From: (Anonymous)
"You aren't supposed to see me--" the Spirit told her, and it sounded very young. "Papa will be so mad!" Her tail slapped the water nervously, and the Spirit coiled, clearly preparing to return to the water.

Pocahontas caught the spirit's hand in her own. "Please don't go!" The spirit was a girl--younger than Pocahontas, but not by much. Her face was strange like John's, with deep-set blue eyes and hair as redder than fallen maple leaves. Pocahontas had never seen such a red, brighter even than blood, but it was not that that left Pocahontas stunned. No, that would be the scaled tail that ended in a fish's fins that took the place of the girl's legs.

The girl's wrist trembled in her hand, but the spirit did not struggle. Her huge blue eyes looked up to Pocahontas, eager and afraid. "Are you a human?" the spirit asked, and her voice was like--like a girl's, but different somehow.

"Yes, of course--" Pocahontas fumbled, not expecting a spirit that didn't know. "What are you? Who are you?"

The spirit's fingers gripped her wrist, and she replied, "I'm Ariel!"

"Ariel? I am Pocahontas." She floundered, not wanting to let go of the spirit, but unable to think of a reason not to. "I--thank you for saving my life?"

"Humans cannot swim, so I swam for you," Ariel said, sweetly earnest. "I brought you to land!"

"Thank you, though I can swim--what land is this? Is it England?" Pocahontas asked, remembering her earlier uncertainty. "It's like no place I have ever seen before."

Ariel gave the horizon behind Pocahontas an uncertain look. "It is land. I don't know if it's Eng."

Fair enough. "Will you stay and talk with me?" Pocahontas asked, loosening her grip. Ariel's did not waver any more than her eyes did. "Can you come on land at all?"

"I'm not supposed to..." Ariel said, longing colouring her voice.

"Please?"

"Okay!" Ariel's beaming smile made Pocahontas' knees weak. "I've always wanted to meet a human!" She squirmed up the shore, settling at the darkened edge of sand where the waves ended with her tail coiled up under her like a sleeping snake.

Pocahontas sat on the dry sand of land, her toes close enough to be licked by the tallest waves. "I--"

Ariel reached out and took her foot in her hands, lifting it and examining Pocahontas' toes. "What do you call these?" Ariel asked, tugging Pocahontas closer, and sliding her fingers between the gaps between Pocahontas' toes

"Toes," she answered, caught up in her own curiosity. "You--can you breath the water? And the air as well?"

"Oh yes, of course!" Ariel said, nodding rapidly. "Your toes, when you move on them, what do you call that? I have seen humans moving, and it is so different from swimming when you move on land."

"Walking?" Pocahontas guessed, "Or running, if they are moving faster. And the toes are only the bits like fingers, the rest is my foot. Are there many more of you in the sea? I've never even heard of anything like you."

"Er--I am not supposed to say," Ariel answered, her hands sliding up Pocahontas' legs, along her ankles and up to her knees. "Are these still feet? How can you make do with so few bones in here? They hardly bend at all!"

"No, those are my legs." Pocahontas caught herself grinning, filled with an excitement of discovery that she'd been seeking for as long as she could remember. "What do you call yourself? If I am human, then you are?"

"Mermaid!"
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21 Days of Disney!

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