A warning today for the gentlemen. In some Fantasy Worlds, you will find lascivious females. Guard your virtue!
While Lita was researching her next book, Old Bony Blue Eyes, she found several kinds of mer females in fantasy and folklore stories. An alarming pattern emerged. The mermaid tales combined two dangerous mysteries for menfolk–women and the ocean.
Could this all be mistaken identity? Lonely sailors long at sea might mistake sightings of manatees and dugongs for our aqua princesses. Perhaps the manatee’s seductive smile is an irresistible lure, and sailors will shipwreck in their haste to meet this lovely gal. But wait. These gentle, large water mammals look nothing like a shapely human woman. Must be water mirages. Let’s stick with fantasy artistry for our sea girls and not spoil the mood.
A Greek water Nymph is a minor female deity, and she inhabits a specific water site. Nymphs are lovely maidens who enjoy amorous freedom, which separates them from the other chaste women of the Greeks. The nymph’s sexual forwardness is especially dangerous for male travelers far away from home.
There are many types of nymphs, classified by their preference of watery haunts. Where exactly is the risk? Here are the places to find, er, avoid, these dangerous ladies:
- Oceanids (any salty water)
- Haliae (sea and seashores)
- Nereids (more than 50 nymphs in the Mediterranean Sea)
- Naiads/Limnades/Limnatides (fresh water ladies)
- Eleionomae (wetlands)
- Kathybates (hot tubs and whirlpools)
- Pegaeae (springs)
- Potameides (rivers and rills)
- Crinaeae (fountains and wells)
Unlike the human form of the nymph, a Mermaid is a water creature with the upper body of a beautiful human woman and the lower body of a fish. She is a powerful swimmer, and loves to sun herself on rocky shores.
We usually see her long hair undulating in the ocean currents. Fish scales begin at her shapely mid-torso and extend downward not into legs, but a glorious and glimmering tail. She can breathe underwater, but the gills are not visible.
Mermaids are associated with dangerous events like storms, shipwrecks and drownings. But in other legends, they are kindly and fall in love with humans. Problem is, a mermaid will pull her eager lover into the ocean depths for a romantic tryst, forget that he cannot breathe underwater, and drown him. So guys, take an extra scuba tank and stop fussing about how the air regulator in your mouth hampers your technique.
Greek myth brings us another water gal, the Siren. Fantasy stories are unclear as to her appearance. Sometimes she is a human-bird hybrid (like a beautiful harpy), other times a mermaid with flowing tail and hair, or just a fetching human form. Whatever her appearance, the siren is a dangerous date.
Our siren is a femme fatale (another warning–we also find this loose lady in the Film Noir Fantasy World) who sings to sailors and lures them with her sweet propositions to run their ships aground on rocky shores. Once ashore, her dates are so beguiled by her appearance, they forget to eat. The siren’s trophies are the heaps of decaying bodies of the men who starve to death while enjoying her womanly delights. Perhaps, guys, you might tie a string around a certain body part to remind you to eat something during your siren date (of course Lita means your finger–don’t blame the siren for your naughty thoughts).
Gentlemen, the risks are clear. When journeying in Fantasy Worlds, avoid travelling to the sea, inland lakes, and taking showers at the Bates Motel. Do not even go near the water, or these naughty ladies will sully your reputation.