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Introduction to Storytelling

Last updated date: 14th Mar 2023
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Introduction to the Story

"The Little Mermaid" is a Danish literary Fairy tale, written by Hans Christian Andersen, who was a Danish author. The story follows a young mermaid who is willing to give up her life as a mermaid in exchange for a human soul. The story was first published in 1837 as part of a book of children's fairy stories. In Copenhagen, Denmark, where the story was written and originally published, there is also a statue of the mermaid.


Let us read the complete story - The Little Mermaid


The Story: The Little Mermaid

The story of The Little Mermaid comes here.


The Sea King ruled the undersea world far out in the sea, where the water was extremely deep.


His castle was located in the deepest part of the sea. Blue coral was used to construct the walls. The shells on the roof opened and closed when the water moved past. And it was there that the Sea King, his mother, and his four daughters, each born a year apart, lived.


Little Mermaid


Little Mermaid


The Little Mermaid was the youngest of the four princesses. She spent a lot of her time swimming to ships that had sank to the ocean's bottom. The spacecraft were laden with treasures from beyond the stars! She'd fill her arms with her collection and set it up here and there. She would sing the entire time. Fish crowded around her to hear what she was saying. The voice of the Little Mermaid was the most lovely under the water.


When the girls aged 15, they knew they'd be able to swim to the surface for the first time. Because she was the youngest, the Little Mermaid would have to wait a long time! As a result, she forced her grandmother to tell her everything she knew about life on land. She knew a lot of stories about ships and places, as well as a lot of stories about people.


The eldest sister was soon to turn 15 years old. She was the first person to be allowed to reach the surface. When she returned, she had many wonders to share with her sisters! She described lying down on soft white sand. A deep blue sky with puffy white clouds hung high above. She claimed that once the sun sank, the entire sky turned gold and red. She'd seen the birds soaring high above her, dipping and turning in the red and gold sky.


It was winter when the next sister turned 15.


She described icebergs floating in the sea, shining brightly. She remarked, as if frightened, that all the ships stayed far away from the icebergs. The icebergs, on the other hand, did not appear to be alone. They floated close to one other, as if they were friends.


When it was the third sister's time, she related how she had moved as near as she could to a town's gate. People were shouting and horses were clip-clopping through the street. She even heard music she'd never heard before.


All of this surprised the Little Mermaid. It wasn't right that she was the one who had to wait the longest! She, too, reached the age of 15 at some point. She could now rise above the surface and examine the situation for herself. 


The Little Mermaid was next to a large ship when she rose above the ocean. Beautiful music was playing on the ship. On the deck, sailors were dancing. They were laughing and having a fun and good time. It's got to be a get-together! The Little Mermaid could see better every now and then as the waves pushed her up. A handsome young man walked out onto the deck. A hundred missiles shot into the air as he did so. He was the focus of the assembly. Was it his birthday? She drew nearer to the surface.


Ship


Ship


That young man appeared to appeal to all of the men. The sailors would chuckle whenever he spoke. They congratulated him on occasion by patting him on the back. That caused his crown to slip off. The men laughed and took it. "A crown," the Little Mermaid explained. "I'm sure he's a prince."


Suddenly, the sky darkened as the wind gained strength. The seamen began to rush around the deck. They snatched the sail from the mast. The ship swooped down and dipped. On the high waves, it rolled side to side and up and down.


Then there was lightning. Thunder. A heavy rainstorm blew in. On the stormy waves, the poor ship began to tip! The Little Mermaid couldn't see anything since it was so dark. The sky was then lit by lightning, and she could see the young prince on deck. He appeared to be the only one left! He was putting in a lot of effort to keep the ship afloat. He was yanking ropes from the sky for his troops who had leapt. But then, all of a sudden, the waves became extremely high, and the ship began to tip over. The Prince was thrown overboard after being tossed to the side of the ship! He fell into the sea.


He went down fast. What was the Little Mermaid to do in this situation? She was well aware that humans cannot survive in water. She went deep and went quickly. She was able to grab his shirt when she reached out. She then swam as quickly as she could to the surface. She was finally able to lift his head above the water. As the waves rose and fell, the two of them drifted. The storm had passed by before morning. Despite this, the prince remained as motionless as he had been all night. The Little Mermaid could see the tops of hills from afar. She said, "Land!"


She pulled him behind her as she swam to the shore. It wasn't easy, but she succeeded in getting the young man onto dry sand. Was he no longer alive? She performed a sad song. The prince began to move all of a sudden. “Oh! "Are you okay?" she asked, touching his forehead.


