stone with great marble staircases, one of which led into the garden

magnificent gilded Coppola rose above the roof and the spaces between

the columns which encircled the building were filled with lifelike marble statues

through the clear glass of the lofty windows, you could see gorgeous halls adorned

with costly silken hangings and the pictures on the walls were a sight worth seeing;

in the midst of the central hall, a large fountain played, throwing its Jets of spray

upwards to a glass dome in the roof through which the sunbeams lighted

up the water,  and the beautiful plants which grew in the Great Basin.

She knew now where he lived and often used to go there in the evenings and by night

over the water, she swam much nearer the land than any of the others dared; she even

ventured right up to the narrow channel under the splendid marble terrace which

through a long shadow over the water, she used to sit there looking at the young

prince who thought he was quite alone in the clear moonlight.

She saw him many an evening sailing about in his beautiful boat with flags waving

and music playing, she used to peep through the green rushes, and if the wind

happened to catch her long silvery veil, and anyone who saw it only thought it was

a swan flapping its wings; many a night, she heard the fishermen who were fishing by

torchlight talking over the good deeds of the young prince, and she was happy to think

that she had saved his life when he was drifting about on the waves half-dead,

and she could not forget how closely his head had pressed her breast and how

passionately she had kissed him, but he knew nothing of all this and never saw her

even in his dreams.

She became fonder and fonder of mankind and longed more and more to be able

to live among them, their world seemed so infinitely bigger than hers with their ships

they could scour the ocean; they could ascend the mountains high above the clouds

and their wooded grass-grown lands extended further than her I could reach,

there was so much that she wanted to know, but her sisters could not give an answer

to all her questions, so she asked her old grandmother, who knew the upper world well

and rightly called it the country above the sea.

“if men are not drowned?” asked a little mermaid. “Do they live forever? do they not die

as we do down here in the sea?”,

“yes,” said the old lady, “they have to die too, and their lifetime is even shorter than ours, we may live here for 300 years, but when we cease to exist, we become mere foam on the water and do not have so much as a grave among our dear ones, we have no immortal souls, we have no future life; we are just like the green seaweed which once cut down can never revive again; men, on the other hand, have a soul which lives forever, lives after the body has become dust, it rises through the clear air up to the shining stars just as we rise from the water to see the land of mortals so they rise to unknown beautiful regions which we shall never see”,

“Why do we have no immortal souls?” asked the little mermaid sadly. “I would give all my

300 years to be a human being for one day and afterward to have a share

in the heavenly kingdom”,

“you must not be thinking about that,” said the grandmother “We are much better off

and happier than human beings”,

“then I shall have to die and float like foam on the water and never hear the music

of the waves or see the beautiful flowers or the red sun? Is there nothing I can do

to gain an immortal soul?”,

“No,” said the grandmother, “only if the human being so loved you that you were more to him than father or mother if all his thoughts in all his love were so centered in you that he would let the priest join your hands and would vow to be faithful to you here and all eternity, then your body would become infused with his soul thus and only thus could you gain a share in the felicity of mankind, he would give you a soul while yet keeping his own, but that can never happen that which is the greatest beauty
in the sea, your fish’s tail is thought hideous upon earth, so little do they understand about it, to be pretty there, you must have two clumsy supports, which they call legs”,

then the little mermaid sighed and looked sadly at her fish’s tail,

“Let us be happy,” said the grandmother “We will hop and skip during our three

hundred years of life, it is surely a long enough time, and after it is over, we shall rest

all the better in our graves; there is to be a court ball tonight; this was a much more

splendid affair than we ever see on earth”,

The walls and the ceiling of the great ballroom or a thick but transparent glass

several hundredths of colossal mussel shells rose red, and grass green was ranged

in order for the sides to hold blue lights which illuminated the whole room and shone

through the walls so that the sea outside was quite lit up, you could see countless

fish, great and small, swimming towards the glass walls; some was shining scales

of crimson hue, while others were golden and silvery in the middle of the room was

abra stream of running water, and on this, the mermaids and mermen danced

to their own beautiful singing, no earthly beings have such lovely voices, the little

