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"We are the daughters of the air," they answered. "A mermaid has no immortal soul, and can never get one unless she wins the love of a human being. Her eternal life must depend upon a power outside herself. The daughters of the air do not have an immortal soul either, but they can earn one by their good deeds. We fly to the south, where the hot poisonous air kills human beings unless we bring cool breezes. We carry the scent of flowers through the air, bringing freshness and healing balm wherever we go. When for three hundred years we have tried to do all the good that we can, we are given an immortal soul and a share in mankind's eternal bliss. You, poor little mermaid, have tried with your whole heart to do this too. Your suffering and your loyalty have raised you up into the realm of airy spirits, and now in the course of three hundred years you may earn by your good deeds a soul that will never die."
The little mermaid lifted her clear bright eyes toward God's sun, and for the first time her eyes were wet with tears. On board the ship all was astir and lively again. She saw the Prince and his fair bride in search of her. Unseen by them, she kissed the Bride... ... and the Prince too. Then they gazed sadly into the seething foam, as if they knew she had hurled herself into the waves.
The Little Mermaid rose up with the other daughters of the air to the clouds that sailed on high.
"This is the way that we shall rise to the kingdom of God, after three hundred years have passed."
"We may get there even sooner," one spirit whispered. "Unseen, we fly into the homes of men, where there are children, and for every day on which we find a good child who pleases his parents and deserves their love, God shortens our days of trial. The child does not know when we float through his room, but when we smile at him in approval one year is taken from our three hundred. But if we see a naughty, mischievous child we must shed tears of sorrow, and each tear adds a day to the time of our trial." They flew away...
The Little Mermaid (IX)
Jun 26, 2012 by narro
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