She was about to leave when she heard a group of girls approaching. She dove into the water and hid behind a rock right away. They can't see her – she's a mermaid! The girls discovered the prince, who had awakened. They called for help, and he was shortly brought away. She would never tell the prince that she had saved him. The Little Mermaid was wrapped in gloom. Her sisters wanted to know everything about her trip when she returned home. But she couldn't say anything because she was too sad.


Days passed. Then there were weeks. The sisters sought assistance from their grandmother. The grandmother went to see her granddaughter. "What's the matter, child?" she said.


"Grandmother, I will never be happy again!" cried the Little Mermaid. She related how she met the prince and rescued him. Then there's the matter of leaving him behind. "I'll be sad for the rest of my days unless I can walk on land and be with that young man!" 

"My dear," the grandmother explained, "you know as well as I do that a mermaid cannot walk on two legs!" The Sea Witch is the only one who can do something like that. But, of course, going to her is just too dangerous."


The Witch of the Seas! The Little Mermaid was soon on her way in the furthest reaches of the sea, where the Sea Witch lived.


When the Little Mermaid told her what she required, the Sea Witch said, "This is no issue." "It's far more difficult for me to solve problems than this." Why, all you have to do to have legs is drink my potion." She then turned to face the girl. "However, you must understand that I do not simply give it away."


The Little Mermaid said, "Oh!" "So, what's your price?" She felt a surge of energy in her heart. So there was a method for her to have two legs and still be with the prince!


"Oh, no," the Sea Witch cautioned. "For starters, you'll have to give up your voice."

"My voice?" the Little Mermaid said. She was well aware that her voice was the feature that everyone loved the most.


"You don't need it," the Sea Witch explained. "What a waste of time, chitter, chitter!" But, little beauty, keep this in mind. You must die the next day if the prince marries someone else. And I'll never forget the sound of your voice. On the other hand, who knows? "He might pick you..."


The heart of the Little Mermaid jumped.

The Green Potion was held out by the Sea Witch in a glass. "So," she exclaimed. "How are you going to handle it?" Make up your mind! "I don't have the whole day."


The potion was taken by the Little Mermaid, who swallowed it. She felt disoriented and in pain all at once, like if a blade were being thrust through her body. She spun and jerked around before falling. She awoke on the same dry land she had been on when she rescued the prince. She could see that her dream had come true when she raised her head. She had two human legs where her tail had been!


"Say, Miss, do you think you're in trouble?" It was the prince, of course! She attempted to speak, but nothing came out of her mouth. "Are you unable to speak?" he said. "No," she said with a shake of her head. “Oh! Let me take you to the castle, then. You can clean up and change into dry clothes there."


You can bet the Little Mermaid was happy to be invited to the castle by the prince! Walking on her two legs was difficult at first. But she got the hang of it quickly. The prince took her on a tour of the castle that night. He'd point to a portrait and tell her everything she needed to know about the subject. They both laughed when he said something funny. Her kind eyes told him that she understood why the narrative was tragic and that she, too, was sad.


The next day, there was a royal celebration. The prince was not looking forward to attending it. Numerous hours spent in the company of well-dressed folks who talk and chat yet have nothing to offer! He invited the Little Mermaid to join him. Yes, she said with a big nod! The prince was happy that day since he had the Little Mermaid at his side. He would occasionally make a low-pitched remark to her. And he could tell she understood by her eyes and expression.


The prince wanted the Little Mermaid by his side every day after that. He even considered falling in love with her. But he clung to the hope of marrying the woman with the sweet voice he recalled from his rescue. It couldn't possibly be his beautiful new friend, who couldn't even speak, let alone sing.


Little Mermaid


Little Mermaid


One day, the King summoned his son. "Your mother and I have made a decision, son," he said. It's past time for you to marry. Fortunately for you, we've already chosen one for you."


The prince said, "What?!?" He only wanted to marry the woman he remembered having a lovely voice. "Can you tell me who she is?"


"A princess from a neighbouring country." She'll be here tonight with her folks. We'll make the wedding arrangements."


The prince had been shattered. Fear overtook the Little Mermaid. She was well aware of what would occur the day after the prince married someone else!


Her problems became considerably severe that night. What the Little Mermaid didn't realise was that the Sea Witch had imbued this princess with her own voice. She was a self-centered princess who only cared about herself. When she spoke, though, it was the voice of the Little Mermaid! The prince was taken aback. He asked that the princess sing. The voice of the Little Mermaid permeated the room. The prince could hardly believe his great luck! He could finally marry the woman he had longed after for so long! When he told the Little Mermaid about his joy, she tried to indicate that she was happy for him. Her heart, though, was filled with gloom.


