The Mermaid and the Woodcutter

I discovered the following artwork and fable on my Internet travels.



A woodcutter had been hard at work all day, cutting down trees to sell for firewood. It was nearing sunset, but he wanted to cut down one last tree before going home for the night. Coming across a sturdy elm that grew beside a deep pool, he set to work. But he was so tired that, after a few strokes, his ax slipped out of his hands and fell with a splash into the deep black water.

“How could I be so careless!” the woodcutter cried. “I’ll never see my ax again!” And he stood by the water in despair.

Now, a mermaid happened to be nearby, and heard the woodcutter’s lamentations. Quick as thought, the creature appeared before him and asked him what was wrong.

“I’ve lost my only ax in the water,” the woodcutter groaned. “I can’t afford to buy another, and now my children will go hungry. What can I do?”

“Wait here,” the mermaid replied, and she dived to the bottom of the pool. When she came back to the surface, she held in her hand an ax made of pure gold.

“Is this the ax you lost?” the mermaid asked the woodcutter.

“No, that one isn’t mine,” the honest man answered.

The mermaid dived again to the bottom of the pool and came up with a shining silver ax. “Then this one must be your,” she said.

“No, that one’s not mine, either,” sighed the woodcutter. “Mine was just a plain iron ax with a wooden handle.”

For the third time the mermaid dived to the bottom of the pool, and this time she came up with an old, worn iron ax.

“That’s the one!” cried the woodcutter joyfully. “How can I ever thank you?”

“My friend,” said the mermaid, “your honesty deserves a reward. Take all three axes home with you, and your children will never go hungry again.”

When the delighted woodcutter reached home, he told his family what had happened.

Now, the woodcutter had a brother who, when he heard the story, said to himself, “Why should my foolish brother have better luck than me? Tomorrow I’ll try the same trick, and I’ll come home wealthy too!”

The next day the woodcutter’s brother went to the same pool and promptly threw his ax into the water. Immediately he began weeping and wailing, calling on the mermaid to help him. The mermaid appeared and, diving to the bottom of the pool, brought up a golden ax. “Is this the one you lost?” she asked.

“That’s the one!” the woodcutter’s brother cried.

But the mermaid let the golden ax fall back beneath the water.

“For your dishonesty,” she said, “you’ll have no ax at all. “And then she vanished, leaving the woodcutter’s brother poorer than ever.

Today marks the end of the Mondays for Mermaids series. Thanks for following!

Medium-Budget Gift Ideas for Wannabe Mermaids

I had fun shopping for these gifts on the Cafe Press website. Click on images for links and prices that range from $30 to $100.


Mermaid Art Wall Calendar - $30 CDN

Mermaid Art Wall Calendar – $30 CDN

Charm Bracelet - $34.50 CDN

Charm Bracelet – $34.50 CDN

Marine Mermaid Throw Pillow - $37.50 CDN

Mermaid Throw Pillow – $37.50 CDN

Mermaid Wall Clock - $37.50 CDN

Mermaid Wall Clock – $37.50 CDN

Clive Pearl Mermaid IPad Shirt - $45 CDN

Mermaid Shirt – $45 CDN

Clive Pearl iPhone Case

Clive Pearl iPhone Case – $45 CDN

Fantasy Art Bathmat - $52.50 CDN

Fantasy Art Bathmat – $52.50 CDN

Light Pajamas - $60.00

Light Pajamas – $60 CDN

Ruby Mermaid Throw Blanket - $73.50 CDN

Ruby Mermaid Throw Blanket – $73.50 CDN

Vintage French Mermaid Shower Curtain - $97.50 CDN

Vintage French Mermaid Shower Curtain – $97.50 CDN

Low-Budget Gift Ideas for Wannabe Mermaids

I am featuring several low-budget gifts for the wannabe mermaid on your Christmas list. Click on images for links and prices.

Friends in the United States – Your prices will be even lower!

Mermaid Charm Bangle Bracelet - $5.99 CDN

Mermaid Charm Bangle Bracelet – $5.99 CDN

Little Mermaid Gift Box - $5.99 CDN

Little Mermaid Gift Box – $5.99 CDN

Mermaid Jewelry Stand - $6.49 CDN

Mermaid Jewelry Stand – $6.49 CDN

Little Mermaid Pillow - $15.99 CDN

Little Mermaid Pillow – $15.99 CDN

Funny Disney Coffee Mug - $17.99 CDN

Funny Disney Coffee Mug – $17.99 CDN

Save the Mermaids Tote Bag - $20.50 CDN

Save the Mermaids Tote Bag – $20.50 CDN

The Little Mermaid Umbrella - $17.99 CDN

The Little Mermaid Umbrella – $17.99 CDN

Incense Fragrance Burner - $23.49 CDN

Incense Fragrance Burner – $23.49 CDN

Canvas Print - The Mermaid $24 CDN

Canvas Print – The Mermaid $24 CDN

Disney Princess Towel/Poncho - $29.95 CDN

Disney Princess Towel/Poncho – $29.95 CDN

Treat yourself to eBooks of Between Land and Sea and The Coming of Arabella. Follow the inspiring journey of Isabella of the Mediterranean Kingdom from Malta to the fog-drenched shores of southwest England to small-town Ontario to the desert paradise of Sedona, Arizona.

