Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Mermaid "Tail": The Mermaid's Vengeance

Okay, so I have decided to begin posting various myths and legends about mermaids from different cultures all over the world. That way, blog readers will also get a glimpse of how mermaids have been portrayed in mythology, rather than just recently published books.And believe me, the mermaid of legend is often dark and frightening, the exact opposite of Ariel or Darryl Hannah. This first "tail" is entitled "The Mermaid's Vengeance" and is from English folklore.

When Selina was only a small child, her mother took her bathing in a small pool near the rugged coast of Perran. While playing in the water, Selina's mother accidentally dropped her, and Selina disappeared from sight. After returning to the surface a few moments later, she was changed - her face was brighter and more beautiful than ever. Selina's mother was heartbroken, for she knew the mermaids had claimed her daughter.

As Selina grew older, she had a deep fascination for the ocean. She loved to play in the waves and swim like a seal, and she loved to take long walks on the beach. The locals whispered that Selina was a changeling, a mermaid or fairy. But as the years passed, Selina never bore any characteristics of being an otherworldy creature, and these mermaid accusations were eventually forgotten.

Selina grew to become a beautiful young women, at the ripe old age of eighteen, the nephew of the local squire, a boy named Walter, became quite taken with her. He would accompany her on her beach walks, and soon their friendship deepened into something more.

Walter was a scoundrel, however. He drank and cavorted with women, and he eventually grew tired of Selina, retreating to the big city. Selina was devastated, and she finally died of a broken heart.

Years passed, and Walter returned to the village. He was staying at a seaside cottage with some of his friends, drinking and partying the night away. Sometime during the night, Walter stepped outside to get some fresh air and wandered down to the water where he came across a beautiful young woman on the beach. With a shock, he realized she looked a great deal like Selina! She sang a sad song about lost love to Walter before vanishing.

Walter became obsessed with finding this girl. Weeks later, he returned to the shore and heard her ethereal melody filling the night. He followed her voice into a cave near the water's edge. There he found the woman, who beckoned him closer. He came nearer and embraced her, and she kissed him. She told him, "The kiss of a sea-child is forever. You are mine till death."

"Death!" Walter cried out in horror.

The mermaid held him tightly and continued to kiss him as the cave filled with water. When the cave was deep enough, she took him into the open water, where the other mermaids tossed him back and forth until he died. This the mermaid's vengeance for the death of her adopted daughter.

So, what do you guys think? Creepy and dark, huh? This is one of my favorite mermaid tales, and I hope you enjoyed it. I paraphrased this from the website

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