i have heard the mermaids singing 

My sister says it must be mermaids, but I don’t think the stream is deep enough for mermaids.

We get in an argument about how much water mermaids need and decide it depends on how they breathe and we agree they must at least be able to breathe air sometimes because if they couldn’t they wouldn’t be able to sing and we both agree that the mermaids sing.

We don’t agree about the rocks, though. I still say mermaids wouldn’t flop around our shallow stream just to build little towers of rocks but when she demands another explanation I don’t have one.

After a thorough investigation during which we accidentally knock one of the towers over we decide that mermaids must be nocturnal since the rocks were stacked overnight.

We ask if we can camp in the backyard and dad asks why and I don’t have a good non-mermaid answer but my sister says we want to commune with nature and he laughs but says it’s okay and we can come inside if we get tired of communing or if there are too many bugs.

The moon is bright enough to see fine from the yard but we put the tent in the shadows of a tree so the mermaids won’t be able to see us from the water and we take turns checking from the shore to make sure it’s properly camouflaged.

While we wait in the dark we whisper about what the rock towers might be for because we didn’t discuss that earlier and we decide they might be for directions, like a mermaid map signaling system.

We wait and wait and wait and nothing happens and my eyelids get heavy but I don’t realize I’m mostly asleep until my sister shakes me to get my attention.

She covers my mouth to shush me before I say anything and points to the water where a hand is reaching up from the dark surface and slowly re-stacking the rocks we knocked over and then I can hear the singing.

About flax-golden tales
. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

Categories: flax-golden


Marcheline · August 10, 2012 at 9:37 am

Do they sound like the Merpeople from the Black Lake at Hogwarts?

Jules · August 10, 2012 at 10:01 am

You charm me more each week….thank you

Tania · August 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm


Marta Guimarães · August 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Hello Erin!
I’m writing on this post only because it is the last you have. I’m here to talk to you about, obviously, ‘The Night Circus’. I’ve finished reading it about an hour ago, and I just needed to say how mesmerized with your novel! It is so well written and so beautifully describded, that it was hard for me to take my eyes from it 🙂 You made me fall even more in love with the circus than I was!

In Portugal, my country, the book was only released on April 2012, so it is still working on fiding its place in the book stores, but I’m sure it will be a hit!

It’s only left for me to say thank you Erin, for giving us a world of echantment and magic that releases our wildest dreams and bring us back to the child we were, long years ago. So, THANK YOU!!! 🙂

I can’t wait for the movie, and also a sequel, if you’re up to it!


Lisa Ahn · August 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Wow! I love the idea of the map, and the image of the hand rising from the water.

Cheri · August 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm

What a beautiful story.

Michelle · August 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I’m wondering why are mermaids stacking rocks? Are they nesting before they give birth to their young in the streams they were hatched in similar to salmon? I would like to know more.

Ruby · October 14, 2012 at 10:01 am

I think this is my favorite photo out of all of them… As for the writing, it’s impossible to pick a favorite. Keep posting this amazing tales!

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