The Sun was off to sleep after a long day at work. The twilight announced that the moon came for the night shift. The children gathered in front of Grandnana’s house. He sat in his recliner chair, on his front porch. The wrinkles on Grandnana’s skin revealed his ripe age, like the rings on a tree trunk.
Grandnana looked at the children and asked them, ‘Which story do you kids want?’
There was a noise as the kids’ told their choices. In a distance the sea rumbled, as though she had a request of her own. Grandnana said, ‘I will choose one.’ He pretended to ponder for a while and said, ‘I will tell you about the story of how I got rich.’ The children cheered and clapped in excitement.
Grandnana said, ‘It was a long time ago. I was young and strong, not a bit like the old chap I am now. It was the worst summer I had seen in years. The famine left us nothing to eat on land. I could no longer see the tired faces of my children and their frail bodies. It set out to the sea, for she always had something to give.
It was getting dark. I cared less. One catch would satisfy our hunger for the night. I got into my boat, rowed into the sea and cast my net. I waited patiently. Nothing! I went farther from the shore. The lights in the houses on the shoreline glittered like stars. I cast my net and waited. Above me the clouds gathered as though they did not approve my decision of getting close to the belly of the sea. The clouds loved to scare us that summer. They came together as though they would drench us but it never rained. After some time I felt a tug. The net went down as though something heavy was caught in it. I thought it could a big fish. I tried to pull it but it was heavy.
As I pulled the net, I saw a beautiful girl. She had deep blue eyes just like the sea. Her golden hair glistened in the moonlight. She flapped her tail and splashed the water around. I could become rich beyond my dreams. I could take her with me and sell her to the highest bidder. She caught the rim of the boat and spoke something to me. I could not understand what she was saying. She tried to break free but the net was too strong for her. From her sobs, I understood that she was pleading me to release her. Her eyes reminded me of my daughter. She was of the same age as my daughter. I thought of her family. May be her mother was waiting for her in the depths of the sea, searching for her daughter. I untied the net and set her free. She smiled at me and disappeared.
I was disappointed that I was returning home empty handed. I rowed back towards the shore. I felt someone pull my boat. I stopped and looked down. I saw the girl. She was back! I also saw two other mermaids, a woman and a man. They were in their mid twenties. Together, they lifted and placed a big chest on my boat. They pushed my boat close to shore, waved to me and left together. I opened the chest. It was filled with gold and jewels. I got more gold than I ever wished for.’
Grandnana said, ‘Well, that’s it for today. We will meet tomorrow for another story’.
The children clapped and left to their homes.
Featured image from http://fullymutated.blogspot.com/2011/04/u-is-for-under-sea.html