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The little mermaid

Once upon a time in the deep sea lived the great king who had seven beautiful daughters.
The smallest of them was a little mermaid who had a bizarre passion for everything that came from outside the sea.
Her greatest joy was listening to stories about men who lived on dry land.
When the princesses were big enough, each one was given a part of the garden in which they could grow whatever plants and flowers they wanted.
The youngest decided to decorate her part of the garden with a beautiful white marble statue of a young human, which probably came from a shipwreck.
The young mermaid waited impatiently for her fifteenth birthday because from that day on she would be allowed to swim to the surface of the water.
Then she could finally see with her own eyes the world that, until then, she had only heard about in stories.
So, on her fifteenth birthday she swam straight to the surface.
The view that she saw left her breathless. An elegant ship was cutting the waves, whilst above it coloured fireworks were exploding in the sky full of bright stars.
The air was full of music and songs coming from the ship. The little mermaid thought that there was probably a party on the ship.
When the voices and laughter died down, the young princess summed up enough courage to swim to the ship and when she reached the ladder, she pulled herself up to look inside.
The party was almost finished but everybody was shaking hands with a youth for his sixteenth birthday and they were all calling him a prince.
The little mermaid was enchanted by the looks of the boy who had such a strong resemblance to the marble statue that was in her garden.
That image touched her heart and she fell in love straight away.
But at that moment a strong wind started shaking her violently and made her return to the water.
The waves got bigger and the ship was blown about by the force of the sea. A terrible storm was on its way.
The little mermaid tried not to lose sight of the ship but the waves were pushing her away.
While she was swimming to stay close to the ship, she was horrified to see that the prince was thrown overboard by a strong wave and had fallen in the sea.
The little mermaid quickly swam to help the prince who was sinking deeper and deeper in the water, unconscious.
The little mermaid took him back to the surface and kept his head out of the water so he could breathe.
When the storm died down she took the youth to the shore.
When she was sure the prince was breathing properly, she kissed his forehead and whispered words of encouragement in his ear.
As the prince was waking up, the little mermaid saw some girls were coming in their direction, so she dived quickly into the sea so as not to be seen.
The young girls that were strolling along the beach noticed the prince and ran over quickly to help him.
Slowly the prince woke up and the girls took him to a large building near the beach.
The little mermaid then slipped underwater and returned to her father’s castle.
The following days the little mermaid spent most of her time thinking about the handsome prince. Her sisters began to worry about her, always lost in thought.
They insisted so much in her telling them what was wrong that she finally told them what had happened.
One of them knew where the prince lived and she took her to see the castle which was near the sea.
Now that she knew where to find her prince, the little mermaid could wait no longer and she went to the sea witch to ask for her help.
The witch told her that she would prepare a magic potion that would turn her into a human.
She would stay human as long as she did not get wet with sea water, otherwise she would turn back into a mermaid straight away.
If the prince were to fall in love with her and marry her, then she would remain human forever.
But if the prince were to fall in love with another girl, then at sunrise of the following day, she would turn into sea mist.
For the magic to work, the little mermaid had to give up something precious, so the witch asked for her voice.
The little mermaid accepted the witch’s conditions then she went straight to the beach near the prince’s castle and drank the magic potion.
Magically, her fins and tail turned into human legs. The princess was so happy, even though from that moment on she could no longer talk.
Luck was on her side because the prince, who was out for a morning walk, saw her on the beach and went to meet her.
Afraid she was from a shipwreck he covered her with his cloak and took her back to the palace.
The little mermaid was excited about everything she saw. Her heart was full of joy now that she could be with her prince, just as she wished.
They spent all their days together and the prince was fascinated by her.
But his heart was confused because he had promised himself that he would marry the girl who saved him from the fury of the sea.
All he could remember was her soft touch and gentle voice. The prince’s parents would allow the marriage because the girl saved his life.
Unfortunately the little mermaid could not tell the prince that the girl he was looking for was right in front of his eyes.
Time went by and the prince couldn’t find his saviour.
The king and the queen decided that the following day the prince was to leave by ship to meet the princess of a nearby kingdom who would then become his wife.
The little mermaid heard everything and ran off to the beach in despair. Two of her sisters from the sea saw her upset on the beach and went to meet her.
They could not understand what had happened and nor why she had human legs because the little mermaid could not talk, but her tears told them how unhappy she was.
The following day the ship was ready to leave and the little mermaid was asked to accompany the prince on his journey.
Both of their hearts were sad, but they did not know how to change the events which seemed so inevitable.
That evening, while the little mermaid was alone on the bridge of the ship, two of her sisters joined her and lifted themselves up onto the side.
Their hair was very short. They told her they had donated their hair to the witch in exchange for a magic potion to give to the prince to drink.
This potion would stop the prince’s heart and break the spell that bound them together.
Then she could dive into the sea where she would turn back into a mermaid and go back to her father’s castle where she would live a long life.
But the little mermaid could not accept their offer: she was too much in love with the prince to change his life for hers.
The mermaids were so worried for the fate of their sister that they told their father everything.
The king of the sea, who hadn’t received any news on his daughter in a long time, became very angry with his daughters for keeping such a secret from him.
He swam as fast as he could to the surface to speak with his youngest daughter.
But the anger and sadness of the king made the waves of the sea so strong that they started to roll the ship.
The prince realised the little mermaid was on the bridge. He ran over to help her. With such a strong sea it was dangerous to stay on the bridge.
As soon as he reached the bridge he tried to get to her but a strong gust of wind blew him overboard.
The little mermaid knew that as soon as she touched the water she would turn back into a mermaid.
She would lose all chances of spending the rest of her life with the prince. But she didn’t hesitate and she dived straight into the sea.
The little mermaid swam over to help the prince who looked at her, astonished. She took his hands and led him to the surface.
They found shelter on a rock. The little mermaid’s voice had returned so she could finally tell the truth to the prince.
Everything seemed lost, however: a mermaid and a human could never live together.
Their hearts were torn between the joy of discovering the truth and the fear that this would divide them forever.
The little mermaid’s father, having seen his daughter’s sadness, mustered the magic of true love, a real magic that doesn’t ask for anything in change.
From the tip of his trident it reached the princesses tail and transformed her.
The little mermaid had become human. Her happiness and that of the prince were endless now that they could remain together forever.
The next day they married on the beach so even the creatures from the sea could take part in the happy moment.
So the prince and the princess became husband and wife and lived happily ever after.

1) The Dog and the Sparrow - The Brothers Grimm
2) Our Lady's Child - The Brothers Grimm
3) The Wolf and the Fox - The Brothers Grimm
4) She was Good for Nothing - Hans Christian Andersen
5) The Louse and the Flea - The Brothers Grimm
6) Something - Hans Christian Andersen
7) The Hut in the Forest - The Brothers Grimm
8) Strong Hans - The Brothers Grimm
9) Sweetheart Roland - The Brothers Grimm
10) The Wishing-Table, The Gold-Ass, and the Cudgel in the Sack - The Brothers Grimm
1) Cinderella - The Brothers Grimm
2) Little Red Riding-Hood - Charles Perrault
3) The little mermaid - Hans Christian Andersen
4) A Riddling Tale - The Brothers Grimm
5) Beauty and the Beast - Mme de Beaumont
6) Allerleirauh - The Brothers Grimm
7) Bearskin - The Brothers Grimm
8) Blue Beard - Charles Perrault
9) Cinderella - Charles Perrault
10) Briar-Rose - The Brothers Grimm