The Tale of Melusina

Melusina, Water Goddess with a Secret

mermaid in a bathtub art print

Melusina was a Water Goddess with hair black as night and pale luminous skin. One day while bathing in a forest pool, she was observed by a handsome knight who had lost his way. It was love at first sight for both of them and they returned to his castle to marry. After exchanging vows, she asked only that he leave her alone to bathe.

They lived happily for years and had many children together. Melusina remained as young and beautiful as when they first met. Of course as time went on, her husband’s curiosity got the better of him and he spied upon her in the bath. Her mysterious secret was revealed as he saw that she was a mermaid! He could not bear the thought of her as a strange creature and she could not forgive him for spying. She left, taking the daughters with her, and leaving the sons with him. They were both heartbroken, unable to live together in a world that does not accept a union such as theirs. It is said that she can still be heard crying for the husband she still loves and that some of her female descendants have the power of foresight.

There are various versions of this legend including one in which Melusina turns into fearsome dragon when her husband discovers her secret.

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