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Beware of the mermaid – a she-devil lurking in the lake in waiting for her prey, much like the crocodile, with only its beady eyes and snout to hint at its being.
The mermaid doesn’t give herself away though. She remains hidden, no, obscured as if she and the water are one. By the time you see the waves caressing your feet and you feel her inauspicious presence, it is already too late.
She appears on the lake surface in all her glory and terrifying fury. You hardly notice the hair, long, straight, glistening and black as coal; the skin, pale as milk, gleaming and smooth as polished marble; or the tail, long, powerful, smooth as a dolphin’s and more reminiscent of an eel than a scaly fish, with muscles writhing and catching the morning glow.
You also don’t notice that she is at once the most stunning and most frightening creature you have ever seen. You don’t notice these things because everything happens in a blur. Continue reading “The Malevolent Mermaid – a Zim folktale”