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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Once upon a time there lived an old man who lived near the
ocean. And every day he would go fishing to pass the time.
One day he caught a mermaid. She begged him to be let go and
in return he would be granted three wishes. He agreed, and
wished first for a new house with all of the conveniences of
life. Second he wished for a boat and thirdly, he wished to
be immortal. The third wish was impossible to grant. "Only
god can control such things," she said. But the old man
refunded against her word and forced the mermaid to grant his
third and final wish. So, in fear of being kept out of the
water for too long the mermaid attempted to grant his final
request. When his request was granted the old man immediately
felt a rush of pain all throughout his body and yelled in
agony. He finally collapsed and died, leaving his new house and
boat to whomever would stumble upon them. The moral of the
story is that you should never wish for too much; one day you
might get it.

Submitter comment: My father would tell me this story right before I would go to
bed. It was one of my favorites.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Greed, Desire

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- B428

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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