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Ramona's Ramblings

And then there were mermaids

Ramona Jan
Posted 7/26/22

I’ve seen a lot of sights on the Delaware River ranging from ordinary to unusual to outright miraculous. I’ve seen dogs of all sizes; some that like to swim and others that just lap up a …

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Ramona's Ramblings

And then there were mermaids


I’ve seen a lot of sights on the Delaware River ranging from ordinary to unusual to outright miraculous. I’ve seen dogs of all sizes; some that like to swim and others that just lap up a few mouthfuls of earthen water. I’ve seen pooches wearing life jackets, young and old, cute and ugly, all with their twin owners.

I’ve seen black snakes gliding along the river’s edge, carrying silver flapping fish in their mouths. I’ve seen horses and even a donkey on the river bank that dare not put a single hoof into the river, and then I’ve watched a horse nearly neck-high splashing majestically. I’ve seen Blue Heron looking like pterodactyls as they float effortlessly a foot about the water and then land silently on a jutting rock. I’ve witnessed eagles and kingfishers alike diving for prey; some successful; some not.

I’ve seen floating devices including bright orange noodles, black and gold inner tubes and neon kayaks come and go, buoying an array of colorful people. I’ve watched swimmers do laps in early spring and late fall when the water is far too cold for my squeamish toes. I’ve seen children daring to venture into deeper waters, and mothers who grab the backs of swimsuits to save them.

Once, when someone’s car was parked on the actual boat launch, I was reprimanded by a total stranger for the deed even though the real owner was in the river. “I came by bike,” I told her, but she didn’t hear me. All of these things happened this summer.

And last week, I saw mermaids…

It started with a group of six young women who were on the shore walking on human legs. I was already in the water when I overheard one of them murmur, “It’s okay. We’re in solidarity.”

That’s when I knew something out of the ordinary was about to happen. The six females suddenly threw off their tops and then slowly waded into the water where they formed a circle. Needless to say, I felt awkward being clothed, and the only other person in the water. Pretending I wasn’t there was not an option. Oh, did I mention my husband was lounging on the shore wearing sunglasses and a Mona Lisa smile? Well, he was.

I thought the six young ladies would submerge themselves. Instead, they started singing in perfect harmony a titillating tune with lyrics that went something like this, “We’re here and we’re different.”

It occurred to me to fling off my top and join them to illustrate that difference. However, I didn’t want to ruin their day by showing those perky young girls what they might be in for later in life. Instead, I turned upriver and did what I always do, the breast stroke in sets of two; a double set of twenty-five each.

Swimming upstream means going nowhere or in my case backwards and further out to sea. Pretty soon I was mid-river and downstream from the six mermaids, and appearing (in my mind) as if I were hankering for another view. Even though they didn’t seem to care about or even notice me, I felt it was time to leave and so found my way onto the shore. Walking home, I asked my husband, “What would you have done if I had joined them?”

“Oh, that would not have been a good idea,” he said without explanation. That’s when I noticed how much my wet bathing suit was bothering me. Good thing I was carrying some dry clothes. I looked around for a bush or tree to change behind, and then I thought about ticks. And then I thought about mermaids and right there on the side of the road (and probably to my husband’s dismay), I ripped off my swimsuit and quick changed into my street clothes. What a relief. In the future, I will probably change in private. Just this once, however, my life, mermaid-inspired, was made easier.


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