Heres a virtual movie of a recitation of a mysterious little poem by the English poet James Reeves (1909 - 1978) called "Little Fan" tells the enchanting ghostly tale of a litle girl called "Little Fan" who mysteriously metamorphoses into a Mermaid. Perhaps he has been claimed by the mythical sirens of the sea. A mermaid is a mythological aquatic creature with a female human head and torso and the tail of a fish. Mermaids are represented broadly in folklore, literature and popular culture. The word is a compound of mere, the Old English word for "sea", and maid, a woman. The male equivalent is a merman. Much like sirens, mermaids will sing to people or to gods to enchant them, distracting them from their work and causing people to walk off a ship's deck or to run their ship aground. Other stories depict mermaids squeezing the life out of drowning men while attempting to rescue them. They are also said to carry humans down to their underwater kingdoms. In Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, it is said that mermaids forget that humans cannot breathe underwater, while other stories say they drown men out of spite, while still other fables portray mermaids as benevolent toward men.
The sirens of Greek mythology are sometimes portrayed in later folklore as mermaid-like; in fact, some languages use the same word for both bird and fish creatures, such as the Maltese word 'sirena'. Other related types of mythical or legendary creatures are water fairies (e.g., various water nymphs) and selkies, animals that can transform themselves from seals to humans
Sirenomelia, also called "mermaid syndrome", is a rare congenital disorder in which a child is born with his or her legs fused together and reduced genitalia. This condition is about as rare as conjoined twins, affecting one out of every 100,000 live births and is usually fatal within a day or two of birth because of kidney and bladder complications. Four survivors were known to be alive as of July 2003.
The real name of James Reeves was John Morris Reeves (1909 - 1978), a British writer known for his poetry and contributions to children's literature and the literature of collected traditional songs. He was born in Harrow, and educated at Stowe School and Jesus College, Cambridge. He taught until 1952, when he became a full-time writer.
He was the son of Albert Reeves, an accountant, and Ethel Blenche who was the daughter of a school mistress from Yarm in North East England - they met while on holiday in Switzerland. Subsequently they lived in Nottinghamshire where they had two children, David and John, who later changed his name to James. He was born in Harrow, and educated at Stowe School and Jesus College, Cambridge. He taught until 1952, when he became a full-time writer.
He was close to Laura Riding for a time, being successor to Jacob Bronowski as editor of Epilogue: a critical summary. He was also an editor of some of the works of Robert Graves. His prose work for children commenced in 1956 and included short stories and poetry
Jim Clark All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2011
I don't like the look of little Fan, mother, I don't like her looks a little bit. Her face-well, it's not exactly different, But there's something wrong with it. "She went down to the sea-shore yesterday, And she talked to somebody there, Now she won't do anything but sit And comb out her yellowy hair. "Her eyes are shiny and she sings, mother, Like nobody ever sang before. Perhaps they gave her something queer to eat, Down by the rocks on the shore." "Speak to me, speak, little Fan dear, Aren't you feeling very well? Where have you been and what are you singing, And what's that seaweedy smell? "Where did you get that shiny comb, love, And those pretty coral beads so red? Yesterday you had two legs, I'm certain, But now there's something else instead." "I don't like the looks of little Fan, mother, You'd best go and close the door. Watch now, or she'll be gone for ever To the rocks by the brown sandy shore."