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The Sea and the Stray (Fairytale)
Once upon a time there was a mermaid, and she was very lonely. So one day the mermaid went to the shore.
There she saw a dog. It was homeless and hungry and starving and sad, and she felt sorry for it. She immediately held out her arms for the sad dog, and he came to her. She took him down to her underwater castle of crystal and took care of him. He ate well, and soon was happy and had never been better.
The mermaid one day took the dog back to the seashore. There she let it run on the sand. She saw a young man walking on the shore, and the dog suddenly ran to him. The young man laughed and called out a name, and the dog answered. The mermaid knew that the dog belonged to him. The young man took the dog home, leaving the mermaid once again alone.
In her sadness, the mermaid wished that she could have legs to walk on the sand.
The mermaid looked up at the sky and saw a star, and she wished to have legs to walk on the sand.
The mermaid felt herself changing. She no longer had a tail, but legs. She was overjoyed, and went bounding onto the beach. She was not a human, but had four legs… she was a dog.
The mermaid ran and followed the young man and the dog to his home. The mermaid bounded up the steps, but was suddenly intercepted. The dog did not recognize her and snarled at her, snapped at her, and made her leave. Dejected and hurt, she ran away.
The mermaid was lost now. She tried to find her way back to the shore, but she could not remember where she had come from, and she was soon lost. She wandered for many days. Starving and injured from the snap of the dog, she could not go very far before she would die, and she knew this.
Please, she prayed, let me go home. Let me go home.
Unable to walk much farther, she crawled over some rocks, and she realized it was a cliff. She stared over the cliff at the ocean, so close but still so far.
She could not make it to the ocean.
I will die, she knew, I will die here with no one. I have made it home, but I have not made it far enough.
As she lay there, slowly feeling death creep upon her, she saw a star floating upon the sky like a beautiful silent ship, and she wished to be as she was again, she wished to be a mermaid. She wished that she might have her tail to swim in the sea once more.
She felt herself changing, and she found she was once again a mermaid.
But it was too late. She was restored to her former health, but she was too weak to make it to the ocean, only just out of her reach. Desperately she tried to reach the water, but she did not have enough strength. She could feel herself weakening, and she lay upon the cliff over the ocean.
She heard a noise behind her, and she looked up to see the dog approaching. He ran to her eagerly, and licked her face with concern. And as the mermaid lay dying on the cliff, she smiled, for she had found love.
She had found love at last.