Mermaid sang more sweetly than any of them, and they all applauded her,

for a moment, she felt glad at heart, for she knew that she had the finest voice either

in the sea or on land, but she soon began to think again about the upper world

she could not forget the handsome prince and her sorrow in not possessing like him

an immortal soul, therefore, she stole out of her father’s palace and while all within

was joy and merriment; she sat sadly in her little garden, and suddenly she heard

the sound of a horn through the water as she thought, “Now he is out sailing up

there, he whom I love more than father or mother, he to whom my thoughts cling

and to whose hands I am ready to commit the happiness of my life I will dare

anything to win him and to gain any mortal soul while my sisters are dancing

in my father’s palace, I will go to the sea witch of whom I have always been very

much afraid, she will perhaps be able to advise and help me thereupon”,

The little mermaid left the garden and went toward the roaring whirlpools at the back

of which the witch lived, she had never been that way before; no flowers grew there

no seaweed, only the bare gray sands stretched towards the whirlpools, which like

rushing mill wheels swirled around, dragging everything that came within reach down

to the depths, she had to pass between these boiling eddies to reach the witch’s

domain, and for a long way, the only path led over warm bubbling, which the witch

called her peat bog; her house stood behind this in the midst of a weird forest,

all the trees and bushes were polyps, half animal and half plant; they looked like

hundred-headed snakes growing out of the sand, the branches were long, slimy arms

with tentacles like railing worms, every joint of which from the root

to the outermost tip was in constant motion, they wound themselves tightly around

whatever they could lay hold up and never let it escape.

The little mermaid standing outside was quite frightened; her heart beats fast

with terror, and she nearly turned back, but then she remembered the prince

and the immortal soul of mankind and took courage; she bound her long flowing hair

tightly round her head so that the polyps should not seize her Pyatt, folded her hands

over her breast and darted like a fish through the water in between the hideous

polyps that stretched out their sensitive arms and tentacles towards her, she could

see that every one of them had something or other that they had grasped with

their hundred arms and which they held as if in iron bands, the bleached bones

of men who had perished a sea and sunk below peeped forth from the arms of some,

while others clutched rudders and sea chests are the skeletons of some land animals,

and most horrible of all, a little mermaid whom they had caught and suffocated,

then she came to a large opening in the wood where the ground was all slimy

and where some huge fat water snakes were gambling about in the middle

of this opening was a house built of the bones of the wrecked; there sat the witch

letting a toad eat out of her mouth just as mortals let a little canary eat sugar,

she called hideous watersnakes her little chickens and allow them to crawl about on

her unsightly bosom,

“I know very well would you have come here for,” said the witch “It is very foolish of you, all the same, you shall have your way because it will lead you into misfortune, my fine princess, you want to get rid of your fish’s tail, and instead, you have two  stumps to walk about like human beings so that the young prince may fall in love
with you
and that you may win him in an immortal soul.”

Saying this, she gave such a loud hideous laugh that the toad and the snakes fell

to the ground and riddled,

“about there, you are just in the nick of time,” said the witch. “After sunrise tomorrow,

I should not be able to help you until another year, and run its course; I will make you

a potion, and before sunrise, you must swim ashore with it, seat yourself on the beach

and Drake it, then your tail will divide and shrivel up to what men call beautiful legs,

but it hurts; it is as if a sharp sword were running through you; oh see, you will say,

you are the most beautiful child of men they have ever seen; you will keep your

gliding gait, no dancer will rival you, but every step you take will be as if you were

treading upon sharp knives, so sure best to draw blood, if you were willing to suffer

all this I am ready to help you”,

“yes,” said the little princess with a trembling voice, thinking of The Prince

and of winning and undying soul,

“But remember,” said the witch, “when once you have received a human form

you can never be a mermaid again; you will never again be able to dive down

through the water to your sisters and your father’s palace, and if you do not succeed

in winning the prince’s love so that for your sake, you won’t forget father and mother

cleave to you with his whole heart, let the priest join your hands and make you man

and wife, you will gain no immortal soul, the first morning after his marriage with

another your heart will break, and you will turn into the foam of the sea”,

“I will do it,” said the little mermaid as pale as death,

“but you will have to pay me too,”  said the witch, “and it is no trifle that I demand,

you have the most beautiful voice of any at the bottom of the sea, and I dare say

that you think you will fascinate him with it, but you must give me that voice,

I will have the best you possess in return for my precious potion; I have to mingle

my blood with it to make it as sharp as a two-edged sword”,

“but if you take my voice,” said the Little Mermaid, “what have I left?”,

“your beautiful form,” said the witch. “You’re gliding gay, and your speaking eyes,

with these, you are sure to be able to be with a human heart; well, have you lost

your courage put out your little tongue, and I will cut it off and pay for the powerful


