Deep beneath the ocean lay the beautiful and magical kingdom of King Neptune. He had six mermaid daughters, the youngest of whom was considered to be unsurpassed in her beauty. They lived a wonderful and carefree existence in their underwater arcadia. The world beyond was an uncertain and dangerous place and for this reason all mermaids were forbidden to travel up to the surface before their fifteenth birthday.
When her time finally arrives, the Little Mermaid travels up to the surface of the ocean and there witnesses a terrible storm and the sinking of a great ship. She rescues a handsome sailor from drowning, but unbeknownst to her, he is in fact a prince.
She longs to go forth into the world to be with her prince. But only with the help of a magic spell can she hope to travel to land and find her prince. But the price she must pay will indeed be high. Will she find the happiness she so desperately yearns for?
The Little Mermaid is a story of the power of love and sacrifice that has enchanted generations of children. Can love conquer all or are there some prices that are too high to pay?
Its walls were constructed of coral, with amber windows, upon which sat a stunning roof of pearl shells. The pearls shone so brightly, more exquisite than pearls any monarch possessed.
In the palace lived the ruler of the ocean, King Neptune. He was a widower and had six daughters, all beautiful mermaids. The king’s mother acted as a mother to the daughters, educated them and brought them up in the ways of the ocean. She was stern, but kind and very wise. All of the princesses were beautiful, but the youngest was the most beautiful of all. She had hair, golden like an evening sunset, framing a face delicate like the petals of a rose, with pale blue eyes, the color of the ocean. In place of feet, as is the case with all mermaids, she had a long beautiful tail which shimmered with the colors of silver and gold.
By day, the mermaids played happily within the rich coral walls of their father’s palace. Whenever a window was opened, brightly colored fish of every hue and size would swim into the rooms and the daughters would caress them and feed them treats.
Around the palace stretched magnificent underwater gardens, with an undulating carpet of flowers that softly swayed with the currents. Here the royal daughters usually played: they braided wreaths, danced, and dressed up, coquettishly admiring themselves in mirrors of polished shells.
Merely one thing was prohibited to the young mermaids however: to swim up to the surface of the ocean before they reached the age of fifteen. When the king’s eldest daughters returned from such expeditions, they would tell fabulous stories of unprecedented wonders, which were only to be found above the ocean. They saw ink-blue skies, in which thousands of stars shone brightly, ships which bustled with sailors, setting sails on tall masts. They told tales of the pleasure to be had lying on sandy shoals in the midst of a calm ocean and to gaze in wonder at the thousands of far off flickering city lights on the distant horizon.
Spellbound, the little mermaid would listen to these stories, for she had already explored every corner of the underwater kingdom. She loved to frolic with Cleophas the tuna fish, swimming as high as she dared, but she knew that this mysterious and fascinating world would remain out of reach until she became an adult.
But time passed, and the day came when the little mermaid turned fifteen. King Neptune organized an enormous party for his youngest daughter. He invited the ocean’s finest guests; even the dolphins from the coral islands were there. He promised his daughter that the moment the day drew to its end and the clocks struck midnight, she would be entitled to break the surface of the ocean. But he warned her, she must always be careful and vigilant. The world that she was to discover, held many temptations and many dangers.
When the royal clocks struck midnight, the young mermaid sneaked out of the reception and swam up to the surface of the ocean. For the first time, she saw the sky, the stars and the moon, and feeling a warm gust of air on her face; she began to dance with the waves and cupped in her hands the white ocean foam. She sang in a sweet voice, and her joyous song rose far beyond the hum of the ocean.
Soon she saw a great sailing ship with lights shining brightly, its deck teeming with sailors, music and joyous laughter rippling across the waves. She wanted to have a closer look at it. Suddenly she saw a handsome young man and her heart began to beat faster.
Illustrations and cover
English Translation and Adaptation:
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© Copyright by TOMMYE-MUSIC
New York 2012