This story was not originally set at any specific time of year, but I've put it at midsummer to celebrate the solstice. It is a Scandinavian tale that has a lot of variations, in which the princess Agneta is wooed (or bewitched) by the Merman who is sometimes also referred to as Sjokunungen, the Sea King.
He charms her in to the waters where she finds a new life - at least for a while. The ending is somewhat harsh (or is likely to be thought so by any child with a parent so little interested in them) - some interpreters see it as an allegory for a young woman being led astray from her Christian faith before eventually hearing the call and going back to the fold. Others give it a feminist spin of the girl again being seduced, somewhat like Kore or Red Riding Hood, before overcoming the "brain washing" of her abductor and returning to her true life. You may see something entirely different in it.

The at work is by John Bauer, a wonderful illustrator of fairy tales. Both the story and the artist were suggested by one of the people who subscribes to my YouTube channel. I do occasionally pay attention to people in the real world!


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