Ustka Harbor statue of mermaid Bryzga Rosowa who took pity on a blind widow (Photo by Author)

The Mermaid and the Old Woman

A tale from the Baltic Sea

Jesse R. Barker
4 min readFeb 6, 2022

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The old woman walks the harbor on a crisp fall night, the Baltic sea sparkling in the moon shining bright.

Tap tap tap goes her cane across the weir, alone she is with no other peer. She faces north by habit alone, guided by sound of sea against the stone. Tumbling waters throw a smell, salt laden air that she knows so well.

But her eyes are empty, for she cannot see. Yet she stands looking at the sea. Holding the cane that leads her way, but for hope she cannot say. Listening for the sound of a returning boat, listening for the sound of her young son with hope.

Away he sailed for the fisherman’s load, but with the falling dark, his boat has not showed. She bows her head in darkened fear, no old woman the boat is still not here. Without her son she cannot eat, without her son she becomes too weak.

A voice from the dark, calls from the waves. “What keeps you, old woman? What makes you stay?”

“My son is my life, a fisherman he is, brave and true who has always come through. But now I fear that all is lost, he has gone to fish, but at a great cost.” Said the old woman looking to the sea, searching for someone that she could not see. “Tell me good person what will I do? How will I live, how will I make it through?”

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Jesse R. Barker

Always looking up, and always looking forward with wonderment.