Warsaw Legend 2: The Mermaid

I first became curious about the imagery of a mermaid when we were handed little mermaid keychains that had different “sustainable” lifestyle icons on them at the exhibition.

According to local folklore, a mermaid found her way to Warsaw after being tired of swimming in the sea. She decided to rest on the banks of Old Town and enjoyed the area so decided to stay. She swam around the river releasing fish from the nets of the local fishermen. Initially, the men wanted to capture the thief stealing their goods, but once they heard her sing they instantly fell in love and let her be.

Soon after, she was captured by a rich fishermen who held her captive in a wooden hut. After being stuck for a while, a younger fisherman went to rescue her and ever since then she has remained to protect the people of Warsaw. ‘

Another version: she fell in love with a Griffin and came to town. The first one makes more sense to me… but it still doesn’t make sense….

A statue of a mermaid can still be found in the main square of Old Town in Warsaw, where she can be seen bearing a shield and sword to protect the town.


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What I don’t understand is why she would stay. It seems that she left her life protecting other creatures for a life of comfort and protecting those who had once harmed her. What could be the motivation behind this? Any allegories for the Climate Change negotiations? I think yes.


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