This mermaid tale comes from the Tropics, and it's a sweet, but also sad, story, unlike the darker one posted earlier. Here's the story of Sirena.
Sirena was a lovely young girl who lived with her mother and godmother in a small hut near the water's edge on a tropical island paradise. Sirena's life wasn't easy. Her father died when she was small, and her mother was to weak to keep up with the housework. Therefore, Sirena had to do all the chores by herself. The only solace she found was the moonlit swim she took every night with her godmother Nina.
Sirena's mother was angered by her daughter's nightly swims, accusing Sirena of choosing to swim rather than help her mother do chores. When Sirena quarreled with her mother, she would retreat into the waves with Nina, and Nina would comb Sirena's long, silken hair while they sat on a rock in the moonlight.
Finally, one afternoon came that was hotter than ever before. To escape the unrelenting heat, Sirena retreated from doing chores to take a swim. Nina was there, too, and the two let the currents carry them out to sea. Back at the hut, Sirena's mother was impatient for her lunch, but when her daughter never showed up, she went to sea looking for her.
When she found her daughter, Sirena's mother declared, "Your love for the ocean is greater than your love for me!" Then she pointed a finger at her daughter and shouted, "You shall be doomed to swim in it forever!"
Nina, Sirena's godmother, knew that words that carried such ferocity and anger could carry a curse. She wrapped Sirena in her arms to protect her with love from the curse.
Unfortunately, Nina's grasp only covered Sirena's arms and torso. While Sirena's upper body remained the same, her legs turned into a mermaid's tail.
Sirena's mother was horrified at what she'd done to her daughter. She tried to take the words back, but she could no undo what she had already done. Sirena was a mermaid forever.
Nina sobbed as she lowered her goddaughter into the sea. She told Sirena to visit her when the moon was full, and they would swim together again.
Sirena promised and with a flick of her tail but also a saddened smile, she dove under the sea to explore her new world.
Each month, when the moon was full, Sirena returned to play with Nina in the surf. When they were done swimming, the beautiful mermaid would climb upon a rock and let Nina comb her long silken hair in the moonlight.
Apparently, this is a widely popular story in the Tropics. Some say that, to this day, Sirena's hut still sits there by the water's edge. Maybe a mermaid still lives around there, too? You never know....