A Mermaid Story from Mermaiden Waverlee!
“Quick, Bubbles! We need to find the shells before anyone else does!”
Bubbles chirped and quickly caught up to me from where he had veered off to chase a little fish. I was so excited about the new shells on the beach he spotted, I had almost forgotten to keep an eye on him! Bubbles gets distracted easily. Actually, so do I, sometimes. Not this time, though. I was completely focused on getting to the beach to collect shells. It’s one of my favorite hobbies.
See, there are millions of shells in the ocean, but most of those have owners! They’re home to little sea creatures like crabs, oysters, snails and clams. I would never want to harm any of those animals by taking their shelter! So instead, Bubbles and I go up to the beautiful sandy beaches and collect shells there. Most of those are uninhabited and many times I find human things up there too!
I swam a little faster at the thought of all those lovely treasures waiting for me. Bubbles dove through the water alongside me. He loves to go to the beach because of the waves. My dolphin friend has so much fun diving through them! Sometimes I get a little tired of dashing through all those waves so I just sit and look through my collection from that day’s findings. I make sure to flip my tail a bit to keep the waves a little bigger for him.
Finally, we slowed down as we saw the beach. I squealed in excitement at all those shining grains of sand and Bubbles whistled loudly in reply. I laughed and patted his side. Using my magical powers, I sent a few waves rolling off to my right and he went diving into the water in that direction. Then, I headed toward the rocky cove where Bubbles had spied the trove of shells.
On my way I glanced down the coast, hesitating for a moment to watch the crowded part of the beach. There were a lot of humans there! I sighed happily as I watched them all running around on those long legs. I love to look at all the colorful outsides they wear. I spied one human girl that had a yellow polka-dotted outside with a big yellow bow in her hair. I saw another little one that had a lovely shade of pink as her outside that shimmered. I looked down at my own pretty pink tail and decided it was almost the same color, but not quite.
I gasped when I saw a boy human fall off of his long red stick with a tail on the bottom. I think they are called “surfboards.” But then he came back up laughing and I giggled too. I have to be careful not to let the humans see or hear me though, so I always make sure I’m just far enough away that the waves and rocks hide me while I pause to watch them.
I didn’t realize how long I’d been watching when a slippery missile came shooting toward me! I braced myself for impact and then laughed when Bubbles pulled back at the last moment, squealing his delight for all to hear. I shushed him and then patted his head with a fond smile. “Well, Bubbles, let’s go find those shells!”
Turning my back on the land dwellers, we swam past some big rock ledges that stick out into the ocean. Humans didn’t usually stray past those massive things! Then, when we were sure there was not a single person in sight, we swam up towards the sandy cove. It’s hard for both of us to be out on the sand for long, so I had to keep pulling waves up on the sand with us so that our skin stayed hydrated–especially Bubbles. When dolphin skin gets dry, it cracks and it’s really painful for them. I would never want Bubbles to get hurt!
When we were on the tiny beach, we started our hunt. We found a lot of treasures! There were all sorts of big, beautiful shells. I picked up one that was cone shaped, tucked it into my curly gold hair and admired my reflection in a piece of a human looking glass that I keep with me. There were so many shells that I barely had enough room in the little satchel I carry. By the time we left, it was full to the brim with perfect, shiny shells in all shapes and sizes!
Along with the shells, I found some human objects, too! There was another piece of a looking glass, a bottle of something labelled “sunscreen,” and a lovely little contraption that I see humans with all the time. They use it at the beach to shade themselves from the hot sun. It’s big and bright with lots of colors, made out of a funny round-ish material on the end of a long stick. This one was smaller than most of the others that I see humans using. I was thrilled to find this gadget, though. It’s still one of my most favorite human treasures!
Bubbles and I slid back into the water and floated lazily in the cove for a while, watching the sun sink lower in the sky. Bubbles lay on my lap and I stroked his smooth skin. He chirped contentedly.
All of a sudden, Bubbles started to squirm on my tail. He rolled around and took off into the water as fast as he could.
“Bubbles!” I yelled, “Where are you going? Come back!”
The silly dolphin kept swimming as fast he could! I quickly dove into the water and swam after him, trying to catch up. What in the Seven Seas is he doing? I frantically came up out of the water beside one of the rock ledges for a moment to see if I could spot him leaping above the waves.
I scanned the horizon in front of me, and that’s when I saw her. A pretty, dark-haired mermaid sitting up on a cluster of rocks in plain sight, just a few yards in front of me! What are you doing? I wanted to scream. So many humans could spot her! It felt like I was frozen for a moment, just staring open-mouthed at the young mermaiden perched on a rock, smiling down at her purple tail.
Suddenly, a call came from behind her, farther down the rock ledge. My brain kicked my tail into gear and suddenly I ducked below the water, fearing for my fellow mermaid but unsure whether I should show myself yet! So I watched from below the water as the mermaiden looked behind her and then slowly pulled her fin out of the water. What is happening!? I thought, completely and thoroughly confused.
Suddenly, an older human appeared behind the mermaid. She didn’t seem in the slightest bit surprised to see the tail on the younger girl. In fact, she smiled at the mermaid, held out her hand, and let the girl hold onto her arm for support as she stood up straight. Then, to my complete shock and horror, the girl began to pull at her tail, rolling it down to her knees and taking it completely off to reveal two long white legs beneath! I nearly fainted at the sight!
As I watched the two humans retreat down the rock ledge, my thoughts raced for an explanation. What in the deep blue ocean is going on here? I thought, running my fingers through my gold curls as I surfaced just a little to watch the mermaid imposter go. Could humans actually be dressing up as mermaids? The thought made my face split in a gigantic grin.
All at once, I remembered Bubbles. “Oh Poseidon! Where did that creature get off to?” I pursed my lips and slapped my hand down on the top of the water, smiling a little at the sound it made. Without warning, Bubbles erupted from the water behind me and cackled urgently in my ear, half scaring me to death before speeding back into the water and off again! I groaned a little before quickly dashing off in pursuit.
Bubbles led us all the way back to the rocks where we had stopped to watch the humans before he finally paused to let me catch up.
I swam up to him, breathing hard and took a deep breath to start lecturing. “Bubbles! What were you thinking? I–”
But he wasn’t listening. He was clicking and shivering in alarm and swimming around me in circles. I started to roll my eyes at his dramatics – then I saw what made him so upset. Only about twenty feet above us, something was struggling and bobbing in the water. I gasped. It was a human! A little human girl who was crying and clawing the water, trying to gasp air in the brief moments when she surfaced. She must have been caught in an unexpected wave and pulled out to sea!
Swiftly, I started toward her and then stopped myself as I remembered the rules. Merfolk are forbidden from letting humans see us. But she looked so tired! If I didn’t help her, she was going to drown!
Then I had an idea. Quietly, I used my powers to push waves toward the little girl. The water was strong and could help her back to the beach, where I could see what must be her family running around looking for her. The little girl started to move with my waves, slowly at first, then faster and faster as I sent more and more powerful water surging toward her. Soon the little human was cruising toward the sand, riding on top of my waves without a surfboard! I sighed in relief when she finally made it to her parents’ arms. They scooped her up in a big hug and waded back to the beach.
I beamed with pride and Bubbles chirped happily over and over again, finally relaxing from his frenzy. But as I turned to go home, I remembered the pretend mermaid from the rocks. Taking a deep breath and straightening my satchel strap, I headed toward home, knowing what I’d have to do. “Come on Bubbles. I need to talk to my father.”