Enjoy reading the first chapter of Caring for Water with Ambrella The Mermaid by Camilla Blossom Bishop. You can also read the book’s Introduction here.
“The book is sooooo delightful!!!! It is beautiful and playful, full of lush and radiant imagery! I love the ending! Love it all! It flows nicely with the changing seasons that occur and it took me to the water world! Instantly captivated and hooked until the end! I wish it kept going! I want to turn into a mermaid! It was a lot of fun and brought me to a magical place. I needed that.”
Chapter 1 Cammy Meets Ambrella
One cool sunny day in autumn Cammy knew something extraordinary was going to happen. She wasn’t sure why she had that feeling. She just did. Usually, there was school and boring homework to take up her days, although sometimes she got to play with the trees and rocks in the mossy forest and make villages for the fairies with sticks, leaves, pine cones, and bark.
The stream behind her house was running swiftly. Cammy felt bright and bold wearing her favorite red wool coat. Her auburn hair was pulled back off her face. Her freckled cheeks were pink from the cold.
Cammy gathered a pair of mossy sticks and tapped them together so she could hear the tapping sound of wood-on-wood. Then she tapped the water surface as the water splashed in all directions. She then placed one stick into the rushing stream and kept it underneath the water. She watched as a white-water wake formed off the stick. She felt the pull of fluid power in her hands.
Soon, she became drawn to the beautiful shiny rocks on the riverbank. She picked up a small stone and threw it into the water. But as the stone hit the water she heard an “ouch!”
“Oh dear,” she thought. “I think I hit someone.” Cammy was concerned, but couldn’t see anyone in the water. She looked around.
“Hmmm. Who could it be?”
No sooner did Cammy have that thought when she saw something emerge from the water just for an instant. She couldn’t tell what it was. It looked like a mysterious edge of fin or tail of some kind. But it glistened and flashed in the sunlight.
“Maybe it’s a mermaid,” she thought out loud!
“I am a mermaid,” she heard back.
“Who said that?” In shock, Cammy looked around.
“I did.” the voice echoed.
She looked into the beckoning water. Under the surface she saw a shimmering translucent figure swimming. A mermaid popped her head out of the water directly in front of Cammy.
Cammy’s eyes widened in disbelief. “Wow! You are a mermaid! I never knew they were real. I always thought someone made you up and put you in fairy tales.”
“Well. I am real and I live in the waters. I care for the water,” the mermaid responded with a pleasant annoyance.
“Can I help you?” Cammy asked her. Not sure what to say next.
She realized that her red coat was the same bright color as the mermaid’s cloth-like covering. The mermaid’s tail was beautifully scaled and colored in blue and green and her skin was fair, just like hers. Her hair was long and auburn and very tangled with what looked like seaweed and twigs.
“We are wearing the same colors,” said Cammy.
She got very excited as if this mermaid was especially for her since she looked like her in so many ways. Yet her mermaid was beautiful beyond description. Her own face was plain with girlish cheeks and even a few freckles, and she saw the mermaid as beautiful compared to her. Never had she seen such glowing radiant skin and lovely long tangled hair. And her red clothes brought out her pale skin like it was shining with light.
“Oh, I don’t know if you can help me. I’ve been feeling sad lately and just not into doing anything at all. It feels like I’m not making a bit of difference for the water,” the mermaid said. “I can’t keep up.”
“I never knew mermaids could be sad. I get real sad when I don’t have anyone to play with. But I met you! Will you play with me?” Cammy asked.
“Ok. Maybe you can help me with some things. How about picking up litter that people have left along the riverbanks. Could you do that?” the mermaid asked hopefully.
“Sure. I’d do that. I don’t want you swimming in a messy river. You might get sick or something. My mom always says ‘clean your room.’ She says ‘you can’t be happy is a messy room’.”
“What’s your name?” Cammy asked the mermaid.
“My name is Ambrella. What’s yours?” she answered.
“I am Cammy, short for Camilla.”
“Ahhhh, what a lovely name.”
“I really want to tell my mother about you, but I don’t think she will believe me. My parents don’t believe in magical things. I asked my mom and dad about ghosts one time and they said there is no such thing. I know there is though. I saw photographs of ghosts in a book,” said Cammy.
The mermaid responded. “Well. I am real and I am swimming in your stream right here in front of you. And I want you to tell people that I am real and then maybe they will care for the waters too. I don’t want the earth to become sicker. She’s already loaded down with too much debris and litter and chemical substances in her rivers and oceans. Sometimes the water gets so dark and murky that you can’t even see through it.”
“That’s terrible.” Cammy’s eyes opened wider. She felt sad that her friend’s home was messy due to human carelessness. She hoped there was something she could do to help.
“Can I come out and play with you every day? Maybe I can help with some things.” Cammy asked.
“Sure. Whenever you want to play, just place a stick, or your fingers, in the water, and tap gently five times. Call my name in your imagination. I’ll come. I’ll teach you about the water too, if you’d like.” Ambrella continued.
“Yes. I want to know everything. And I want to grow up and be like you,” said Cammy.
“Heee heee. Ahhhh. Thank you, Cammy! You put a smile on my face again, because you care. Not too many people come to the water anymore. They seem to be locked away in square buildings. The people in your world seem so still, quiet, and stern. I hardly ever see them. I am so grateful to meet someone who is curious like I am,” Ambrella offered.