“let it be done,” said the little mermaid, and the witch put on her cauldron to brew

the magic potion,

“There’s nothing like cleanliness,” said she as she scoured the pot with a bundle

of snakes, then she punctured her breast and let the black blood drop into

the cauldron and the steam took the weirdest shapes enough to frighten anyone,

every moment the witch threw new ingredients into the pot, and when it boiled

the bubbling was like the sound of crocodiles weeping; at last, the potion was ready

and it looked like the clearest water,

“There it is,” said the witch, and thereupon the cut off the tongue of the little

mermaid who was dumb now and could neither sing nor speak,

“if the polyps should seize you when you go back through my wood,” said the witch

“just drop a single drop of this liquid on them, and their arms and fingers will burst

into a thousand pieces,” but the little mermaid had no need to do this for

at the mere sight of the bright liquid which sparkled in her hands like a shining star

they drew back in terror, so she soon got past the wood, the bog, and the eddying

whirlpools, she saw her father’s palace; the lights were all out in the great ballroom

and no doubt all the household was asleep, but she did not dare to go in now

that she was dumb and about to leave her home forever; she felt as if her heart

would break with grief.

she stole into the garden and plucked the flower from each of her sister’s plots

wafted with her hand countless kisses towards the palace and then rose through

the dark blue water, the Sun had not risen when she came in sight of the prince’s

palace and landed on the beautiful marble steps; the moon was shining brightly

and clear.

The Little Mermaid drank the burning, stinging draught, and it was like a sharp

two-edged sword running through her tender frame, she fainted away and lay

as if she were dead.

When the sun rose on the sea, she woke up and became conscious of a sharp pang

but just in front of her stood the handsome young prince fixing his cold black eyes

on her, she cast hers down and saw that her fishes tail was gone and that she had

the prettiest little white legs any maiden could desire, but she was quite naked

so she wrapped her long thick hair around her; the Prince asked who she was

and how she came there, she looked at him tenderly and with a sad expression

on her dark blue eyes but could not speak; then he took her by the hand and led her

into the palace.

Every step she took was as the witch had warned her, as if she were treading

on sharp knives and spikes, but she bore it gladly; led by the Prince, she moved

as lightly as a bubble, and he and everyone else marveled at her graceful gliding

gate closed in the costliest silks and muslins; she was the greatest beauty

in the palace, but she was dumb and could neither sing nor speak beautiful slaves

clad in silks and gold came forward and sang to the prince and his royal parents

one of them sang better than all the others, and the prince clapped his hands

and smiled at her that made the Little Mermaid very sad for she knew that she used

to say far better herself, she thought, “oh if he only knew that for the sake of being

with him, I had given up my voice forever”,

Now the slaves began to dance graceful undulating dances to enchanting music

therapod, The Little Mermaid lifting her beautiful white arms and raising herself on

tiptoe glided on the floor with a grace that none of the other dancers had yet

retained with every motion, her grace and beauty became more apparent, and her

eyes appealed more deeply to the heart than the songs of the slaves, everyone was

delighted with it, especially the prince who called her his little foundling

and she danced on and on, notwithstanding that every time her foot touched

the ground, it was like treading on sharp knives; the prince said that she should

always be near him, and she was allowed to sleep outside his door on a velvet


part three

He had a man’s dress made for her so that she could ride about with him; they used

to ride through scented woods where the green branches brushed her shoulders

and little birds sang among the fresh leaves; she climbed up the highest mountains

with the prince, and although her delicate feet bled so that others saw it she only

laughed and followed him until they saw the clouds sealing below them like a flock

of birds taking a flight to distant lands.

At home in the prince’s palace, when at night the others were asleep, she used to go

out onto the moor steps, it cooled her burning feet to stand in the cold seawater and

at such times she used to think of those she had left in the deep.

One night her sisters came arm in arm; they sang so sorrowfully as they swam

on the water that she beckoned to them, and they recognized her and told her how

she had grieved them all; after that, they had visited her every night, and one night

she saw a long way out of her old grandmother, who for many years had not been

above the water and the merman came with his crown on his head; they stretched out

their hands toward her but did not venture so close to land as her sisters.

Day by day, she became dearer to the prince; he loved her as one loves a good sweet

child, but it never entered his head to make her his queen, yet unless she became

his wife, she would never win an everlasting soul, but on his wedding morning, would

turn to seafoam.

