Soggy and the Mermaid
I found a rag doll mermaid on the beach many years ago, and it too ended up as a resident of the Rescue Chair. For the third book in the now ‘Soggy’ series I again remained within the bounds of my mix of fact and fiction.
I wanted children to understand what Lighthouses were for, and how important they once were, now obviously being replaced in many locations by modern technology, and how the lighthouse keepers lived in their isolation for weeks on end to keep others safe on their sea journeys. The mermaid seemed a natural link, and helped me to tell the story within the story. Thus while Grandfather, Jack and Soggy went fishing, we could bring in an actual shipwreck, which resulted in a lighthouse being built. Also the need to still try and do one’s duty even when isolated as the keeper was when his partner was taken off by the local lifeboat. His spirit supported as it were by the singing of the mermaid’s Grandmother. We also decided to allow Soggy to walk and be more active. While he obviously thinks a great deal, we are as yet unsure as to whether he will actually ever speak.