The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

Once upon a time there was a little mermaid
who lived beneath the sea.
Contentedly she rested on her shell-bed,
passing the days with her family.

Her tail was long and beautiful,
hair red and rich.
Her face radiating with innocence,
and her voice the most melodious pitch.

Under the water she played, splashed
and splished
Ducking in and out of sand castle windows,
friendly neighbors – go fish.
Life was simple, without a care or whim
and so she did… swim!

Swimming and swimming,
to her heart’s content,
For to a little mermaid,
this is time well spent.

But all of a sudden, the sand puffed up
around her
“Could it be an earthquake?”
the thought did then occur.
“How silly, an earthquake beneath the sea!”
no need to guess,
Let me find out the source of this disturbance -
reefer madness.

And so she swam to the surface,
and noticed a passing ship
Which seemed to be wrestling with a hurricane
toss from the hip,
Still undecided whether to proceed or refrain
from throwing back its catch.

Radar blips and ill-fated trips, the men
soon to learn that this tempest
Would not let them pass without
official weather permits!
Rats! If only they had packed more than limes
in their knapsacks.

From where she was treading, the little mermaid
strained to see
What appeared to her to be a great
maritime jubilee!
“Look, the ship is dancing!”
she exclaimed.
But I assure you, this was no
celestial romancing as so named.

True, the crew were falling head over heels,
but neither for dames nor fair damsels.
Rather, they were soon being introduced,
to deck chairs, side rails, and a sore kaboose.

“Whoa is me!” they cried
as a mate fell over the side.
The man sank and sank quickly,
and the little mermaid feared for his safety.
She quickly swam to save him
recognizing for humans the ocean is no aquatic haven.
And so she plunged into that deep blue,
grabbing him, and offering rescue.

She lay him down on the beach’s shore,
kissing his head, then returning to the water.
The man slowly awoke, wondering where he was
and how he got there
With only a faint memory of the little mermaid’s face
lingering in his mind, if only he could press rewind.

The little mermaid returned to her sand castle beneath the sea
happy to have saved the man from drowning.
She wondered who he was, for he seemed to have a kind heart
and so, our love story has a fitting start.

Desiring to see him again, the little mermaid
wondered about the possibility
Since he lived on land and possessed two legs
- not she.
She realized she would have to become human herself,
and in a hurry,
If she was going to nobly propel forward the narrative
to this story!

And so, nervously she then decided she must
visit the Sea Witch and so entrust
Her hopes of seeing the man again to that infamous witch
with a reputation for being such
A horribly saucy dish. But since love was
at stake, what’s a girl to do?
For while the queen may be a drag,
she alone held the potion
Capable of entertaining this girl’s
fanciful notion.

And so she made her Herculean journey
passing whirlpools and seaweed trees
To meet this Black Queen
and see if her hand she would lend thee.

At last, the little mermaid arrived to lay eyes
on a ghoulish and ghastly sight
Capable of giving even Tim Burton
a fright.
For here was a Medusa woman, hair made of snakes,
legs wrapped in electric eels,
And with a figure straight out of the
B-slasher pic reels.

The Sea Witch acknowledged the Little Mermaid’s presence,
“come in my darling, I know what you’re looking for.”
“There is a young man that you adore,
and so you wish to be human.”
“I will grant you this wish, but on
one condition.”

“What needs to be done?”
inquired the Little Mermaid.
“You must give me your tongue!”
shrieked the old woman.
“Your beautiful singing voice shall be mine,
mine alone, to preen and hone.”

“In return, I will make you a potion,
which will turn you into a mortal.
First, it will change your beautiful tail
into two legs so that you can walk above the sea.
But be warned, while your heart is pure,
this path will provide you with great misery
For you will no longer be able to swim under the water
or again see your family.”

“I accept this fate,” replied the little mermaid
“for the man’s heart is pure
And if I can be with him,
that is all I desire.”

“Very well! Let it be so!” proclaimed the Black Queen
and with that she took the mermaid’s tongue
Leaving her speechless and dumb,
but not without hope,
For she now had the tools to find the man
she had once known.

And so the Black Queen prepared the draught
for the little mermaid to drink,
And while it simmered,
she began to think
About what would happen, whether the man
would remember her or not
Being half-conscience and all,
smoke and pot.

When the broth was finished, the Sea Witch
encouraged the Little Mermaid to drink – which she did.
Her tail then became a pair of legs,
as she was now human.
The Black Queen did then bring
her to where the man lived
Which just so happened to be
in a marvelously large house on his own private island.

For this was no ordinary man but a prince!
who at that moment was throwing a marvelous ball
Where many graceful girls danced
like fairies, angels or at the mall.
The little mermaid did then enter
to find her feet fluttered the fastest of all!

Impressing everyone in attendance,
the prince proudly proclaimed
“Fair maiden, you dance so beautifully
what is your name?”
But the little mermaid could no longer speak,
for the Queen had her – tongue in cheek.

Never the less, the prince exclaimed
“you are so gentle, beautiful and pure
I will love you forever,” and so they drew near,
from that moment forward being most dear.
Days and nights, they were always together
through sunshine and poor weather – what did it matter?
Constant companions,
chit and chatter.

And so the little mermaid looked into the prince’s eyes with her own,
for she had grown tired of being in his friend zone
“When will you marry me, this isn’t fair.”
the prince, who could feel her longing,
In turn despondently responding
“I would marry you, but my heart is reserved
For the girl who saved me when I was cast – weakest link
from that ship when the mighty tempest passed.”

O the irony! A dish best served cold.
the prince did not realize
The girl he loved stood right in front of his eyes!
and she, without tongue
Was in no position to tell him his heart
she had won.
And so, the little mermaid suffered alone in her sadness,
silenced madness.

Then, one day the prince told her
that there was a princess who wished him to visit
And that he was obliged to go
and see if she was the one who saved him,
The one to whom his heart belonged,
little did he know how certain this was wrong.

And so they travelled together,
making that fantastic journey
As the prince told her
about all the different things beneath the sea.
The little mermaid of course could only smile,
for she knew far better about such things than he.

When they arrived, the prince saw the princess
and she was truly beautiful.
He exclaimed “You are the one who saved me!”
“I will marry you.”
And so the wedding date was set,
and the little mermaid’s heart wept.

As the bride and groom were set to wed,
suddenly the Sea Witch visited the little mermaid’s bed.
“You see, I told you becoming human
would bring only sorrow,”
“But there’s something else which I didn’t tell you,
you will die tomorrow!”
“For since the prince chose to marry her instead of you,
love has fallen on the other shoe.”

She continued, “But, there is one option still left”
“take this knife,
And bring it with you to where the prince
now rests”
“And while he lay with his bride, thrust this razor
into his side.”
“Let him die instead of you,
anyways, that’s what I would do…”

With that, the Sea Witch was gone,
the only thing remaining
The knife – needing no
further explaining
And the ultimate decision,
to save the life of the man she loved
At the expense of her own, despite his having
chosen by cruel fate another woman to inhabit his home.

The little mermaid took the knife,
and without hesitation threw it into the sea.
She then jumped in herself, so the prince
and his new bride could live together happily.

THE END