Mermaid Monday: Merman’s Lust

blackwhitesketchMermaid Monday! CryptoVille is starting another regular weekly feature where we’ll talk about the folklore and tales related to Mermaids and Mermen!  Lovers of cryptozoology may enjoy hearing these monster reports as we delve deep to seek the truth! First up, Merman’s Lust.

We start our new series, Mermaid Mondays, with a tale of love gone wrong. This tale comes to us from Nerike, Hammar, Sweden, from the banks of Lake Fagertarn.

Once upon a time, a poor fisherman lived next to Lake Fagertarn with his family that included a beautiful young daughter. The lake was so small, he could barely provide for his family with the meager catches he got there.

One day, as he was fishing from his dugout canoe, a merman rose from the water. The merman said if the farmer let his daughter marry him when she turned 18, he would provide a bountiful catch each time the fisherman came to the lake.

MermanRageThe fisherman, desperate to feed his hungry family, agreed to the arrangement.

The merman was madly in love with the beautiful young woman but she didn’t love him at all.

On the day she turned 18, she reluctantly went to the edge of the lake where the merman was waiting for her.

As he reached for her hand, she drew a knife from her dress and stabbed herself in the heart. She fell into the lake, bleeding profusely.

 

 

LakeFagertarn02The story ends by saying that her blood turned the white water lilies growing in the lake bright red (photo right).

Is any of this true? Well there are red water lilies that grow in a few Swedish lakes including Lake Fagertarn (part of the Tiveden Nature Reserve). The lilies are called Nymphaea alba var. rubra. You can tell by the name they are normally white (alba), but come in a red variety  (var.rubra).

As for the lusty merman? Well, my sources did say this was part of Swedish folklore and I didn’t find any more stories about him in Lake Fagertarn, so I’m going to guess this merman is/was fictitious.

But don’t despair – I’ll keep looking! Join us next Monday for another Mermaid Musing!

MermanRageForsakenMermanbyMattArnold

References:

http://www.victoria-adventure.org/waterlilies_images/fagertarn/fagert%E4rn02.html

http://windowstoworldhistory.weebly.com/mermen-are-important-players-in-scandinavian-culture-and-history.html

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