I was in a race on a large lake to row to the other side, when I found myself so far
in the lead that I was then and there alone. I was not lonely, due to the fact that my
compatriots, my opponents, and also my friends were not far behind me. I looked
around and then realized that a mermaid had jumped into my boat. Startled I
yelped and nearly dropped my oar in the water. I did not do that, because how
then would I finish the race, or even get back to where I had started?

The mermaid looked at her hand and at my little boat and sighed a moment.
Then she laid back and watched the sky. A small frown crossed her face and she
looked at me.

“What do you want, oh beautiful creature?”

“Want? You know full well. Do not tease me like that.”

“Well maybe I do, and maybe I don’t. I am not always so clairvoyant as you may

“Your boat is small and the sky is getting gray.”

“Yes, I can see these things as well as you, but that didn’t stop me from leaving
the shore. Now tell me what it is you want or go back over into the depths from
where you came.”

“You are so rude to me!” She pouted and laid again with her back against the
bottom of the boat, her tail flitting against the top of the water out the front. Her bare
breasts, perfectly formed and glistening with water were near me and I so to was
her waist and then where her skin met scales. Her wet hair not only fell carelessly
on the bottom of the boat, but since it was indeed so small, onto my feet as well
and I tried to shift out from under her wet locks.

“I am not trying to be rude! I just think that you might be happier if you had left me
alone, that is all. I did not wish you here, nor do I necessarily wish you away, but
you are here and seem disappointed with what you see, so why not go back to
the watery depths? I am not trying to be rude to you only that I want you to be in a
more pleasant disposition. Is that so bad?”

“You are a bad liar. You should accept me here. I already saw you looking me
over. Why not enjoy my beauty and indulge in a more profitable course of
conversation? I think you are weak.”

“That is unfair!” I could think of nothing else to say so I then continued to row, as
my friends had taken a different path to reach the other side they were not yet
close enough to me to see the fanciful creature that rode along in my boat. So I
looked to the sky as my mermaid did and saw that gray had covered it
completely. “I should finish this and be done with the race. The other side is close
enough to finish quickly, and if I stay too long I will be jeered at for insulting my

“If they are so easily turned against you, then are you sure they are your friends? I
think you and I would be happier. Come with me under the water, I have a home
there, encrusted with jewels that sparkle in the night and the day alike. I have a
warm bed that never gets a chill even when there is a draft in the house.”

“Thank you all the same but I must decline. There is nothing under the water for
me. Even your company would be too much for me to bear. Now I think you are
being rude. You know you cannot come to shore with me, when my friends see
you with me they will ridicule me out of jealousy.”

“You certainly are a bad liar. they would hate me and you know it. They would
think you strange, as you are, and revile you as you should be reviled.”

“This is too much!” I rowed more strenuously, even though it took more effort now
to row at the same pace I had been rowing. The mermaid did nothing to help, but
stuck her tail even further into the water to try to hinder my progress.

Now the shore was coming close upon us and I shouted, “Enough!” and tried to
tip her over-board. It was with little success and she simply smiled a devils smile,
winking at me as she flipped herself back into the lake.

On the shore my friends chided me for slowing down at the end, saying that I was
such a good sportsman that I could easily have beaten them if they had had a
head start, and that my stopping toward the end was mean. I smiled a careful smile
and tried to apologize, that I did no such thing but got distracted by the oncoming
of the dark clouds. At this they laughed at me for the sun was out again and not a
speck of gray was in the sky. I frowned and went for a walk around the lake to get

I didn’t want to take my boat back as I might have to meet my mermaid friend


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