The Tale

Let me tell you a story!

Ondine (Latin: Unda – a wave), was a nymph, a water Godess in Fench folk tale written by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué – a tragic and tender love story.

Ondine was breathtakingly beautiful and possessed a streak of independence, truly what we call a “free spirit”, and had the capability of changing shape. If a nymph ever falls in love with a man and bears his child, she will begin to age like a mortal woman, losing her eternal youthfulness and everlasting life but keeping some of her powers.

When Ondine saw the handsome young and engaged Palemon she was smitten and began to watch for him on his daily walks. When Palemon noticed her, he was taken by her incredible beauty and came back frequently to try to get a glimpse of her again. He immediately broke his engagement with Berta and convinced Ondine to marry him.

When they exchanged their wedding oaths, Palemon vowed that “My every waking breath shall be my pledge of love and faithfulness to you.” But it was not to be.

The following year, Ondine gave birth to their son. From that moment on, her beauty began to fade. As her youthful attractiveness gave way to a more mature beauty, Palemon’s eye began to wander to the younger women he met at court and ended in the arms of Berta, his ex-fiancée. Having sacrificed her immortality for this man, she was filled with anger and regret and uttered her curse: “You pledged faithfulness to me with your every waking breath and I accepted that pledge. So be it. For as long as you are awake, you shall breathe. But should you ever fall into sleep, that breath will desert you.” Palemon would never sleep again.

And a Storyteller was born…