It was about seven o'clock in the evening when Roger carried his net and paddle to his little boat. He can hear the chirping of crickets, the croaking of frogs, and the swishing of wind on his ears.
Fishing has been his job for all his life, the sea is his workplace and the little boat is his instrument. Roger is already used to the cold temperature especially late at night.
He slowly pushed the boat on the sea water leaving his footmarks on the sand. He put the net as he rode in the boat. He started to paddle toward the deep part of the sea.
"Please Lord, let me catch fishes this time or else I can't send my little daughter to school tomorrow," he pleaded, thinking about the little money his wife had kept. It's not even enough to buy food for their meal the next day.
With hope rising in his heart, he paddled and paddled until he reached the deepest part.
He can no longer see their little house near the shore nor the sight of any house. He can definitely tell that he is far away and alone. The night deepened but he has caught none.
"Splash." He heard a sudden splash in the water. He raised the lamp to see whatever keeps on splashing. And there, he saw a dolphin big enough to cost thousands of money. If he is going to catch it, he is certain that he would earn a big amount for tomorrow and the next day. It would really pay his effort that night.
So, he lowered his net down to where he last saw the dolphin. Few minutes had passed and there's a heavy weight on the net. "It's the dolphin!" He thought. He can already imagine his whole family sitting around the table, eating delicious chicken for breakfast.
He pulled the net with all his strength until he confirmed that the dolphin is really there, still trying to get away.
He was able to catch it and it's already in his boat. He stared at it for a while. And then he thought. 'What I'm doing is illegal. Sure, I can catch fishes but dolphins? No, it's against the law. And besides, the dolphin is still alive. I could still change the wrong thing I've done."
But he thought of his family again. There would be no food, he won't be able to send his daughter to school.
'Lord, please help me.'
Instead, he let the dolphin swam back to the sea. His heart leaps in joy when he set the dolphin free but the other part is still in doubt if he did the right thing.
The water start to glow. Roger couldn't believe what is happening. And there, floating in front of him is a woman with a long curly hair being lift by the sea water. She is half-human and instead of seeing legs, Roger saw her tail. To her left hand is a glowing pearl.
"Jesus. I'm not dreaming, am I?" He bursted in surprise, in shock, and amusement. He already heard stories about mermaids but he consider them a myth. But now, he couldn't even tell if he is just dreaming or just hallucinating. Maybe both?
The mermaid smiled. "I am the goddess of the sea, Merlia. And I thank you for letting my dolphin go." Her voice is as beautiful as an angel. Roger could only nod his head.
"These days, fishermen have been cruel due to their needs and the lack of resources. They use explosives that could kill the marine life. I am the protector of the sea and the sea creatures. And I am totally disappointed finding out what humans do."
Roger is confused for a second so he let her finish what she would say.
"But I found someone. Someone different from the rest. You are worthy of this pearl. Please accept this as my gift for you." She handed him the pearl.
"Thank you. But I don't think I deserve this. I almost killed the dolphin." He said. The mermaid shook her head.
"You followed your heart. That is the most important part." And then, she's gone. Roger is still in shock. He looks at the pearl. It is still glowing.
He paddled back to where he came from, looking at the Polaris which is also known as the North Star that helps fishermen know their direction.
Roger cannot wait to go home. He feels excited telling his family about the mermaid, almost forgetting the pearl and how it may help them.
"Perla," he called his wife who was then asleep. Upon hearing Roger's voice, she woken up and went downstairs to ask if he caught something. "Did you catch any fish?" She asked confused with her forehead creased.
Roger shook his head. "No. But look what I've got," he showed the pearl to Perla.
"Where did you get this?" She asked in surprise.
Roger sat on a wooden chair. He began telling the story to his wife. First, about the dolphin and next, the mermaid and now, the pearl.
He put it on their small table. The pearl started glowing even more. "Look, it's producing something!" Delighted, they look at each other.
"A gold!" Shouted Perla.
"Jesus. I can't believe this." Roger could hardly breath. The pearl produced a pocket of gold.
Later that morning, he went to sell only three pieces of gold. And they already earned enough money to start a business. They used the money wisely. They also bought a farm and planted corn. The whole family worked really hard until the farm and their business produced good harvest. They were able to build a new home but they made sure that the home is just enough for them to live peacefully.
Roger's children finished their studies and they were able to find a better job. Together, they live in contentment, in happiness and in God's blessings.