Julia is weeping because she afraid that I will be seduced by the siren I’ve heard in the woods.
In her upset, she goes and takes a seashell from a treasure box. Then she sings into it in her pure, beautiful voice.
She gives the shell to me and tells me to put it to my ear the next time I hear the siren singing. “It might save you from drowning!” she says.
When she leaves me, she is still shaken, still certain that I will not be able to resist the siren on my own.
Oh, queen of my soul, why do you have so little faith in me?
Alfonso in The Song of the Yara, Grey Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.