Story Saturday: "The Little Siren"

"The Little Siren"

Once upon a time, there was a group of sirens who haunted the waters of a coastal kingdom for many years. Anyone living in the kingdom with half a brain knew to avoid the portion of the sea that the sirens dominated, for there were too many stories about men getting lost out there and never returning. This time, however, was different. The kingdom was under attack by a band of invaders. The prince devised a plan to sneak up on the invaders by hiding away near the forbidden part of the sea where no other man would dare travel. If his plan failed, his men would surely be defeated by the invading conquerors. Some nearby sirens overheard his strategy and laughed among themselves at how foolish the prince was to bring an army of men into their territory that they could tempt and drown. The youngest siren, however, had something else in mind.


"It's almost too easy," one of her sisters groaned as she watched the prince's knights kneel in wait behind the rocks for the invaders to approach. If the sirens didn't get to them first, the conquerors would. They were greatly outnumbered.

"Why would you want to prey on such a small group when the other army outnumbers them so?" asked the little siren. "Are you worried your voice is not strong enough to travel that far?"

Questioning the strength of a siren's voice was the most insulting thing another siren could do. As the youngest siren threw one accusation after another at her sisters, they each drew their sights on the invading army while joining their voices in a deadly melody until they were safely away from the prince and his knights. The little siren couldn't help but linger behind. The prince was so handsome and daring to risk entering their territory. She thought it would be a terrible shame if he fell under the spell of the siren's song. He also cared about his kingdom a lot if he was willing to enter forbidden waters to protect it. She bobbed above the waves for a moment but ducked back behind a rock when she thought she saw him meet her gaze.

The prince's knights looked on in shock as the invading army marched straight into the sea, lured by the song of the sirens, never to be seen again. Though they did not understand what they had witnessed, the knights retreated to the safety of the castle to celebrate their victory. The little siren emerged from the waves yet again hoping to get a better look at the prince. She watched the knights' backs as they rode away. Yet, no matter how far she dared to walk beyond the sea, she could not pick him out among the armed men. An unexpected tap on her shoulder from behind startled her into a shriek.

As she turned around, she stumbled and found herself in the arms of the prince. Like her, he had been hiding behind the rocks, waiting for her to emerge again. She panicked, fearing what he might do to her now that she didn't have the sea to protect her, but his gaze was warm and friendly. Though he wasn't sure exactly what she had done, he knew that she was responsible for the defeat of the conquerors. He invited her to the palace to thank her properly. She accepted his invitation with some hesitance, worried about what that her sisters might think she had abandoned them.

The prince had his maids dress the siren in a beautiful gown that shimmered like the sea and brought her to a festival that was full of dance and merriment. The little siren wanted to sing along with the music that the villagers played, but she knew the danger that her voice brought upon humans, she resisted. Suddenly, the music stopped. There was a hush over the crowd. The festival seemed frozen in time as the little siren recognized the song of one of her own sisters that flooded the air. Her sister walked gracefully among the frozen onlookers and reached out to her, imploring her to return to the sea, but the little siren shook her head. She did not want to go back to a life of seduction and killing.

When it was clear she would not oblige, the older siren turned her attention to the prince, gazing into his eyes and taking him under her spell. He followed her mindlessly with every step she took, her transparent dress flowing in the wind, as she led him away from the festival and toward the sea. The little siren knew that he would surely drown if she did not stop her sister. She forced all of her energy into breaking the spell of the siren song. Inhaling deeply, she sang with all her might. Her beautiful melody of peace and harmony flooded the air, breaking the hold that her sister had over the villagers and the prince. They looked around in confusion, not sure why they had stopped celebrating. The music and dancing resumed just as it was before the wicked siren interrupted them. The siren looked at her little sister in disgust.

"If this is the life you choose for yourself, you will never be one of us again," she said before returning to the sea.

"I believe that's the second time you saved my life," the prince said, sneaking up once gain behind the little siren.

"You knew?" she asked him. "I was afraid to sing to you. I didn't want to trick you into wanting to be with me."

"That's impossible," he said. "I've been under your spell all along."

From that day forward, the little siren used her song for good, breaking the deadly spell that her sisters cast over waters that surrounded the castle so the kingdom's seas would never be haunted again. She became their beloved new princess, and they all lived happily ever after.

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