A Story From: Denmark
Read Time: ["6 to 10mins"]
For Ages: 5 to 7yrs., 8 to 10yrs.
Read More of This Story
The Little Mermaid took the potion and drank it.
“Say, Miss, are you in trouble?” It was none other than the prince! She tried to say something but no words came out of her mouth. “Can you not speak?” said he. She shook her head “no.” “Oh! Well then, let me take you to the castle. You can clean up there and get some dry clothes to wear.”
You can be sure the Little Mermaid was very happy to join the prince at the castle! At first, walking on her two legs was shaky. But soon she got the hang of it. That night, the prince showed her around the castle rooms. He would point to a portrait and tell her all about the person. When he said something funny, they laughed together. When the story was sad, her kind eyes told him that she knew why and she felt sad, too.
The next day was a royal party. The prince had not been not looking forward to going to it. Hours of standing with finely-dressed people who talk and talk and have nothing to say! He asked the Little Mermaid if she might come with him. She nodded a big “yes”! That day, with the Little Mermaid by his side, the prince felt glad. Sometimes he would make a comment in a low voice to her. And by her eyes and face, he knew that she understood.
After that, the prince wanted the Little Mermaid by his side every day. He thought he could even fall in love with her. But he still held out hope to marry the one with the lovely voice he remembered from when he had been rescued. Of course, it could not be his wonderful new friend who was not able to talk, let alone sing.
By her face and eyes, he knew that she understood.
The King called for his son one day. “Son,” he said, “your mother and I have made a decision. It is time that you took a bride. Lucky for you that we already picked one out for you.”
“What!?” said the prince. He only wanted to marry the woman with the beautiful voice that he remembered. “Who is she?”
“A princess from a nearby land. Tonight she is coming with her parents. We will make the wedding plans.”
The prince was crushed. And the Little Mermaid felt fear. She knew what would happen to her the day after the prince married someone else!
That night her troubles got even worse. What the Little Mermaid did not know was that the Sea Witch had put her voice into this princess. She was a stuck-up princess who thought only of herself. Yet when she spoke, it was the Little Mermaid’s voice that came out! The prince was stunned. He asked the princess to sing. It was the Little Mermaid’s voice that filled the room. The prince could not believe his luck! At last, he could marry the woman he had longed for all this time! When he shared his joy with the Little Mermaid, she tried to show that she was happy for him. But gloom filled her heart.
The Little Mermaid felt fear. She knew what would happen to her when the prince married someone else!
The next morning at dawn, the Little Mermaid went to the sea. Her sisters, worried since they had not heard from her, rose above the water to see how she was. Their youngest sister let them know the trouble she was in. The prince’s wedding was going to take place the very next day! And the day after that she must die. The sisters said not to worry, that they had an idea! They told her to come back to the shore later that night. Then they dove back into the sea.
That night, the Little Mermaid came back to the shore as she was told to do. The three sisters rose up again. Gone was their beautiful long hair. For they had cut it all off to give to the Sea Witch in exchange for a knife. With the knife, the Little Mermaid must kill the princess that very night. Then the wedding could not take place and she could return to the sea and be with her family. She took the knife for she knew how much they had done for her in love. But in her heart she knew she was not going to kill the princess.
The wedding day had arrived. The Little Mermaid stepped up to the wedding ship with the other guests. The wedding would take place at sunset.
In the meantime, the three sisters had returned home. They were met with an angry father. “Where is your sister?” the Sea King shouted. “Where have you all been?”
They told the father the trouble their youngest sister was in. The father swam up to the wedding ship. He saw the prince and princess getting ready to marry. He knew that his daughter did not use the knife the night before.
At once, the Sea King rushed to see the Sea Witch. She laughed. She said there was only one way to save his youngest daughter from her fate. If he would just hand over his scepter to her, the Little Mermaid could be saved. With the scepter in her hand, the Sea Witch would rule the underworld kingdom! The Sea King took a deep breath. What else could he do? So, he agreed.
The wedding was to take place at sunset.
The Sea Witch grabbed the scepter and laughed in glee. She rushed to the wedding ship to see her victory. The Little Mermaid saw the Sea Witch rise out of the sea. She saw that with the scepter, the Sea Witch had become a huge sea monster. Tentacles were twisting out from all over her body like an octopus. The Little Mermaid knew she must protect the prince and even his new bride. So she took out the knife. Just then, one of the Sea Witches tentacles reached out and lifted the Little Mermaid right off the ship! “This is the end for you!” crowed the Sea Witch.
Before the Little Mermaid knew it, she was wrapped up by the tentacle. She was spun to the very chest of the Sea Witch. And the knife she was holding – the Sea Witch’s very own knife – she used it and dove it deep into the chest of the monster.
The Sea Witch reeled back in pain and the Little Mermaid was freed. On the ship, the guests ran around in fear. The prince shot arrow after arrow at the monster. Finally, the Sea Witch dropped down under the water. As she fell, the Little Mermaid’s voice was let go, and it returned to her.
The princess then shouted in a gruff harsh voice, “What a lousy kingdom this is! You can’t even have a proper wedding!” The prince heard the princess and knew that she was not who he thought she was. Then the Little Mermaid started to sing. The prince knew that the voice he remembered belonged to the very one he had grown to love.
The angry princess stormed off the wedding ship. And her family followed close behind.
When the Sea King arrived, the scepter was floating in the sea, as if it were waiting for him. With a sweep of his arm, it was his again.
“Well!” said the Sea King. “I see my daughter is in good hands.” and, with a wave of his scepter, he lifted the Little Mermaid back onto the ship.
The prince put his arms around her. “Now I know it was you all along!” said the prince. “Will you marry me?” The Little Mermaid had her voice back now. But with all the happiness in her heart, she could not manage to speak. So she nodded “yes” with a warm smile. And a wedding on board ship took place after all.