“I really did, Mommy, I did!” Eight year old Jenny dreamed she was a mermaid. Probably most children have this dream once at least. Jenny had been an avid reader for a year and “The Little Mermaid” confirmed her belief in the Hans Christian Anderson tale.
She was fascinated with the idea of a life beneath the sea, and swimming with delightful creatures. Growing up near the ocean, trips to sandy beaches, finding broken sea shells, all treasures to her, helped to confirm mermaids exist. The mechanics of breathing didn’t concern her, even when she flailed about learning to swim. Her parents insisted she learn as a toddler. Living close to the water, it was necessary. They never realized how such a location confirmed their daughter’s dreams.
Jenny’s dream repeated until it was foremost in her mind. At school her teacher often found her daydreaming, filling the blank columns on book sides with drawings of mermaids and undersea creatures. After a worried teacher contacted her parents, they showed little concern and thought it was a temporary stage.
After another vivid dream and having a day off from school, Jenny decided to take matters into her own hands. She packed her bag with her favorite book, paper and pencils, a towel and a snack. She walked down the few feet to the beach and sat. Taking out the book, she read again. She also drew pictures of what her imagination created under the surface of the ocean.
It was time, her little mind conceived, to see for herself. She discarded the items to the towel spread out under her and stepped into the waves. As she was drawn further in, seaweed wrapped around her legs, almost a welcoming–I knew it, she thought, I am a mermaid! She walked further letting the tide carry her further from shore, until she no longer felt the sand beneath her feet. She opened her eyes to see fanciful creatures floating about, the salty water not hurting her eyes at all. She moved her arms to go deeper, catching hold of a beautiful complete shell on the bottom. She let herself drift around it, breathing in the liquid that would eventually take her life. She just drank it in, no choking, gasping for air, just a pleasant feeling of completion.
Sleeping in as usual on this Saturday morning, Jenny’s parents were unaware of their daughter’s planned mission. They took no notice of her being late to the breakfast table until they started their usual morning coffee routine, sitting on the deck, looking at the ocean. It was then they noticed a small pile of items. The things looked like Jenny’s belongings. A sudden glance between them and one ran to the beach, one ran up the stairs, both screaming their daughter’s name.
Jenny was where she had always wanted to be. She looked down to discover her legs were now formed into a mermaid tale. She was delighted they were her favorite iridescent green color. Her bathing suit had disappeared and her hair was now long and curling around her body. She just floated there a few moments knowing this was her dream come true. She looked around to see other creatures like her and joined them to swim further below the surface.
**thank you to Kira for this beautiful drawing🌸