Ariel is a pretty and innocent mermaid who falls in love with a fisherman, roaming through the ocean with his net for a living. She loves how awfully strong he is, pulling the net full of fish with his gigantic arms, and just how confident and contented he is with his life. Little Ariel loves to watch him from afar, seeing him toiling in the sun, gulping down his water, chatting with his boat mates and laughing loudly. Thus, she decides she wants to be with him: she’ll follow the boat to the shore and try to talk to him — the only problem is her little tail. She comes to see the sea’s magician, who demands Ariel’s lovely voice in exchange for her legs. The magician has always been amused by this young little mermaid — how pure, how fragile, how lovable this creature is! She has seen Ariel growing up in the loving arms of her father and the protection of her family, and is curious as to how Ariel would survive outside of this warm shelter. An opportunity has finally come, and just to add a bit of drama the magician takes away Ariel’s voice — she wants to see the mermaid live only with her vulnerable soul and good will, since nothing would be more amusing to her. Ariel is nevertheless unaware of this attention and readily agrees. She swims towards the surface with her new long legs, walks on the shore, and sets her heart to find her charming fisherman.
The mermaid finds her fisherman immediately, sitting next to his boat with his chunk of freshly caught fish. She approaches him, smiles amicably and blinks her blue innocent eyes, glittering with swirling watery waves of affection. She sits down next to him, her dainty fingers playing with her red hair. The fisherman is not impressed. Ariel is bewildered, but keeps on toying with his hair, trying to charm him with her undeniable beauty and innocence. Ariel sees that it’s not working, and with a grieving heart she runs away.
She goes to see the sea’s magician and asks for a way to retrieve her voice. The sea magician gives Ariel her voice for one day only.
The next day Ariel comes to the fisherman and sings to him. He’s still indifferent. Ariel is once more bewildered. She asks him:
“What can I do for you to love me?”
“I will not. You are very pretty and charming, and you have a wonderful voice, but there’s nothing to you that interests me. You know nothing but your look and your voice.”
Ariel is heartbroken, but she reflects on what the fisherman says and thinks about it long and hard. After that day Ariel works hard to really identify her uniqueness, to understand and explore herself. She learns to dance, to draw, to write and to read. Among these things, she finds reading very rewarding, so she starts reading more and more every day. She makes friends with many human beings and learns their story. She writes to the fisherman daily, describing what experience she has and what she enjoys doing. Overtime, Ariel finds writing to him no more necessary, since now that she has discovered her uniqueness and her hobbies she enjoys herself so much that her desire for his love vanishes.
Many of us are familiar with the classic Disney version, portraying Ariel as a beautiful princess of the sea that sacrifices her own life for her love. As romantic as this ending is, the traditional Ariel lacks serious character development, representative of the lack of identity of women in society. In my story, Ariel has developed a sense of herself, an understanding and awareness of her experiences, which eventually weigh more than someone’s feelings about her. When she has control of her life, it makes her happier than striving for the love from someone who never loves her. Until the end of the story, she remains mute — Ariel still leads a successful and happy life without her voice. Her understanding of herself is the strongest weapon to defend Ariel against all odds. No matter which path you choose, look inside yourself to find that corner of your heart, and maybe--just maybe--that dream of becoming a princess isn't too far away after all.