Mermaid Myths & Musings

Recently, I had the privilege of writing a book about the legend behind a bronze mermaid sculpture that now resides near the creek in Salado, Texas. To be completely transparent, I was given good bones for the story. Oh sure, I created the lyrical, rhyming text in my new book. I love writing in rhyme. It’s how I sing — my voice. Sometimes it’s soulful and poetic, and sometimes it’s choppy and silly, but the pleasing rhythms and repetitive pronunciations fill me with joy. However, Grandmother Kelley, around 75 years ago gave me this story. Well, she gave it to her grandson Troy, who cherished it always, brought the story to life fashioned in bronze, and then he in turn lovingly shared the story with anyone and everyone. Sirena is quite the celebrity in Salado. She’s always keeping watch over the creek, she’s already been featured in print, and she has several scenes in a local play. Sirena’s also been recreated by artisans young and old, and she even inspired a local non-profit organization. Her resume is longer than many fully-functioning actual people! Impressive.

Sirena of Salado by sculptor Troy Kelley

Sirena of Salado by sculptor Troy Kelley

As I started sharing my writing project with friends and family, I felt like I needed to know more about mermaids in general. While Sirena isn’t a typical ocean mermaid, she did inherit a beautiful tail like her kin. So I did a little “fishing” and came up with some interesting trivia about mermaids and mermaid culture.

  1. Mermaids go way, way, back. All the way back to 1000 B.C. in Syria where legend has it, Atargatis, the goddess of the moon, had a wish to be a fish, but only her bottom half transformed.

  2. Mermaid means “maid of the sea.” Not maid, like do all the housework, but maid like a woman.

  3. Sometimes mistaken for manatees, mermaids, however, are not sea cows, but sea wows!

  4. Much like women, mermaids have superpowers! Right, gals? Mermaid superpowers are immortality, seeing the future, telepathy, and hypnosis.

  5. A mermaid’s kiss is magical (again much like women) and is thought to give the receiver the ability to breathe underwater.

  6. The telltale sign of a mermaid’s mood is the color of her tail.

  7. Mermaids are represented by outdoor sculptures in at least 42 countries, with the most being in the United States.

  8. Mermaids have been featured in as many as 16 movies or films.

  9. Once considered bad omens, mermaids now inspire resiliency and tenacity in people for a variety of reasons.

  10. Mermaid fashion, jewelry, and art are still some of the most sought after items for females of all ages.

I could go on, but I think you may now know just a little bit more about magical mermaids; a little bit more than you did before. As a newly educated mermaid enthusiast, you’ll love Maiden Mermaid — The Tale of Sirena. There’s even a sequel in the works that will be filled with more mermaid excitement.

Sirena and the Evil Catfish

Sirena and the Evil Catfish

Sheri Wall