There are some things that we have never seen that society generally characterized as “myth”. Most of the time these stories and creatures are just that, the overzealous imaginings of a wandering mind. I happen to know for a fact however, that sometimes they are not at all fictitious visions, but actual and verifiably real. One such creature is Aquas Hominidus, better known to you, perhaps as a Mermaid or Merman. Millions of years ago the earliest ancestor of modern humans crawled free from the swamps. About two hundred thousand years ago a species evolved called Neandertals. These were the ancestor of the modern Aquas Hominidus, you will note that at thirty thousand years ago they traveled to the sea and just died out or so it seemed. Some scientist believed they were outcompeted, and that is true, but they did not entirely die out. Instead they migrated to new territories. Over a thousand years they adapted to live in the oceans again. They first were amphibious, and grew webbed toes. The next generations had webbed legs, and finally, in an attempt to escape from fierce underwater predation they developed a tail, one tail; similar to the tail you see in popular culture when merpeople are portrayed. Except that it is not scaly like a fishes; because they are in fact not fish at all, but mammals. Their tails are smooth like a dolphins, they bear live young, and feed those young with milk, like other mammals. Those are the facts about mermaids. Believe them or not they are true, Now I can begin with my tale.
Our true tale takes place in Coocoo Calungi-Nungo, it was the most wonderful place. It was a kingdom, or Queendom rather under the sea. The Queen was Koikie Shalangi, and she was a fearful tyrant. Beautiful and fierce, she ruled her people. She had a secret however, one that she was terrified would leak out. Queen Koikie Shalangi, Ruler of all merpeople, head of all Aquas Hominidus could not swim. Not a flit or squirt, not a wriggle or a float. She was entirely dependant upon her subjects for mobility. Disguising her weakness with vanity, and pride. Her subjects had no idea. They believed her too grand a being to be bothered with the triviality of swimming. Everywhere she went she was carried upon the finest litter. Bedecked with coral, and fiery red algae it was a site to behold.
It was the year of Guami Jomoden, a great anniversary of some sort. Don’t ask a Coocoo Culungi-Nungoan about it or you will certainly get more than you bargained for. The story is almost longer than the anniversary is old. As I was saying, it was the Guami Jomoden, and in celebration of this event the Culungi- Nungonians traditionally held a series of athletic competitions. These were hardly sporting in any sense at all because the winner was not chosen based on whether he won or lost, but merely on whether or not the Queen approved of his performance. The Queen, an ardent despiser of vigour, always chose the most slothful contestant as the winner. Thus pandering and bribery was common. Such being the case, this anniversary was hardly anticipated with any feeling other than drudgery. This year in fact, the Queen could find no one at all willing to compete in the events.
After coaxing, cajoling and threatening her subjects the Queen became irate. It was at this moment that a young mer entered the hall. He bowed low before the furious queen, and bade her listen to his proposition. This was what he said, “Wise Queen, The members of your kingdom are tired of injustice. They are weary of your’ needless tirades, and bias. In a show of good humour I suggest you swim a race, to demonstrate your power.” The queen balked at the idea. “I, swim in a race?! Preposterous. I will do nothing of the sort.” She said it proudly, but broke out in a cold sweat at the thought of being so utterly exposed. The man smiled, “I thought not. Perhaps it is true then what people say.” He turned to leave, the Queen hated being lured into such an obvious trap. “What are people saying?” she asked. The mans smile grew, “only that the Queen is no longer able to rule, because she lacks the. . . Drive.” He knew, the entire kingdom knew! “Don’t worry my Queen, I have a solution. My name is Famal Komori. I am the worlds most brilliant engineer, I will craft you the most ingenious invisible craft. You will arrange a race for the people in which you yourself will appear to be a participant. You will use my craft while pretending to swim, and the people will once again believe in you. My fee is small, only make me a counselor in your palace, and I will consider it payment.” She was intrigued, to say the least. Not seeing any alternative, she readily agreed.
The race was arranged for six months time. Planning and building of the magical machine was commenced. Every day Queen Koikie would visit with the stranger Famal. He would have her move her arms this way or that, showing her just how to pretend she was swimming while on the machine. The machine itself was taking shape quite brilliantly. Famal really was the most clever of Aquas, it looked like a sea-doo or a wave runner. In size it was small, and light. It was quick, and easily maneuverable. However the most impressive feature was, of course, the invisibility option.
The day of the race came, and everything was prepared. The racers approached the starting line, and the Queen sidled up on her invisible ride. The horn was blown and the race was underway. How the racers all struggled to beat her. However the Queen pulled out far ahead of the others. She laughed at the peasants, now they would respect her. Suddenly her vehicle became visible. In her panic she lurched to the right, and then the left. The cart spun her around around in circles until she was sure she would be sick. Finally she was wrenched free and the her now visible mobile crashed into the stands, a mangled mass of metal. The crowd was completely silent. Everyone knew, finally what the Queen had done.
A small child exited the stands and stood next to the Queen. In her hands she held two small, yellow, rubber objects that looked like doughnuts. They were floaties. The Queen put them on and together, they learned how to swim.