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Little People of the British Isles (The)

16 17 Of all of the good neighbours bound with the sea and shore none are more celebrated than the mermaids and mermen. Half human with the iridescent tail of a fish they have long flowing hair and webbed hands. Merpeople have undisputed control over the weather at sea and can calm a storm or raise a wind at will. Sailors tales speak of the lustrous beauty of mermaids and how they occasionally choose a human as their consort, living with them either under water or on land. Mermaids carry a comb and a mirror and are sometimes seen singing whilst combing their hair on a rock out at sea. They have a great and ancient knowledge of herbs and healing and are gifted with prophecy and the granting of wishes if respectfully dealt with. They can also shape shift and often turn into seals or fish. The Irish Merrows or moruadh are the equivalents of the English mermaids, and inhabit Tir fo Thoinnthe Land beneath the Waves. The most famous of them is Liban who had the tail of a salmon and swam the seas of Ireland until 558 AD indeed some of the merpeople stayed inland after the deluge and took abode in the many inland lakes of these islands. It is said that any mortal lucky enough to perceive the merpeople and dealing with them impeccably may have the gift of immortality bestowed upon them, or be given other treasures from the sea. sAnd And FoAm sprites of the sea and shore
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