Showing posts with label fairy tale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fairy tale. Show all posts

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mermaids

Mermaids 1
Mermaids are legendary aquatic creatures with the upper body of a female and the tail of a fish. Mermaids are associated with perilous events like floods, shipwrecks, storms and drowning and in other folk traditions they can be bestowing boons or falling in love with humans. Mermaids, the mythical creatures, have long captivated the imagination of the people and have also thrilled us in documentaries paintings, fairytales as well as in the cinemas.

These seafaring fish ladies come to the aid of men and according to some belief would hug them and drown them to death while out at sea. The earliest mermaid legend comes from Syria and in ancient Syrian was a goddess by the name of Atargatis. She was a fertility goddess whose cult spread to Rome and Greece and was associated with water. She is often depicted in mermaid form and could be perhaps the original mermaid. According to legend, she plunged into a lake to become a fish but only her bottom half was transformed.

Mermaids – Fish like People

In old English, `mer’, means `sea’ and `maid’ meant woman and mermaids are considered to be women of the sea. Following the line of etymological logic a `mer’ man – merman would be a man of the sea. Mermaids and mermen are fish like people who swim through the seas and the oceans. In some of the legends of the Pacific Islands it is believed that the humans descended from both mermaids as well as mermen and seems way back in time that their tails somehow dropped and people were able to walk on land.

An example is taken from the creator god Vatea who was depicted as being half human and half fish. Female mermaids and male mermen are imaginary being with the upper bodies of human beings and the lower bodies of fish. Mentioned often in European legends they occur occasionally in the folklore of sea travelers from various regions of the world. Though they are portrayed as being attractive, they are also associated to danger and their dual nature reflects humankind’s relationship with the sea, which could either be realm of fear and disaster or beautiful and calm.

Mermaids, Part of Folklore

As humans learned slowly how to survive at sea, mermaids became a part of the folklore and legends and there were no more gods only spirits of the sea which brought both good and bad events to sailors when they encountered them. Some were of the belief that they could transform themselves to human state. Irish folklore to this day protect this lore and some famous Persian books like the Arabian Nights speak on multiple occasions of the human race of sea dwellers, minus the fishtails, which could live both in water as well as on land.

Though we see the mermaids as part of popular culture and folklore remnants of ancient times, the mythology around the mermaids has influenced some to the earlier civilizations and changed the way of looking at the mysteries and danger hidden in the unexplored sea. Due to their enticing looks of half humans and half fish, mermaids managed to remain the part of our history as the most famous mythical creatures which lived in the water.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Briar Rose, An Intriguing Fairytale Of All Times



Far away in fairyland, lived a king and a queen, who were blessed with great wealth and riches but sad to say were not blessed with a child. They had practically everything that money could buy, with plenty of fine clothes, good food to eat and drink and an awesome mansion to live in together with fine coaches to transport them wherever they would go. They had been married for many years now and were longing for a child of their own and were very much grieved with this thought. One day as the queen was strolling by the side of the river at the further end of her garden, she came across a fish lying by the wayside gasping and almost dying near the bank of the river.

The queen took compassion on the little fish and gently placed it back in the river to save its life. The little fish was very thankful to the queen and before swimming away, lifted it tiny head out of the waters and informed the queen that her wish would be fulfilled and in due course she would soon have a daughter in return for the kindness shown and swam away. What the little fish had foretold the queen came to pass and she was soon blessed with a daughter who was exceeding beautiful so much so that the king could not cease looking at her with joy and decided to hold a great feast to make merry and show his beautiful daughter to all. And so he held a grand feast for his daughter by calling all his noblemen, kinsmen, friends and neighbors while the queen decided to call the fairies too, so that they could bless their child with kindness and goodness.


There were thirteen fairies in that land and the king and the queen had only twelve golden dishes from which the fairies could eat from and hence the queen was forced to leave one fairy out from her list of invitees. So the great day of celebration dawned and all those invited came for the grand celebration. The twelve fairies came along each wearing a high read cap on her head with high heeled red shoes on their feet, carrying a long white wand in the right hand. The palace was filled with fun and music, food, laughter and merriment. As the feast was drawing to an end, all the fairies gathered around the child to give their best wishes to the little princess. Each fairy came forward bestowing their good wishes to the little infant while one blessed her with goodness, the other with beauty and another with riches, with each of them blessing her with all the goodness of life.

While the eleventh fairy was almost done with her shower of blessings to the child, a little chaos rook place in the palace courtyard and the word spread that the thirteen fairy who was not invited had come along fuming with rage. She made her entry donned with a black cap on her head with black shoes on her feet and a broomstick in her hand. Since she was not invited she was filled with rage and set out to take revenge for this act. She cursed the princess saying that in her fifteenth year, the princess would be wounded by a spindle and fall down dead. The royal parents were very much upset over this curse but the twelfth fairy who had not yet granted her blessing to the princess intervened and lightened the curse saying that the princess would be wounded but would not die. Instead she would only be drawn in a deep sleep for a hundred years. The king, deep down in his heart hoped to save his little princess from the curse and so he ordered all the spindles of the land to be brought up, burnt and destroyed thus ensuring that there were no spindles in his kingdom.

The little child grew up to be a beautiful princess with the blessing of the fairies and turned out to be very beautiful, well behaved and loved by all the people of that land. On the day the princess turned fifteen years of age, it so happened that she was left alone at the palace and the king and the queen were not around and the little princess wandered around the palace curiously looking into all the chambers of the palace till she finally came to an old tower with a narrow staircase at the end of which was a little door. Still curious to know what lay beyond the door, she advanced in the direction of the door and found a golden key on the door. When she turned the key, the door opened and she saw an old lady spinning busily at the spindle. The princess ventured further into the room and got interested in the spindle asking the old woman what she was doing. Spinning was the reply combined with humming and the buzz of the wheel.

The princess was fascinated and asked the old woman to teach her the spindle who obliged her to teach her. Scarcely had the princess touched the spindle, the prophecy of the fairy took place and the spindle wounded her and she fell down lifeless on the ground. As foretold by the twelfth fairy, the princess had fallen into a deep slumber. The king and the queen who had just returned also fell into a deep sleep along with all the courts men and the horses and all the people of that kingdom. It was like time stood still and each one at that point of time remained rooted in the act they were indulged in. when the princess got wounded and fell into a deep sleep. While the princess and all the inhabitants of the kingdom slept, a large hedge of thorns gradually grew around the palace and with each passing year grew higher and higher till the palace was hidden completely and could not be seen.

There was a report about the beautiful sleeping, Briar Rose, as she was named by the king and several kings and princes made attempts to break through the thicket to get into the palace. As years passed by, and the hundred years drew near, a young prince got to know about the Sleeping Beauty, Briar Rose and made way to reach the palace. On completion of the hundred years the spell was broken and the prince could pass through beautiful flowers right through the palace to the place where Briar Rose laid. He was spellbound and mesmerized by her beauty that he kissed her and the spell was completely broken and the princess awoke along with all the people in the kingdom that had fallen asleep. The prince and the princess had a new beginning with the blessing of the king and queen together with all the people of that land and they lived happily thereafter.