The mermaid's purse
Selin Llewellyn was looking in a rock pool, when she spotted the mermaid.
‘Look!’ she shouted to her twin brother Seth, ‘it’s a mermaid!’
‘There’s no such thing as mermaids,’ he replied, trying not to look interested as he raced towards the pool.
‘Where is it?’ he asked.
‘Right there,’ replied Selin, pointing to an almost odd looking capsule in the water.
‘That’s a mermaid's purse,’ said Seth and dipped his hand into the water and gently brought it out. ‘It’s empty,’ he said and passed it to his sister. ‘I guess there could have been a mermaid inside,’ he said teasingly.
‘She might come back,’ said Selin, holding the purse ever so gently.
‘No-one’s coming back Selin,’ Seth sighed. ‘It’s just a sort of nursery that once had a small shark inside or a dogfish as most people call them. They stay in there for about nine months or more.’
‘But there is no hole where it could have escaped,’ said Selin, examining the capsule carefully. ‘Are you sure she has gone?’ Her brother frowned then nodded his head.
‘If that’s the case,’ said Selin, ‘I’ll take it home in this bucket of water!’ And she carried the small orange bucket, all the way back to Gusty Gully, convinced that a mermaid lived inside the purse. That night, when everyone slept, a strange thing happened.
Selin woke up to the sound of water splashing in the bucket besides her bed. It was still dark though the moon shone an eerie light through her bedroom curtains. She shivered! There it was again! Splish! Splash! A tiny voice called her name. ‘Selin! Selin! Let me out!’ Selin hid under the bedclothes and stayed there until morning.
‘You were dreaming,’ said Seth when Selin told him what happened to her during the night. Selin did not believe it was a dream.
‘I heard her calling my name!’ she said, ‘and she asked me to set her free!’ Seth shook his head and frowned.
As soon as breakfast was over, Selin ran all the way back to the beach, carrying her bucket with the mermaid's purse safely inside.
‘Where are you going?’ shouted Seth to his sister.
‘Down to the beach,’ Selin shouted back, ‘to let the mermaid go!’
And she smiled as she watched the waves carry the mermaid's purse back out to sea.