Tanjay has a wide windingriver where people bathe,wash, and hold picnics oncein a while. It is a busy placewhere people work, laugh,and gossip on its banks. It isfull of activity during the dayand when the darknesscomes, everyone hurrieshome- afraid to be left alone.There’s a reason why they doso.
Suddenly she heard asplash and when sheturned around, she wasstruck dumb with fright.She saw a beautifulwoman but to her horrorshe was that thewoman’s body was thatof a fish with a tail. Shecould not move.
The mermaidsmiled and asked,“Are you afraid ofme?”“No,” the girlreplied, “but I’m ina hurry. It’s gettinglate”.“Won’t you go withme for a shortwhile?” themermaid invited.
“Not now. Mother willbe waiting for me,” thegirl politely refused.“All right. I’m going togive you something butdon’t ever tell yourmother about me. Waithere awhile.”
With that the mermaid plungedinto the water and vanished underthe shadow of a big treeThe girl blinked her eyes. Her feargrew worse. Practically, she placedall her washed clothes in her basinand ran blindly away.
It was already darkwhen she reached herhouse. Pale andfrightened, she facedher mother but shecould not say any word.Her mother, sensingsomething wrong, askedher what happened. Thepoor girl did not want totell her mother but sheafraid her mother wouldsuspect her of other hadthings. So she told herstory.
As soon as she finished,she was slapped in theface by an invisiblebeing. From that timeon, the girl neverbathed in the riveragain.
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