The jealous mermiad
murkle caithness

There once was a mermaid who lived in a loch near Murkle in Caithness.The mermaid fell in love with a fisherman and lavished gold and jewels upon him.

Then she discovered he was using his new wealth to make extravagant gifts to human girls, so she spoke sweetly to him one morning and asked if he would like to see where all his gifts came from. The fisherman jumped at the chance.

Seeing an opportunity to seize all the treasure in one go and forgo this time spent flattering the mermaid. She took his hand and told him to trust her.

"As long as you are holding my hand." She said "You shall be able to breath underwater."

So she led him by the hand out into the loch and as they reached the middle they began to dive. Down and down they dove until the world above was but a dim point of light.

Then the mermaid told the fisherman to close his eyes and she led him through a maze of underwater caves and tunnels until they reached a massive air filled chamber deep under the loch. Here she showed him all the treasure of all the ships that had ever been lost in the Pentland firth.

While he gazed greedily at the spoil, she sang to him so sweetly that he fell asleep. When he awoke, he found he was chained to the floor with golden fetters, and there to this day he remains, jealously guarded by his sea-woman mistress.