Fri, 22 February 2008
"Don't Ever Look at a Mermaid" is a story from England and vicinity, about a mermaid's infatuation with a mortal man; and like last week's story, it entails humans, or in this case, humanoids, assuming animal form. The mermaid motif, which is particularly common in Europe but also crops up in other cultures around the world (including Native American), may have inspired Hans Christian Andersen to write "The Little Mermaid" -- which in turn inspired Disney, as so many stories have, to put the same title on a very different story. In this version, the mermaid seems to represent temptation, which, like the mermaid herself, never completely goes away but reappears every so often.
We bring you this story from icy, storm-ravaged Arkansas, where we're visiting friends and relatives (not necessarily in that order). But we're recapping some of our adventures in sunny Florida, specifically the two
occasions when we donned snorkels. The first was at Biscayne National Park near Key Biscayne, the only national park that is almost completely underwater. We saw some coral, a few fish, a couple of lobsters (uncooked, of course) and the largest seahorse we've ever witnessed.
The second time, we were at Crystal River, where we bathed with a few manatees who, like the humans who marvel at them, vacation in The Sunshine State at this time of year. Having learned our lesson from Key Biscayne, we rented wetsuits along with our kayak. The water was crystal-river clear, and we were able to get within a few feet of
these incredible beasts, who generally stayed quite still on the bottom but occasionally swam right by us. We can understand how sailors might have mistaken them for boulders, but mermaids??
As you may have noticed, this is a bonus podcast, wedged into our biweekly schedule because there's been just so much material to cover lately!
Dennis (Hans), Kimberly (Mermaid, Wife, Dog) and Zephyr (Narrator)