“Am I not dearer to you than any of them?” the little mermaid’s eyes seemed to say

when he took her in his arms and kissed her beautiful brow,

“yes, you are the dearest one to me,” said the Prince, “for you have the best heart

of them all, and you are fondest of me; you are also like a young girl I once saw but

whom I never expect to see again; I was on board a ship that was wrecked,

I was driven onshore by the waves close to a holy temple where several young girls

were ministering at a service, the youngest of them found me on the beach and saved

my life, I saw her, but twice; she was the only person I could love in this world but

you are like her; you almost drive her image out of my heart; she belongs to the Holy

Temple and therefore by good fortune you have been sent to me, we will never part”,

“Alas, he does not know that it was I who saved his life,” thought the Little Mermaid

“I bore him over the siege of the wood where the temple stands; I sat behind the foam

and watched to see if anyone would come; I saw the pretty girl he loves better

than me,” and the mermaid heaved a bitter sigh, for she could not weep, “the girl

belongs to the holy temple, he has said; she will never return to the world; they will

never meet again, I am here with him, I see him every day, yes, I will tend him love him

and give up my life to him”.

But now the rumor ran that the prince was to be married to the beautiful daughter

of a neighboring king and for that reason was spitting out a splendid ship, it was given

out that the prince was going on a voyage to see the adjoining countries, but it was

without a doubt, to see the king’s daughter, he was to have a great suit with him

but the little mermaid shook her head and laughed; she knew the princess’s intentions

much better than any of the others,

“I must take this voyage,” he had said to her. “I must go and see the beautiful princess,

my parents demand that, but they will never force me to bring her home as my bride,

I can never love her; she will not be like the lovely girl in the temple whom you

resemble, if ever I had to choose a bride, it was sooner be with you, with your speaking

eyes my sweet dumb foundling”, and he kissed her rosy mouth and played with her

long hair and laid his head upon her heart which already dreamt of human joys

and an immortal soul,

“you are not frightened of the sea, I suppose, my dumb child,” he said as they stood

on the proud ship which was to carry them to the country of the neighboring king

and he told her about storms and calms about curious fish in the deep

and the marbles are seen by divers, and she smiled at his tales, for she knew all

about the bottom of the sea much better than anyone else, at night in the moonlight

when all were asleep except the steersman who stood at the helm, she sat at the side

of the ship trying to pierce the clear water with her eyes and fancied she saw her

father’s palace and above it, her old grandmother with her silver crown on her head

looking up through the cross-currents toward the keel of the ship, then her sister’s

rose above the water, they gazed sadly at her wringing their white hands,

she beckoned to them, smiled, and was about to tell them that all was going well

and happily with her when the cabin boy approached and the sisters dived down

but he supposed that the white objects he had seen were nothing but flakes of foam,

the next morning the ship entered the harbor of the neighboring King’s magnificent

City, the church bells rang, and trumpets were sounded from every lofty tower while

the soldiers paraded with flying flags and glittering bayonets; there was a fete

every day, there was a succession of balls and receptions followed one after the other,

but the princess was not yet present; she was being brought up a long way off

in a holy temple, they said, and was learning all the royal virtues.

At last, she came, The Little Mermaid stood eager to see her beauty, and she was

obliged to confess that a lovelier creature she had never beheld, her complexion was

exquisitely pure and delicate, and her trustful eyes of the deepest blue shone through

their dark lashes,

“It is you,” said the prince, “you who saved me when I lay almost lifeless on the beach.”

and he clasped his blushing bride to his heart “Oh, I am too happy,” he exclaimed

to the Little Mermaid, “a greater joy than I had dared to hope for has come to pass,

you will rejoice at my joy, for you love me better than anyone”,

then the Little Mermaid kissed his hand and felt as if her heart were broken, already

his wedding morning would bring death to her and change her to foam; all the church

bells peeled, and heralds rode through the town proclaiming the nuptials upon

On every altar throughout the land, fragrant oil, was burnt in costly silver lamps amidst

the swinging of censors by the priests, the bride and bridegroom joined hands

and received the bishop’s blessing.

The Little Mermaid, dressed in silk and gold, stood holding the bride’s train, but her ears

were deaf to the festal strains, her eyes saw nothing of the sacred ceremony, she was

thinking of her coming death and of all that she had lost in this world,

that same evening the bride and bridegroom embarked amidst the roar of cannon

and the waving of banners, a royal tint of purple and gold softly cushioned was raised

amidships where the bridal pair were to repose during the calm cool and night,

the sails swelled in the wind, and the ship skimmed lightly and almost without motion

over the transparency at dusk, lanterns of many colors were lit, and the sailors

danced merrily on the deck.

