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The Little Mermaid Short Story & Audiobook

A mermaid who is interested in humans accidentally comes across a prince in trouble. Will she get to learn more about humans than she ever thought?

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The Little Mermaid

Once upon a time, deep down under the sea, lived a little mermaid. She lived with her father, the Sea King, in a palace made of blue coral. Her favourite food was seabiscuits.

the mermaid in pink top sitting down at underwater table eating sea biscuits with the sea king

The Sea King told all the merfolk that they must never go up to the surface. He thought humans were just too dangerous.

But the little mermaid thought humans were very interesting. She loved checking out the old shipwrecks on the seafloor, collecting all the old human things.

One day, she was out swimming with her best friend, the crab. They were quite near the surface! The crab kept telling her to keep her head in the water where it belonged.

Then she saw a boat pass overhead. She went right up to the surface to get a closer look. She could see a handsome young man playing with his dog.

The young man was a prince. As the little mermaid watched, a big storm blew in. And the dog’s lead fell out of the prince’s hand.

He stretched out to grab it but fell overboard with a great splash.

The dog was barking his head off!

Sausage dog in boat looking at splash in water the mermaid and crab in background looking

The prince started sinking deeper and deeper. The trouble was he was a terrible swimmer. In fact, he could swim about as well as….. a stone!

But the little mermaid swam down and scooped him up. She brought him back to the beach and sang softly to make him feel better. Once, he opened his eyes a little bit and saw her kind face looking down at him.

Then he fell fast asleep. When he woke up he promised himself that he would find the girl who rescued him. He wanted to thank her.

He looked and looked, but couldn’t find her. He didn’t know that the girl who had saved him wasn't in the kingdom, but under it. In the sea.

When the Sea King found out that the little mermaid had been to the surface he was furious!

He only wanted to protect her, so he decided he would stop her interest in humans once and for all. He used his magic trident and smashed all of her human treasures to pieces.

Sea king holding trident breaking table and teapot the mermaid crying in background

The little mermaid was very upset and burst into tears when she saw all her broken treasures.

Then she thought how fantastic it would be if she could just go back to the surface one more time to look for more.

One day she was out swimming on her own when she met the sea witch, who said she could turn the little mermaid into a human for three days.

“Now, there’s an interesting idea,” she thought.

The sea witch worked her magic and turned her mermaid tail into legs!

Octopus sea witch holding star wand wearing hat the mermaid smiling with human legs

She swam to the shore and, as you can imagine, it wasn’t easy without her mermaid tail.

When she got to the beach she had to learn how to use her new legs!

The prince was walking his dog along the beach and suddenly he saw the little mermaid. He realised that she was the one who had saved him.

“Please come to my castle, so I can thank you properly,” he said.

“Oh, yes please,” she answered, “I’ve never been to a human castle!”

At the castle she was given a beautiful new dress and some jewels. At a grand dinner table she was served lots of different foods but she didn’t like the look of them very much.

“Not hungry?” asked the prince.

“Not really,” said the little mermaid, “by the way, what’s this?” she asked.

“It’s a burger, of course,” said the prince. He was a bit surprised at this.

The prince sitting beside the mermaid wearing glasses pointing at burger drink jelly fruit bowl dog trying to climb on table

The next day, the prince took her on a carriage ride. She was fascinated by everything she saw and wondered how everything worked.

At the end of the day, the prince took her out on a rowing boat.

She took one look at the deep blue water and realised that she really wanted to go home.

The sea witch had been watching all this in her crystal ball.

“That girl has got a choice. She either lives as a human or a mermaid,” thought the sea witch.

The trouble was that the little mermaid really liked the prince. And the prince really liked her. So did his dog!

Then suddenly her best friend, the crab, swam up to the side of the boat. He looked sad.

Then she knew what she must do.

She knew she would miss her family and friends far too much. So, she thanked the prince and told him she had to go home.

Just as the sun went below the horizon her legs turned back into a tail and she was back to being a mermaid.

Prince and dog in wooden rowing boat waving at the mermaid and crab swimming in the sea

Then she felt really hungry and she couldn’t wait to eat some yummy seabiscuits.

She swam happily back to her family and friends in the coral palace deep under the sea. 

After all, that’s where she really belonged.

The End

Can you read this story for free?

Yes! You can read the Little Mermaid story for free. Our story retellings closely follow the original storylines and add modern twists in the illustrations.

Is there a read aloud version?

You can choose to experience this story read aloud or you can read it yourself.

Who wrote the original story?

Hans Christian Andersen wrote the original Little Mermaid story way back in 1837. This story was part of a collection of fairy tales for children which included The Emperor's New Clothes too.

What is the story summary?

This fairy tale is a beloved story by Hans Christian Andersen that tells the tale of a young mermaid princess who dreams of living in the world above the sea. After being forbidden from swimming to the surface by her father, King Triton, she makes a deal with an evil sea witch named Ursula who grants her legs and human form. After experiencing the different and new world on land the mermaid starts to miss a lot of things about her home and ultimately decides that she wants to return home.

Is this a bedtime story?

This is a great example of a bedtime story. It’s nostalgic for parents and has a happy ending for kids. That’s if they make it to the end of the story before falling asleep!

Why do we write bedtime stories for kids?

When we first decided to create a bedtime story for kids, we knew we wanted it to be fun, engaging and high quality.

We wanted Sooper Books to bring children's publishing into the 21st century. We strongly believe that nighttime stories for kids need to fit seamlessly into modern family lives which is why our free stories are all online.

It began when we started writing stories for our own family. Then our friends and wider families asked for copies and we started to share Sooper Books with other children.

At Sooper Books we write, curate and narrate stories for kids so they can enjoy the best quality content, enchanting stories and magical adventures. With our stories we work towards promoting a positive attitude to reading and instill a love of books in children from an early age.

About Sooper Books

Our 5-10 minute online kids bedtime stories, fairy tales, funny rhymes and fables all come with award-winning audio.

From short stories for kids to multiple story episodes in our original series collections, our content is sure to make your little ones’ eyes sparkle with delight.

At Sooper Books, children can explore the magical world of fairies and witches, brave knights, talking animals and more. Our stories for kids feature an array of characters such as lovable princesses, funny frogs, gentle giants and wise wizards.

So whether you're specifically looking for a fairy tale or a rhyme, or maybe you just need some short bedtime stories for kids. Take the stress out of bedtime by reading one of our kids stories today!