The little mermaid spotted a ship on the water's surface.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Once upon a time, deep below the ocean waves, there was a world full of mystery and wonder. Mermaids and mermen lived in this world. These fantastic creatures looked like people, but had strong, beautiful tails

like fish.

In the kingdom of mermaids and mermen lived a family with six beautiful girls,

or mermaids. But the littlest mermaid was the most beautiful of all. She also had the loveliest singing voice.

The six mermaid sisters dreamed of life above the waves. Whenever one of them turned fifteen years old, she would swim to the surface to watch the humans.

When it was the little mermaid's fifteenth birthday, she rushed to the water's surface. Peeking her head above the waves, the sky was even more beautiful than she had imagined! Soon she spied a ship, its sails fluttering like the fins of a dolphin.

The little mermaid bobbed, like a delicate cork, up and down with the water. She watched the humans walk and run, skip and dance aboard the ship. She heard strange music played on instruments she had never seen before. The sound was loud and brash, but at the same time wonderful! This must be a party! she thought.

As she wondered at the sight of these humans, she suddenly spotted the most handsome human. He was like nobody she had ever seen. She quickly realized that he was a prince! The little mermaid fell in love with this human, watching him dance and laugh at his birthday party.

She knew that she must be part of his life. Suddenly, the sky became dark. A wind picked up and knocked over the prince's birthday cake. The prince's ship was torn to pieces by the pounding waves. The little mermaid knew that the prince could not live in the water. She used all her strength and pulled him out of the water. She took him safely to shore.

Using all her strength, the little mermaid pulled the prince to safety.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

After the prince was safe on dry land, the little mermaid brushed his hair from his face. She looked into his eyes and kissed his forehead. After a moment,

she heard a girl's voice and knew she must leave.

She quickly dove into the water and swam back to her ­sisters. The girls were excited to hear about their little sister's journey above the waves.

"What did you see?" they asked her.

The little mermaid wanted to tell her sisters about the handsome prince, but she was afraid they would laugh at her. Instead, she told them about the boat she saw. She did not tell them that she was in love with a human!

The ­sisters noticed that the little mermaid had been quiet since her journey above the waves. The little mermaid decided to tell her sisters about the prince. As she told her story, she realized that she could not live without the prince.

To find out what happened next, go to the next page.

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