The oceans are big and broad. I believe two-thirds of the
earth's surface is covered with water. What people inhabit
this water has always been a subject of curiosity to the
inhabitants of the land. Strange creatures come from the seas
at times, and perhaps in the ocean depths are many, more strange
than mortal eye has ever gazed upon.
This story is fanciful. In it the sea people talk and act
much as we do, and the mermaids especially are not unlike the
fairies with whom we have learned to be familiar. Yet they
are real sea people, for all that, and with the exception of Zog
the Magician they are all supposed to exist in the ocean's depths.
I am told that some very learned people deny that mermaids
or sea-serpents have ever inhabited the oceans, but it would be
very difficult for them to prove such an assertion unless they had
lived under the water as Trot and Cap'n Bill did in this story.
I hope my readers who have so long followed Dorothy's
adventures in the Land of Oz will be interested in Trot's equally
strange experiences. The ocean has always appealed to me as
a veritable wonderland, and this story has been suggested to me
many times by my young correspondents in their letters. Indeed,
a good many childred have implored me to "write something
about the mermaids," and I have willingly granted the request.
L. FRANK BAUM.
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