Once upon a time there was an author named H.C. Andersen. One day he was faced with a difficult task: he was asked to write a story for a ballet to be performed for royal visitors. It would also be an occasion where the Prince marries a Princess.
After several attempts, Andersen came up with the story of a little mermaid. The rehearsals went badly, because Andersen could not show the dancers by dancing what he wanted. The dancers made fun of him. The Prince sympathised with the depressed author and went to meet him on the shore. Unfortunately, he missed his footing on the pier and fell into the water. The Prince was drowning, but something grabbed him and pulled him ashore. A pair of lips pressed against his and forced air into his lungs. The Mermaid had saved the Prince’s life, and a strange feeling arose in her: she wanted to be part of the Prince’s world.
Andersen understood the Mermaid’s desire, since he himself too wished to change.
Together, they went off to see the Witch, who promised to fulfil their wishes. In return, the Witch demanded from each of them that which they loved most. Andersen promised to give up his best tales and his writing talent for a magic potion that would make him a master dancer.
The Mermaid offered to give up her singing voice. Having become a human, she would no longer be able to express her feelings.
The Mermaid arrived at a ballet rehearsal, and the Prince was immediately enchanted with her though she never spoke a word. The Princess realised that she would need magic to keep the Prince for herself. She stole Andersen’s magic potion and replaced it with wine. As a result, Andersen failed to turn into the master dancer he wanted to be and was as awkward and clumsy as ever.
The Princess, on the other hand, was a wonder to behold on the dance floor. The Prince forgot all about the Mermaid, who was unable to express her love for him even when he asked her to do so.
The Mermaid’s sisters decided to rescue the grieving Mermaid and asked the Witch to dispel the enchantment. The Witch agreed on condition that the Prince would die. The Witch then turned up at the wedding of the Prince and the Princess and threw a magic knife at the Prince. The Mermaid was quick enough to interpose herself, and the knife struck her instead, with fatal results. Yet the Mermaid smiled in death, as she had finally been able to show her love to the Prince.