eBook - $3.09 CDN

eBook – $3.09 CDN

eBook - $3.91 CDN

eBook – $3.91 CDN

Next Week: Medium-Budget Gifts for Wannabe Mermaids

Mermaid Hoaxes in 2012 and 2013

On May 27, 2012, Discovery’s Animal Planet channel aired Mermaids: The Body Found. The documentary featured video of a mermaid sighting in the Greenland Sea and an exclusive interview with former NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) scientist Dr. Paul Robertson.

The show followed a scientific team’s investigative efforts to uncover the source behind mysterious underwater recordings. It opened with video footage of a mermaid perched on a rock. Later in the program, a webbed hand touches the observation window of a submersible craft manned by a team of deep sea divers. As the creature swims away, the divers catch glimpses of an alien-like face.

The program attracted the network’s biggest audience in its history: 1.9 million viewers.

A sequel broadcast, Mermaids: The New Evidence, aired May 26, 2013 and reached a record 3.6 million viewers. Its popularity drove the network to the number one slot in the key demographic among 25-to-54-year-olds. After the broadcast, over 1.5 million streams of mermaid-related video surfaced online.

But not all is as it seems.

Both documentaries are hoaxes. In the closing credits, disclaimers flash briefly claiming the programs are hoaxes. Actors played the part of scientists and all video was digitally manufactured. NOAA released the following statement on their website: “Mermaids: The New Evidence is just entertainment. No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.”

While some viewers were amused, many felt the network should have admitted the programs were speculative science fiction from the start. When confronted, Executive Producer Charlie Foley countered: “We wanted people to approach the story with a sense of possibility and a sense of wonder. Hopefully, that’s what Mermaids allowed viewers to do…allowed them to suspend their disbelief.”


10 Interesting Facts About Splash

I like to compare the making of this film to the story of The Little Engine That Could.

When producer Brian Grazer pitched the film, he was repeatedly turned down. At the time, Warner Brothers had lined up Warren Beatty to play the star in another mermaid movie. To sweeten a prospective deal with Walt Disney Productions, director Ron Howard promised to film Splash quickly and cheaply.

Howard kept his promise and produced the film on an $8 million budget. Principal photography began on March 1, 1983 and was completed by June 30, 1983.

Splash grossed $6,174,059 in its opening weekend and finished its domestic run with $69,821,334, making it the tenth highest-grossing film of 1984.

As for the film starring Warren Beatty…it eventually fell through.


Here are 10 interesting facts about this popular film:

1. Jeff Bridges, Chevy Chase, Richard Gere, Kevin Kline, Bill Murray, and John Travolta were considered for the lead role before the producers decided upon Tom Hanks.

2. Daryl Hannah was Producers’ Choice #11. Tatum O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lynne Frederick, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Genie Francis, Melanie Griffith, Fiona Fullerton, Diane Lane, Kathleen Turner, and Sharon Stone turned down the part of Madison.

3. The beach where Tom Hanks first encounters the nude mermaid is on the former Gorda Cay in the Bahamas.

4. During childhood, Daryl Hannah swam “mermaid” style with her legs bound together.

5. The elaborately designed mermaid tail by Academy Award-winning visual effects artist Robert Short was fully functional, allowing Daryl to swim so fast her safety team could not keep pace with her.

6. The mermaid tail had to be glued onto Daryl before being hand painted, a detailed process that took eight hours. To avoid using the bathroom, Daryl ate and drank very little. She stayed in her water tank and accepted bits of food thrown by the cast and crew.

7. Unfortunately, the tail decomposed very quickly after the movie’s release. Despite its decomposed state, it was put on display in a glass showcase at Planet Hollywood in Orlando, Florida.

8. The name “Madison” rose in popularity soon after the release of Splash. In 1990, it was the 216th most popular name for girls. Five years later, it rose to #29 and by 2000 had become the third most popular female name in the United States.

9. Well received by critics, Splash earned a 92% “Fresh” rating from the website Rotten Tomatoes.

10. Over three decades later, Daryl is still recognized by fans (many of whom have been named after her character Madison) of the 1984 romantic comedy.