It was a stormy night. The sea was very rough and a huge ship was struggling with the rough weather. There were six rich merchants sailing back home on the ship. It was laden with food stuff, grains and money earned by these merchants on their six-month long trade trip. The rough weather had damaged the ship’s upper deck and it was getting difficult to navigate on the furious sea. Among the six merchants, there was a pious merchant who was praying with his praying beads continuously for their safe return.
Suddenly, they saw a faint light appearing at a distance. One of them shouted, “God is great! He has sent us some help. We can take help of this ship and get back home safely.” They all were so elated that they hugged each other and thanked God. But, to their utter dismay, they discovered that the ship was that of pirates. How helpless and unfortunate they were being caught by the sea robbers? The pirates, six of them, jumped on the captured ship. They threw the huge anchor. Captain Zola, the pirate captain jumped on the deck and glared and said, “This part of the sea belongs to me. Any ship that enters my territory has no escape. Looks like you are a wealthy bunch and it surely is a treat for me and my friends”. He walked around the trembling merchants and did not pay any heed to their mercy pleas. Zola showed off that he was a terror but he looked really clumsy while walking around. The other pirates were more dangerous than Zola. John was one of the pirates and always felt that Zola was a misfit as a captain. The pious merchant was very smart enough to notice this and decided to take advantage at the right time. Zola was walking up and down the deck and the captive merchants were waiting for his verdict. While walking Zola stumbled and fell flat on his face. Very clumsily he got up and tried to stand straight. The other pirates were disgusted seeing all this. Suddenly, he looked around and asked John, “Ahem. Where are we? Who are these people? Why are they trembling so much?” John very irritatingly said, “Captain, these are the rich merchants and we have captured their ship. The ship has lots of money and foodstuffs which we can take and release them. What say? Should we tie them and loot and escape? We need to be quick; the weather is getting bad.” Zola turned and said, “Ah ha, yes, yes, now I know. Tie them all and we take the riches and leave. I am tired and had a very hectic day. Come on make it fast.” John in all his excitement tied all of the merchants hurriedly.
While doing this he heard a feeble silken voice humming a song. He checked and strained his eyes but could not see anyone. He asked the pious merchant, “Hey good guy. Can you hear someone sing? “The pious merchant too could hear the sweet voice. He said, “Of-course I can! There, on the rock. Someone’s there.” John then flashed his lamp and to his utter astonishment, there was a mermaid sitting on the rock and singing. He could not believe his eyes and hurriedly ran to update Zola. “Captain, hurry there is a mermaid here! Let’s leave this ship and go. Seeing a mermaid is like inviting misfortune. I don’t want to die.” Zola rushed to see her and was mesmerized with her voice. He decided to wait. He ordered John to pull the mermaid on the ship. Zola’s crew protested but he was very clear to get her on the ship. The mermaid was loaded with dazzling gems and jewelry. She gave a look around and said, “Don’t be scared. I will not bring any bad luck to you instead will give you so much of riches and good luck that would be enough for your entire life. So, don’t think twice instead listen to me and do as is say.” Zola was wondering if she could be trusted or not. Suddenly the holy trader seized the opportunity and shouted out and said, “Captain she is right. Mermaids are known to warn of misfortunes but they also known to avert any omen and bring good luck to the people who see her”. The other merchants were wondering why is their friend helping the pirates? One of them warned him to keep quiet but the pious trader was determined to seize this opportunity. Zola, still in dilemma asked, “How sure are you about this? “The holy merchant then said, “I have read in scriptures. It is said on a rough weather day; the sight of a mermaid brings you good luck.” John again pleaded Zola to not believe the holy man but Zola wanted to give it a chance and did not want to return empty handed. He walked towards the mermaid and asked,” Beautiful damsel, tell me what is it that we should do to get the good luck?” The mermaid said, “First, release the traders as they will only bring you misfortune. I can see that the loot of their ship will cause you trouble and the sea god would turn the weather against your ship. You all will drown and die. None of you will survive. So, release them. I have just a few hours to survive. I have been cursed by the sea god. Some days back I swam to the shore. The sea god refrained me from doing this but I disobeyed him. Some sailors saw me on the rock and tried to trap me. I jumped into the sea but they combed the sea bed ruthlessly causing a lot of damage to the sea creatures. Then the sea god cursed me with a death spell . The curse was that if in the coming days, if I see a ship, I should not allow it to reach beyond this part of the sea bed else it will perish in the rage of the sea god. I heard some pleading and loud noises and guessed that it was some ship which was in trouble. You can take my jewelry as I am going to die.” Zola was quite thinking if he should believe in her heart wrenching story and felt bad that the dying mermaid had to pay a heavy price. Somehow, he got emotional and ordered John to release the traders. John protested again, but Zola ordered him to untie the travelers and ordered them to leave. The mermaid was very happy that the captain obeyed her and then she filled the pirates ship with all that they needed. She then jumped in the water and again got loads of gems that the pirates would have ever seen. “I have to go as the spell has started working and I will be dead now.”
Saying this the mermaid came up on the rock. She was almost weak and closed her eyes forever. The traders, by now, had already turned their ships away and were taking the opposite route. The holy trader loudly thanked Zola for releasing them and said, “Hey captain! You are a good soul. God bless you!” Zola was very touched with this and stumbled again and fell again on his back and said “Ahem, where are we and what are we up to? “John angrily shouted out loud and said “God save me !!” The pirates ship swiftly drifted away and they disappeared in the cold night.