A Ladies' Guide to Collecting Mermaid Love Songs
by Aimee Picchi
Imagine standing on a sandy sleeve jutting into the Atlantic. In the hazy distance where the sea meets the horizon, the mermaids sing, their voices dancing like strands of silver and black seaweed in a tide pool. The fluid harmonies draw you to the water's edge.
This is the point when many young ladies transform into mermaid-song enthusiasts. Yet the noble quest to pursue beauty for beauty's sake is no tame pastime such as needlepoint or china painting, especially if one is unprepared for the dangers lurking within the waters. This pamphlet, based on my experiences as a female in the field, will educate novices in these endeavors, and I hope, prevent you from repeating the missteps made by my beloved Miss Mori and myself.
Before you venture onto the water, secure the proper equipage: a boat supplied with ample fresh water and a hearty picnic lunch; a glass-blowing apparatus (a blow-pipe, a foot-bellows, etc.); and last, but not least, the steadfast belief that beauty can be captured.
Illustration: In our maiden voyage, my companion Miss Mori and I neglected to consider our needs. We packed a meager lunch, leaving us peckish and distractible, thereby more susceptible to the lure of mermaid song. A cerulean-scaled mermaid flashed her tail and sang a refrain of Type 1 (see The Taxonomy of the Mermaid Song, below).
The music proved too much for Miss Mori. "Do you hear it, Miss Holst?" she asked. "Isn't it lovely?" Quick as a minnow, she strode toward the gunwale.