The Fishermen And His Soul
Digital Art - Original Art By Bob Orsillo
A beautiful mermaid reaches out touching the finger tips of a drowning fisherman. art by Bob Orsillo
The fishermen and his soul - art by Bob Orsillo
Inspired by the fairytale The Fisherman and his Soul by Oscar Wilde
In The Fisherman and his Soul, a young Fisherman finds a Mermaid and wants nothing more than to marry her, but he cannot, for one cannot live underwater if one has a soul. He goes to his priest, but the priest tells him his soul is his most precious possession, and the soulless mermen are lost. He tries to sell it to merchants, who tell him it is not worth anything. He goes to a witch, who tells him his soul is his shadow, and says how it can be cut away with a viper-skin knife after he dances with her.
After cutting his shadow and soul free from his body, his Soul tells him that the world is cruel and asks to take with him his heart to allay his fears. The Fisherman, however, refuses to give his Soul his heart, because his love needs it, and he sends the Soul away and joins his Mermaid under the sea.
Each year that passed, the Soul comes to the Fisherman to tell him what he has done in his absence. Each year, he travels in a different direction and meets different people from distant cultures, and each time, he comes into the possession of a magical object, but the Fisherman values love greater than everything the Soul tried to tempt him with. He first talks of the Mirror of Wisdom, which is worshipped as a 'God' in the East, then the Ring of Riches from an Emperor who was willing to give his whole treasury to the Soul rather than this after the Soul survived all his attacks.
The third year, the Soul tells the Fisherman about a nearby city where a woman dances barefooted. Deciding that, since it is so near and he could easily come back to his legless Mermaid, he agreed to go with the Soul to see her dance. Rising up from the water, he and his Soul are reunited. Passing through cities on the way, the Soul tells the Fisherman to do things: in the first, he tells him to steal a silver cup; in the second, to beat a child; in the third to kill and rob the man in whose house they were guests. The Fisherman confronted his Soul, who reminds him that he had not given him a heart. The Fisherman tries to cut away his Soul again, but discovers that, once reunited, they could never again be parted.
Returning to the shore, the Fisherman built a shelter near the water and calls the Mermaid daily, but she never came. After years pass, the lifeless body of the Mermaid washes ashore, and the Fisherman held it while the violent waves enveloped him.
The Priest, finding the drowned Fisherman cradling the dead Mermaid, pronounces them accursed and has them buried in an unmarked grave in the corner of a field, and refuses to bless the water as was his intent to do. Three years later, the Priest goes to the flower-covered altar, prepared to give a sermon on God's vengeful wrath, but, for reasons he cannot explain, he cannot do so and instead spoke of God's love. Asking the deacons where the flowers came from, they tell him they came from the corner of the field. The next day, the Priest blesses the water, but the flowers never grew again and the mermen move to a different bay.
February 10th, 2012
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