There was once a little girl who believed with all her heart she was a mermaid. The mermaid girl was living in Florida on the beautiful Gulf Coast, when her mother and grandmother took her and her siblings to the “Jetties” at Indian Pass to swim. It was a popular place for locals, but not well-known for tourists. The Jetties are breakers made of huge boulders that, like a pier, one can tie a boat up to. It wasn’t the sunniest of days to go swimming. Gray clouds covered the August sky, and the sea was rolling with drab green humps like whales coming to shore, a telling sign that in the far distance there had been a big storm churning up the waters.
The little girl was in fact, a natural mermaid. Anyone would think she had a tail, as she swam out farther than anyone else. Like a dolphin, the little mermaid girl moved with grace and agility. She could stay underwater for many minutes at a time, never really wanting to come up for air. Her dreams were always the same, she was a mermaid. The vivid images filled her soul and heart as she dreamed she could leap with ease off a large sea rock into the turquoise waters. She would swim into deep waters, she dreamed, and collect small seed pearls that she would string into a necklace, like all mermaid girls do. She also dreamed she would find her mermaid clan one day.
This day, the little mermaid girl dived into drab-green rolling waves, and swam to her heart’s content, but then, her mermaid ears picked up a sense of lurking danger and she noticed when she surfaced that no one else was in the water. How strange, she mused, when she saw that everyone had lined up, single file, on the beach like statues, and her mother was on her knees.
No one made a sound – there was dead silence, even the sounds of waves had gone silent. Sara sensed something was terribly wrong. Her mermaid instincts told her to look behind her as a huge rolling wave cascaded toward the shore. It was then that she saw an immense gray white form break through the mountainous wave. The little girl mermaid knew she was in grave danger and with her own mermaid instincts, she stayed vertical in the water like any smart mermaid would do. She had such natural buoyancy, her little body just floated like a cork in the waters’ rolling waves and thus, she needed no movement to stay afloat.
The little mermaid girl watched with interest, not fear, at this amazing creature as it began a large slow circle around her and she silently watched as the shark encircled her. She understood innately, like any mermaid would, the danger that movement would bring. To the shark, she was a fish or a seal.
She flowed inland with the incoming waves to bring her to closer to shore with the incoming tide. The little mermaid girl watched the next circle of the great white shark as it drew closer and closer to her. A mermaid always knows when land rocks are safer when there is no time to dive to the bottom and hide among the coral, something that sharks always avoid. She knew it would be only one more circle before the Great White Shark had her in its huge jaws. She was close enough to the shark to see that it’s eyes were large dark orbs that appeared not to see her. Yet, she knew that soon the Great White Shark would be doing more than sensing her presence, being that she was altering the flow of water. It had not yet picked up her scent in the water.
She had to make a life or death decision. Then she heard a sound that was for her ears only – it was the warning call of a mermaid that told her it was now or never to learn to fly. The little mermaid girl forced herself up, out of the water, like a flying fish and landed at the shore’s edge. The Great White Shark was nipping at her heels as she ran up the slope of sand to safety. Never one to give up easily, the shark beached itself to get what it thought was a tasty meal. The little mermaid girl watched as it wiggle back into deeper water, yet it still chased her scent, along the shoreline turning back and forth.
As the little mermaid girl grew older, she wonders, to this day, the gift of silence from the beach goers, and that no one tried to help her. If they had, they would have brought the Great White Shark closer to shore and blocked her escape. The ocean that day was also protecting her as she rolled in with the tide. If the tide was ebbing out to sea, the little mermaid would have had no chance to survive at all. Her guardian mermaid was with her that day, and saved her life, to swim another day.