Audio Stories

A Story From: Denmark
Read Time: ["6 to 10mins"]
For Ages: 5 to 7yrs., 8 to 10yrs.

The Little Mermaid StoryThe Little Mermaid Story ~ Bedtime Story in English Stories for Kids 

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This is the fairy tale The Little Mermaid Story. It is part of our Classic Bedtime Stories for Kids Collection. It has been adapted from Hans Christian Anderson’s version and Disney’s version. It is brought to you by Stories to Grow by. 


Far out in the sea where the water is very deep, the Sea King ruled the undersea world.

In the deepest spot of the sea was his castle. The walls were made of blue coral.  On the roof were shells that opened and closed when the water passed by. And that is where the Sea King lived with his mother and four daughters, each one born a year apart.  

The youngest of the four princesses was the Little Mermaid. She spent much of her time swimming to ships that had fallen to the bottom of the sea.  The ships held treasures from the world above! She would fill her arms and set up her collection here and there. All the while she would sing. As she did, fish circled around to hear her.  For the Little Mermaid’s voice was the most beautiful one under the sea.

The girls knew that when they turned 15, they could swim up to the surface for the first time. It would be a long time that the Little Mermaid had to wait, as she was the youngest! So she made her grandmother tell her all about life up on land. Tales about ships and towns, and every bit of stories about humans that she knew.  


For the Little Mermaid’s voice was the most beautiful one under the sea.


Soon the eldest sister turned 15.  She was the first to be allowed to rise up to the surface.  When she came back, she had many wonders to tell her sisters about!  She told about resting on soft white sand. High above was a deep blue sky with puffy white clouds.  Later the sun set, she said, and the whole sky turned gold and red. She had watched the birds fly high above her, dipping and making turns in the red and gold sky.

When the next sister turned 15, it was winter. She told of icebergs floating in the sea and shining bright.  All the ships stayed far away from the icebergs, she said, as if in fear. But the icebergs did not seem lonely.  They were like friends, floating close to each other. 

When it was the third sister’s turn, she told about moving as close as she could to the gate of a town. She heard people call out, horses that went clip, clopping down the street. And even music that she had never heard before.  


When she came back she had many wonders to tell her sisters about!


All this the Little Mermaid heard with wonder.  It wasn’t fair that she had to wait the longest!  At last the day came when she turned 15, too. Now she could rise up over the surface and see for herself.  

When she came up over the water, the Little Mermaid was next to a large ship. On the ship beautiful music was playing.  Sailors were dancing on the deck. They were laughing and having a fine time. It must be a party! Now and then as the waves lifted up the Little Mermaid, she could see better.  A handsome young man stepped out on the deck. When he did, a hundred rockets rose in the air. The party was for him. Was it his birthday? She swam closer. The men all seemed to like that young man.  When he spoke, the sailors would laugh. Sometimes they patted him on his back in joy. Once that made his crown fall off. The men laughed and picked it up. “A crown,” said the Little Mermaid.  “He must be a prince.”


At last the day came when she turned 15, too.


Suddenly, it became very dark and the wind picked up.  The sailors started to run about on deck.  They pulled down the sail. The ship dipped and swooped.  It rolled side to side, and up and down on the high waves.

Then lightning.  Thunder.  A strong rainstorm hit.  The poor ship started to tip on the rough waves!  It was so dark that the Little Mermaid could see nothing.  Then lightning lit up the sky, and she could see the young prince on deck.  He seemed to be the only one still there! He was working hard to keep the ship afloat.  He was throwing ropes out to his men who had jumped. But then, all at once, the waves got very high and the ship started to tip over.  The Prince was flung to the side of the ship and thrown overboard! Down into the sea he fell.

He dropped very fast.  What was the Little Mermaid to do?  She knew that human beings cannot live under the water. She dove deep and fast.  She reached out and was able to grab his shirt. Then she swam up to the surface as fast as she could.  At last she could pull his head above the water. There the two of them floated as the waves rose and fell.  By morning, the storm had passed. Yet the prince was as still as he had been all night. From far off the Little Mermaid saw tops of hills.  “Land!” she said.

She swam to the shore, pulling him behind her.  It was not easy to pull the young man up onto dry sand, but she did it.  Was he dead? She sang a sad song. All of a sudden, the prince started to move.  “Oh! Are you all right?” she asked, and touched his forehead.


All of a sudden, he started to stir.


Just then, she heard a group of girls come over.  At once, she dove into the sea and hid behind a rock.  They must not see her – a mermaid! The girls found the prince, who was now awake. They called for help and soon he was led off. The prince would never know that she had saved him.  The Little Mermaid sank into a deep gloom. When she went back home, her sisters wanted to know all about her trip.  But she was too sad to say anything.

Days went by.  Then weeks. The sisters went to their grandmother for help.  The old woman went to her granddaughter. “Child, what is the matter?” she said.

The Little Mermaid cried out, “Grandmother, I will never be happy again!” She told about meeting the prince and saving him.  Then having to leave him behind. “Unless I can somehow walk on land and be with that young man, I will be sad for the rest of my days!”  

“My dear,” said the grandmother, “you know as well as I do that it is not possible for a mermaid to walk on two legs!  Why, the only one who can do anything like that is the Sea Witch. But of course it is much too dangerous to go to her.”

The Sea Witch!  Before she knew it, the Little Mermaid was headed to the far corner of the sea, where the Sea Witch lived.


“The only one who can do that is the Sea Witch.”


“This is no problem,” said the Sea Witch when the Little Mermaid told her what she needed. “I fix problems much harder than this.  Why, to have legs all you need to do is to drink my potion.” Then she turned to face the girl. “But I don’t just give it away, you understand.”

“Oh!” said the Little Mermaid.  “What then is your price?” In her heart, she felt a lift.  So there was a way she could have two legs and be with the prince after all!  

“Oh, not too much,” said the Sea Witch.  “For one, you must give up your voice.”

“My voice?” said the Little Mermaid.  She knew her voice is what everyone loved about her the best.

“You don’t need it,” said the Sea Witch.  “Chitter, chatter, what a waste of time! But know this, little pretty.  If the prince marries someone else, the next day you must die. And your voice will stay with me forever.  But then again, who knows? He might choose YOU….”

The Little Mermaid’s heart leaped.  

The Sea Witch held out a glass with the green potion.  “So!” she said. “What are you going to do? Make up your mind!  I don’t have all day.”

The Little Mermaid took the potion and drank it.  At once she felt dizzy and in pain, as if a sword was being passed through her body. She spun and jerked about, then fell.  When she awoke, she was on the same dry land as when she had rescued the prince. Lifting up her head, she could see that her dream had come true.  Where her tail had been, she had two human legs!


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