The Little Mermaid could not help thinking of the first time she came up from the sea

and saw the same splendor and gaiety, and she now threw herself among the dancers

whirling as a swallow skims through the air; when pursued, the onlookers cheered her

amazement never had; she danced so divinely that her delicate feet pained her as if

they were cut with knives, but she did not feel it, for the pain in her heart was much

sharper, she knew that it was the last night that she would breathe the same air

as he and would look upon the mighty deep and the blue starry heavens and endless

night without thought and dreams awaited her who neither had a soul nor could win

won the joy and revelry on board lasted too long past midnight, she went on laughing

and dancing with a thought of death all the time in her heart.

The Prince caressed his lovely bride, and she played with his raven locks and with

their arms entwined, they retired to the gorgeous tent; all became hushed and still

on board the ship, only the steersman stood at the helm; the little mermaid laid her

white arms on the gunnel and looked eastwards for the pink-tinted dawn, the first

sunbeam she knew would be her death, then she saw her sisters rise from the water,

they were as pale as she was, their beautiful long hair no longer floated on the breeze,

for it had been got off. “We have given it to the witch to obtain her help so that you

may not die tonight; she has given us a knife here; it looks how sharp it is,

before the Sun rises, you must plunge it into the prince’s heart, and when his warm

blood sprinkles your feet, they will join together and grow into a tail, and you will once

more be a mermaid, you will be able to come down into the water to us and to live out

your 300 years before you are turned into dead salt sea foam, make haste; you are

he must die before sunrise; our old grandmother is so full of grief that her white hair

has fallen off as hours fell under the wishes of scissors, slay the prince and come

back to us quick, quick, do you not see the rosy streak in the sky in a few minutes?

The Sun will rise, and then you must die” Saying this, they have a wondrous deep sigh

and sank among the waves.

The Little Mermaid drew aside the purple curtain from the tent and looked at

the beautiful bride was asleep with her head on the prince’s breast; she bent over him

and kissed his fair brow, looked at the sky where the dawn was spreading fast, looked

at the sharp knife and again fixed her eyes on the prince who, in his dream, called

his bride by name, yes she was alone in his thoughts for a moment; the knife quivered

in her grasp, then she threw it far out among the waves now rosy in the morning light

and where it fell, the water bubbled up like drops of blood, once more she looked

at the prince with her eyes already dimmed by death, then dashed overboard

and fell, her body dissolving into foam, now the Sun rose from the sea and with its

kindly beams warmed at the deadly cold foam so that the Little Mermaid did not feel

the chill of death, she saw the bright Sun and above her floated hundreds

of beauteous ethereal beings through which she could see the white ship in the rosy

heavens, their voices were melodious but so spirit-like that no human ear could hear

them any more than earthly, I could see their forms light as bubbles they floated

through the air without the aid of wings.

The Little Mermaid perceived that she had a farm like theirs it gradually took shape

out of the film “To whom am I coming?” said she, and her voice sounded like that

of the other beings so unearthly in its beauty that no music of ours could reproduce

it, “to the daughters of the air,” answered the others; a mermaid has no undying soul

and can never gain one without winning the love of a human being, her eternal life

must depend upon an unknown power nor have the daughters of the heir

and everlasting soul, but by their good deeds, they may create one for themselves,

we fly to the tropics where mankind is the victim of hot and pestilent winds, err,

we bring cooling breezes, we defuse the scent of flowers all around and bring

refreshment and healing in our train, when for 300 years we have labored to do

all the good in our power, we gain an undying soul and take part in the everlasting

joys of mankind, you poor Little Mermaid, have with your whole heart struggled

for the same thing as we have struggled for, you have suffered and endured,

raise yourself to the spirit world of the air, and now, by your good deeds, you may in

the course of three hundred years works out for yourself an undying soul.

Then the Little Mermaid lifted her transparent arms towards God’s Son

and for the first time, shed tears onboard; the ship ball was again life and bustle;

she saw the prince with his lovely bride searching for her; they looked sadly

at the bubbling foam as if they knew that she had thrown herself into the waves;

unseen, she kissed the bride on her brow, smiled at the prince, and rose aloft with

the other spirits of the air to the rosy clouds which sailed above,

“In three hundred years, we shall thus float into paradise; we might reach a sooner.”

whispered one unseen. “We flit into those homes of men where there are children,

and for every day that we find a good child who gives pleasure to their parents

and deserves their love. God shortens our time of probation; the child does not know

when we fly through the room and when we smile with pleasure at it, one year of our

300 is taken away, but if we see a naughty or badly disposed of child, we cannot

help to shed tears of sorrow, and every tear adds a day to the time of our probation. 

The End.