The Little Mermaid went to the water the next morning at dawn. Her sisters, alarmed since they hadn't heard from her, climbed above the water to check on her. Their younger sister informed them that she was in trouble. The prince's wedding was scheduled for the next day! Then she has to die the next day. The sisters assured me that I didn't have to be concerned since they had a plan! They advised her to return to the shore later that evening. They dove back into the sea after that.


That night, the Little Mermaid did as she was told and returned to the shore. The three sisters climbed to their feet once more. Their lovely long hair had gone. Because they had chopped it all off to present to the Sea Witch in exchange for a knife, they had cut it all off. The Little Mermaid must slay the princess with the knife that very night. The wedding would then be cancelled, and she would be able to return to the sea and be with her family. She accepted the knife because she understood how much they had given in love for her. But she knew in her heart that she would not kill the princess.


The wedding day had finally arrived. The Little Mermaid joined the other guests on the wedding cruise. At sunset, the wedding would take place.


The three sisters had gone home in the meantime. They were greeted by an angry father. The Sea King shouted, "Where is your sister?" "Can you tell me where you've all been?"


They informed their father of their little sister's predicament. The father jumped into the water and swam up to the wedding ship. He noticed the prince and princess preparing to marry. His daughter had not used the knife the night before, he knew.  


The Sea King hastened to visit the Sea Witch right away. She burst out laughing. She claimed that there was only one way to spare his younger daughter from the fate she was about to face. The Little Mermaid may be spared if he simply handed up his sceptre to her. The Sea Witch would rule the underworld empire with the sceptre in her grasp! The Sea King took a deep breath. What more was there for him to do? As a result, he agreed.


The Sea Witch snatched the sceptre and smiled happily. She dashed over to the wedding ship to celebrate her triumph. The Little Mermaid noticed the Sea Witch emerge from the water. She noticed that the Sea Witch had transformed into a massive sea monster after wielding the sceptre. Like an octopus, tentacles twisted out from all over her body. The Little Mermaid was well aware that she had to safeguard the prince and his new bride. So she took out the knife. The Little Mermaid was carried off the ship by one of the Sea Witches' tentacles! The Sea Witch screamed, "This is the end for you!"


The tentacle had wrapped itself around the Little Mermaid before she even realised it. She was dragged into the Sea Witch's chest. And she used the weapon she was holding - the Sea Witch's very own knife – to slash the monster's chest open.


The Little Mermaid was liberated when the Sea Witch recoiled in agony. The passengers on board the ship were terrified and rushed around in circles. The prince shot the creature with arrows after arrows. Finally, the Sea Witch sank underwater. The Little Mermaid's voice was let go as she fell, and it returned to her.    


"What a terrible realm this is!" the princess exclaimed, her voice gruff and harsh. You're not even allowed to have a decent wedding!" When the prince heard the princess, he realised she wasn't who he had assumed she was. The Little Mermaid then began to sing. The prince recognised the voice as belonging to the woman he had grown to adore.

The angry princess sailed away from the wedding ship. Her family trailed closely behind.

The sceptre was floating in the sea when the Sea King came, as if it had been waiting for him. It was his again with a sweep of his arm.


The Sea King exclaimed, "Well!" "It appears that my daughter is in capable hands." He lifted the Little Mermaid back onto the ship with a wave of his sceptre.


The prince encircled her with his arms. The prince said, "Now I know it was you all along!" "Are you willing to marry me?" The Little Mermaid had regained her voice. But, despite her joy, she couldn't find the words to express herself. With a bright smile, she nodded "yes." After all, there was a wedding on the ship.


Summary of the Story

Many of us remember watching Disney's The Little Mermaid as children, a film about a mermaid who gives up her voice in order to walk onshore and be with a human prince. But what if you were told that the actual story is nothing like the movie version?


What if the plot was a little darker and more serious? Yes, it is. The original Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid is very different from the Disney version we are all familiar with, and we will analyse the story's origins and summary in this lesson.

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FAQs on The Little Mermaid Story

1. Give the origin of the story: The Little Mermaid?

The Little Mermaid is a Danish fairy tale that was created by Hans Christian Andersen, a well-known author noted for his compelling fairy stories. Andersen was born in 1805 and died in 1875. In 1837, he included The Little Mermaid in a bigger collection called Fairy Tales Told for Children. Between 1850 and 1862, the story was reproduced in two more fairy tale collections.

2. Who was the Prince? And was she friendly?

The Prince is one of the characters of the story, who isn't very family friendly.