© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
Don't ask me where this came from. It started with a line about mermaids and somehow ended up as you see above. If you're not familiar with a mermaid's purse, the purse reference might be puzzling. Along the beaches here in New England, I've often come upon the little black cases known as "mermaid's purses." I originally thought they were bladders, like some seaweeds (bladder wrack) have to keep them afloat. I was wrong! The cases contain, or once contained, a baby skate! Here's a short article about mermaid's purses that has good photos. (Skates and rays are related according to a Wikipedia entry.
I don't generally write in rhyme (and for good reason--squid and live?), but this poem pushed me in that direction. I had to indulge myself in some punning to get through it!
If you are having difficulty reading the text in the illustration:
Instructions to Mother Skate's Au Pair
Please carry my offspring beneath your arm,
safe and secure, away from all harm.
I need not be tethered all night and all day
watching over a baby who gets in the way
of my own pursuit of bivalves and squid,
shrimps and crabs--why, I need them to live!
As long as you are an adequate nurse,
in exchange, dear Mermaid, you'll get a purse.
Margaret at Reflections on the Teche is hosting the Round-Up today--see you there!