FinFun Presents a Mermaid Story by Royal Mermaiden Zoey
“…Twenty-nine…Thirty! Ready or not, here he comes!” I called out.
Quickly I ducked back into my hiding spot. Cooper, my little turtle finfriend, was seeking for all us hiders. We were in the middle of a pretty intense game of hide-and-seek, my finfriends and I. In all, there were about twelve of us for Cooper to find. There are lots of clown fish playing, along with dolphins, some jellyfish, and a couple other types of fish. I love playing games with all types of finfriends!
My royal Mermaiden power is to control animals. They listen to me and have to do as I say, but I usually don’t make them do much unless they’re fighting. I hate watching animals fight, so I use my powers to calm them down and remind them to be kind to one another! The best way to do that is through games, in my opinion.
Speaking of games, I watched Cooper slowly making his way through the reef’s best hiding places. He sure is a good seeker! I crouched a little lower in my own hiding spot. I was situated in a long patch of seaweed at the bottom of the shallow part of our reefs. The seaweed was long enough to hide me and hidden enough not to be obvious! I was determined to win this game.
As I waited for Cooper to find me, I heard laughing a little ways off. Making sure that no one could see me, I pulled some of the grass out of the way and peered out into the ocean beyond the coral reef. Just then, a group of young mermen passed by my hiding spot. They were laughing and goofing around. I recognized them from around the kingdom. There was one merman in particular that I like to watch. He’s my latest splash. That’s what young merfolk call others our age that we think are cute. I never told anyone but Cooper about my splash, but I figure humans and merfolk need to learn to trust each other, so I’ll start off trusting you with my little secret.
The first time I saw him was while I was playing a different game of hide-and-seek. We were near my coral castle and it was just Cooper and me. I’d picked a really good hiding place and Cooper was having a tough time finding me. I’m not super patient, so after a while I was about to go find him. All of a sudden, I saw a little conch shell whiz past my hiding place in the kelp gardens. Then, there he was, chasing after it. He was so finsome! He was fast, too. Probably almost as fast as me! I wanted to duck out of my hiding place and say hello but suddenly, I got nervous and I couldn’t think of a single thing to say! That was so unlike me! Usually, I have a smart response for anything anyone throws my way. But that day in the gardens, I found myself tongue-tied. By the time I could finally get my thoughts together, he had disappeared as fast as he had come. I still wished I had said something, even now. Then maybe I could be out there playing games and laughing with him, too.
I watched curiously as he laughed with his mermates, joking and throwing conch shells around. I wished that I could join in! But what would I say? And, I reminded myself, the other mermaids and mermen are usually a little intimidated by me because I’m the princess. I sighed and really wished that could change. I love my power but it is a little lonely being me sometimes.
Just then, I felt something hit the back of my head. “Ouch!” I yelled, reaching back to find the culprit. The little shape was twisting through my light brown hair and I had to wrestle with it to get it out. Finally, I yanked the mischievous offender out of my hair and brought him to eye level. Cooper clucked his delight and studied his reflection in my light brown eyes. I chuckled and sat up in the grass, still holding him out in my hands. Above us, I saw all our other finfriends gathered, which meant I was the winner of our hide-and-seek game!
Suddenly, I heard some commotion coming from behind us, back in the direction of my splash and his mermates. As I turned to see what it was, I quickly tried to think of what I would say to him. But when I saw them, they weren’t looking at us at all. They had their backs to us and were staring down two enormous tiger sharks.
The long, hungry fish were making slow circles around the boys, making it impossible for them to swim away without getting caught. Sharks are usually not very interested in us merfolk, and I was surprised at their behavior! Sometimes they will attack if they’re starved or sick, but we’re the faster swimmers. I knew I had to do something… fast.
Quicker than one of those kangaroos on land—which I hear are pretty fast—I dove up and over the circle of mermen and headed right for the sharks. That got their attention alright. They stopped their prowling and glared up at me. I quickly looked right into their eyes and said in a commanding voice, “Behave yourselves, Mates! What’s gotten into you?! Swim away now, and don’t come back!”
The sullen sharks knew they had to obey me, but they didn’t have to be happy about it! I put my hands on my hips and watched them go. They left slowly, and I could see the tension in the mermen’s shoulders leave with them. Soon, they were just dark shadows disappearing into the ocean.
“She’s the Mermaiden,” I heard someone whisper. I turned around and as all three mermen immediately gasped and bowed from the waist. I tried not to groan. I know they have to bow to me because of my title, but sometimes it just feels so awkward.
After a few minutes of their rapid apologies for not recognizing me sooner and oh so many thank yous, I cut them off by raising my hand, just like my mermom had taught me.
“I accept your gratitude, loyal subjects,” I said in my most regal voice. I didn’t know what else to say! Secretly, I wished with all my heart they would just ask me to play their game with them. I glanced wistfully at the conch shell in one of the mermen’s hands.
“Please, Your Highness, what can we do to repay you for saving our lives?” my splash asked, looking at me with those big, dreamy sea green eyes. That was a good enough invitation for me! I grabbed the conch shell from the other boy’s hands and held it up.
“Let me play?” I realized how unprincess-like it sounded, but the shock in all three mermen’s eyes made me laugh instead of fix the sentence as my mermom would have done. Then my splash and his friends started laughing too, and without another word, we began to play.