Tuesday, October 16, 2012

“The Boy and the Mermaid” By Maximo Ramos It happened once that a boy, while playing on a riverbank, saw a beautiful woman bathing in the water. She smiled sweetly at him and said: “Come here, son. I shall tell you a wonderful story.” The boy was attracted by her long curls and her charming smile and he walked to her. No sooner had his feet touched the water and then the river rose and the woman caught him in her arms. Let me go! Let me go!, screamed the boy. But the woman held him firmly and said, “Be quiet son, and I shall take you to my home.” “My father and mother will be looking for me!” said the boy. The woman replied, “You will forget them when you see my wonderful home.” “Please let me go!” After they reached the sea, they came to a beautiful house with a golden door and a gorgeous hall. They sat down and the woman asks the following questions: “Tell me what vegetables you love to eat?” “Do you eat fish?” The boy replied, “We never eat those things at home. I never eat fish. We eat nothing but rice and tomatoes.” Suddenly, while hearing those questions, the boy remembered that the woman asked those questions to test people. “That’s alright!” said the woman with a smile. “He who eats fish is my enemy.” The woman showed him rooms with silver and gold furniture. All rooms contained treasures. Left alone the boy tried to enjoy himself, but he kept yearning for his parents, friends, his real home. He pretended to enjoy all the luxuries and wealth, but his heart was not there. This went on day after day, but the longer he stayed in this house, the more he longed for his parents. “Please tell me how soon I can get back home,” the boy said. She replied. “Forget about home. This is your home now. Call me mother.” Everyday, the woman would leave the house and returned home at the end of the day. But the boy began to wonder why the woman always went to the back part of the house before leaving As he was looking this way one day, he suspected that there might be some passage that she kept from him, till he found out that it was a secret door, a door well hidden. The following morning, as soon as the woman was gone, the boy opened and entered the secret door. There he found a large jar of shining gold, with golden liquid. Then the boy remembered that since he came into woman’s house, he had not taken a bath yet, so he poured the golden liquid into his body. Then a strap door opened beneath his feet. He ran down and followed a sandy path with bright sunlight. Soon he found himself back to the river where the woman had caught him. The whole village rejoiced, specially his parents for his return. Everyone was overjoyed and amazed at his story. For many nights after that, the villagers heard the voice of the woman crying in the river.

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