Mermaids – Ligo Haibun – February 23, 2014


When I was a child, many years ago, I was fascinated by mermaids.  Hans Christian Andersen’s story, The Little Mermaid, was one of my favorite stories, and I always felt so sorry for the poor mermaid.  There she was, in love with the man she’d saved from drowning, whom she’d sacrificed her voice for and living in constant pain from those limbs for which she’d given up her beautiful tail. Completely ignored by he for whom she’d sacrificed herself; alone, destitute and destined to die from heartbreak.

 I never reflected though upon the story, until many years later.   I witnessed a beautiful young woman, who was very talented, sacrifice all her talent for the love of a man who never realized how precious she was and so betrayed her trust for another.  I realized that no one should ever go to such an extreme for any reason, much less for love.

mermaid in the woods
contemplating faithless love
life’s lessons

Written for Ligo Haibun at  Ese’s Voice

16 thoughts on “Mermaids – Ligo Haibun – February 23, 2014

    • Got me curious so I went to look it up, there really are a lot of endings…Andersens first version has her having the opportunity to drown him and his bride, but giving up the idea and throwing herself into the sea turning into sea foam…later he has her turn into a spirit of the air. Anyway, if you’re interested here’s a wikipedia summary:


          • I think people are more protective of children’s mental state. Instead of using fear to get them to behave, we talk to them and treat them like adults. It doesn’t always work because it would depend on the individual kid’s mentality.


          • There are those that would say that fables and fairy tales were written to teach children that life is at times a pretty fearful place to live in, and so the darkness of the stories was necessary to help them be aware adults…hard saying though.


          • I think for the reasons you wrote above. We kind of want to ignore the scary things in life, maybe pretend they don’t exist andmaybe we also want the little ones to remain innocent as long as possible. Or we’re all ostriches…take your pick lol!


          • Hard choose. Years ago, I’d go with the innocence one, but I’ve met a lot of parents who try to turn their kids into tiny adults immediately. Not so much a loss of innocence, but a seriousness that seems heavy on such tiny shoulders.


in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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