Friday, November 03, 2006

Mermaid Mythology

Mermaid Mythology

What do we really know about mermaids?

All I know about them I learned from a book of fairy tales. My sister and I used to go swimming in a creek and pretend we were mermaids and when we swam underwater we tried to kick with both feet as if we had a tail. It's not very easy to swim this way and you tire quickly. We played during the long summer days there by the creek swimming and catching crawdads.

But a real mermaid has never been seen or proven to be alive. It is just a myth probably by a sailor who spotted a seal, which reminds me more of a selkie than a mermaid, and just to let you know a selkie is not a mermaid. A mermaid is half human on the torso and half fish instead of legs. A selkie has a fur coat that she or he can remove to look human on land. If the coat is found and hidden the selkie can not return to the sea and if it is not cared for the selkie will die.

They live in the sea and lure those who would love them into the sea as well. Some stories tell of mermaids singing a sirens song and sailors to their doom on the rocks. Some would love a human to their own detriment. They have emotions like humans and some are good and some are bad. Some are male and some are female.

I have my own opinion among the mix of myths I have heard. The glorious King Triton, the father to all the mermaid and king of the sea, was once human like you and me. It was a sad day on the day he was cursed and wrongfully so, but he embraced his fate and kidnapped his love, and their children are the merfolk that live in the sea today. Some still have the dreams of living on land once again and are so fool hearted to fall in love with a human, but most are content to live their lives in the ocean deep.

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