One day, when I was standing on the balcony of my sea tower, the most extraordinary figure rose out of the water. He seemed to be some kind of a man, with a bluish face and long, sea-green hair. He swam towards the tower, and I was amazed to see that the sharks took no notice of him.
“He must be a merman,” said my governess Bonnetta. Man? I had never seen a man before! I hurried down to the first floor so we could see him better. He tried to speak to us, but we couldn’t understand him. His voice was very hoarse and husky.
Since then, he has been coming back every day. He has crowned himself with water plants, and he tries to speak to me by blowing furiously into a conch shell. Today, he has brought me a mermaid, and she can speak my language. She tells me that her brother is dying of love for me. I’m not interested in him, but I do love her!
The Sea Tower Princess in An Impossible Enchantment, Grey Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.