The Loreley

English’s Docs Intermediate The Loreley

The Loreley

Once upon a time there was a girl. Her name was Loreley. She was beautiful. She had long, curly hair.

Loreley lived at the top of a high cliff on a great river. The river was called the Rhine.

Ever evening, she sat at the top of the high cliff and combed her long, curly, shiny, golden hair. And she sang a song. Loreley’s voice was so beautiful – it was magical.

Sailors came in their ships and heard Loreley’s songs. Her voice was so beautiful that the sailors just had to listen. The looked up and hoped to catch a glimpse of Loreley. But they they did not pay attention to the river. And sometimes the ships crashed into the cliff and were destroyed.

But Loreley was never seen. She was very shy. She was usually alone. Sometimes she went to the fishermen on the banks of the river Rhine. Then she showed the fishermen where the best fish could be caught. The fishermen were very grateful. But they could not keep her secret to themselves. They told everyone about the beautiful Loreley with her magical voice.

In that land there was a Count. His son heard of the beautiful Loreley and just had to see her. The Count did not like the idea. He thought, “maybe Loreley is an evil witch?!” But the son went to the riverbank and looked for Loreley. He heard her voice. He was completely enchanted/spellbound by the beautiful voice. He did not pay attention to the rocks. He slid on a slippery stone and sank into the river.

The son did not come home. His father, the Count, was very worried. Then he became very angry. He declared, “This is Loreley’s fault!”

He went with his soldiers to the riverbank. He wanted to capture Loreley. Loreley saw the Count and his soldiers coming. She called out, “Father of the River! Help me! Send your waves!”

The Rhine began to bubble up. The noise was so loud! Two giant foaming waves took Loreley and brought her under the water. She disappeared – smiling – into the river.

The Count then understood that Loreley was not an evil witch. She was a good mermaid and was the daughter of the powerful Rhine.

The Count was sad and went back to his castle. When he arrived, his eyes grew big with surprise! His son stood before him! He explained, “I lay on the bottom of the river. Then a gentle wave brought me to land.”

Many believed it was Loreley who saved the Count’s son. But the good mermaid was never seen again.