Copyright © 2015 Mary K. Smith
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Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful mermaid named Emerald. She had gotten her name because of the unusual color of her long, silky hair. While all the other mermaids had black, brown, or golden hair, Emerald’s hair was gloriously green! Her mermaid friends wished they had hair like Emerald’s. It was so unique and majestic.
As Emerald grew, she became more and more beautiful. With her wide blue eyes, her rosebud lips, and her smooth skin, she was considered by all to be the most beautiful mermaid ever to have lived. But Emerald’s beauty was not only skin-deep, for she had a heart of pure gold. She was always there to lend a hand and comfort others during their times of need. Every word she spoke was kind, and everything she did was helpful.
As often happens when one is beautiful and kind, the other mermaids began to get very jealous of Emerald. They felt they could never compare to her loveliness and sweetness, so—instead of trying to be her friends—they turned on her and made fun of her.
Emerald, who was always so friendly to the other mermaids, could not understand why they treated her this way. But as hard as she tried to fit in, they continued to ignore her, tease her, and laugh at her.
Emerald realized that they were not a very kind group of mermaids and that she should be glad that she was different. All the same, however, she thought it highly unfair that these nasty, mocking mermaids should have friends and fun, while she herself went day after day without a friend in the world.
At Mermaidia High School, Emerald sat at a lunch table all by herself, eating her seaweed pie and listening to the other mermaids talk. Usually, they spent their entire lunchtime making fun of Emerald and trying to pretend they weren’t jealous of her. Sometimes, however, they got tired of making fun of Emerald, so they made fun of the dolphins instead.
The dolphins lived in Dolphinia, the underwater kingdom across the border from Mermaidia. Emerald thought the dolphins were cute and smart and sweet, but her mermaid schoolmates laughed and scoffed at the dolphins’ gray color and bulky appearance. In fact, none of the citizens of Mermaidia cared for dolphins at all. Emerald suspected this was because they were jealous of the dolphins’ much more beautiful and powerful kingdom.
Jealousy is hideous, she thought. It makes mermaids do and say such horrible things!
“The dolphins only wish they could be as sleek and smooth and graceful as we mermaids!” the other mermaids would exclaim. “Instead, they’re big, ugly, bald fish.”
Hearing them ridicule the dolphins made Emerald even angrier than she felt when they made fun of her.
“Dolphins are wonderful!” Emerald whispered to herself. “I should only be so lucky as to make friends with one!”
Quite a coincidental thing happened as Emerald swam home from school that afternoon. She came across a cute baby dolphin, who was tangled in the mast of a sunken ship!
“Help, help!” the little dolphin cried, moaning in pain.
With a gasp of astonishment, Emerald darted toward the ship mast and used her nimble fingers and gentle strength to disentangle the dolphin.
“Thank you so much!” the little dolphin told her. Then he blinked his eyes and stared. “You…you’re a mermaid!”
“Of course I am,” smiled Emerald.
“But…but I thought mermaids didn’t like dolphins,” the little gray creature continued.
Emerald thought of her schoolmates. She could imagine that they had teased dolphins like this one hundreds of times! It made her angry to think about it.
“Well, I like dolphins,” she told her new friend. “My name is Emerald. What’s yours?”
The little dolphin smiled back at her, and his eyes shone with happiness. “My name is Flip-Flop,” he said. “And you, Miss Emerald, are in for quite a surprise!”
Emerald’s eyes widened in confusion. “Whatever do you mean?” she asked.
But Flip-Flop was already swimming ahead of her. “Come with me!” he cried.
Mystified, Emerald did as she was told. She soon found herself at the border of Mermaidia and Dolphinia. The mermaids and the dolphins didn’t often cross into one another’s territories, so she was always amazed when she entered Dolphinia. It seemed she kept forgetting how beautiful it really was!
Coral reefs of purple, blue, and green seemed to blossom out of the ocean floor like gigantic flowers. Tall strands of seaweed waved like graceful grass in the gentle stirring of the sea waves. All around her, dolphin homes rose up from the sand, carved out of underwater rock that sparkled and shone. In the very midst of the kingdom was the beautiful Royal Castle, where the dolphin king and queen reigned.
“Where are you taking me, Flip-Flop?” Emerald asked, feasting her eyes on the beautiful sights all around her.
“Not much farther now!” answered Flip-Flop. A short minute later, he stopped at the base of a large rock. The ocean seemed suddenly darker, and Emerald realized they were in the outskirts of Dolphinia. A shiver went down her spine.
“Are we safe here?” she asked.
Flip-Flop didn’t answer. He just motioned toward a crevice in the rock. It was much too narrow for a dolphin to swim through—but just the right size for a mermaid…if she squeezed! Next to the crevice rested a human skull.
Emerald cried out when she saw it, but Flip-Flop was quick to reassure her.
“Don’t worry, Emerald; that’s only the skull of the pirate who buried his treasure in this very rock, many hundreds of years ago. Legend says he got tangled in a coral reef trying to return to the surface.”
“Treasure?” asked Emerald, confused and full of wonder.
Flip-Flop nodded. “Yes. There’s a treasure buried in that crevice. We dolphins have been able to see it for years, but not even the babies are thin enough to go in after it. Of course, we knew the mermaids were just the right size…but none of them have ever been kind to us. You, Emerald, are the very first mermaid to show kindness to us dolphins for centuries. So it is your job to retrieve the treasure.”
Emerald’s hand flew to her heart. “I’d be honored!” With just a little squeezing, she was able to push her way into the crevice—and return with the sunken treasure! The wooden chest overflowed with gold and silver coins, pearls, and costly jewels!
Flip-Flop’s eyes seemed to pop out of his head. “Would you look at that!” he gasped. “We’re rich!”
Emerald laughed with delight. “Yes, Dolphinia is certainly well-off!” she agreed.
“Oh, no,” said Flip-Flop. “I wasn’t just talking about Dolphinia. Do you think that we good-hearted dolphins wouldn’t share our treasure with the one who made it possible in the first place?”
“Me?” squeaked Emerald.
“Yes, you!” grinned Flip-Flop.
And so it was that the dolphins of Dolphinia held a grand banquet in Emerald’s honor. There was feasting and music and dancing—and Emerald herself arrived in a beautiful sea coach pulled by two baby dolphins—Flip-Flop and his twin sister Pearl!
Because the citizens of Mermaidia had treated Emerald so unkindly, the dolphins even offered her a home—in the luxurious castle of the king and queen!
That very night, Emerald was adopted as their daughter and crowned Princess of Dolphinia. Ever since, she has lived in the midst of beauty and luxury, surrounded by hundreds of loyal dolphin friends.
And as for her old mermaid schoolmates? You could say that they turned green with envy—and they never again made fun of Emerald or the dolphins ever again!
Jealousy’s an ugly thing,
But kindness is a treasure.
So be like Emerald, and you’ll see,
That life is quite a pleasure!
~ ~ ~
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Emerald was the most beautiful mermaid in all of Mermaidia. Because she was so beautiful and kind, the other mermaids were jealous and made fun of her. Emerald had no friends until one day when she met Flip-Flop the dolphin. That is when her life completely changed! Find out what happens next... -Excellent for beginning and early readers -Great for reading aloud with friends and family -Illustrated storybook great for a quick bedtime story This book is especially great for traveling, waiting rooms, and reading aloud at home. Scroll up and click 'buy' and spend some quality time with your child!