Sirena of Guam
In Guam they have the legend of a famous mermaid transformation. According to the story, a young girl named Sirena lived in the city of Agana near the Minondo River. (This occurred in the "old Spanish times" somewhere between 1565 and 1898).
Sirena loved to swim and took every opportunity to go swimming in the sea or the Minondo River. One day, Sirena's mother asked her to gather coconut shells to make a fire. Sirena started to look for coconuts but soon caught sight of the river and went swimming instead. When it started getting late Sirena's mother and godmother went looking for her and found her diving about in the water without a care. Angry, Sirena's mother cursed her and said, "if you love to swim so much then be a fish!"
Hearing this Sirena's godmother was horrified. She could not prevent the curse but she could soften it. She asked that the part that belonged to her remain human. Out in the water Sirena felt very strange. Looking down at where her legs had been she saw that she now had a tail like a fish. Her mermaid transformation was complete!
Sirena's mother, realizing what she had done, regretted her decision but it was too late. The mermaid transformation curse had been laid and will last forever. Sirena, tearfully, said good-bye to her mother and godmother and swim out of the river into the Pacific.
Sirena is occasionally seen by mariners to this day. People say that she can be caught only with a net made of human hair.
This story was referred to me by Gina Decaire, who grew up in Guam. She told me that:
The interesting thing about this legend is the house where
Serena lived still remained present on the River (still there in 1980's)...when
I was growing up we would drive downtown to go shopping and we would always look
for Serena's house.
She also tells me that there is a statue of Sirena, near her house, that was erected in the early 1980s.
Sirena has also been immortalized on golf balls adorned with her image. They can be purchased at the Coconut Villa Gift Shop in Guam, or at their online store.