Langhet the Mermaid, My Version!

Long ago, in the beautiful scenic Island of Saipan, there lived a young Chamorrita girl by the name of Langhet, which meant heaven in the English terms. She was an attractive 18-year-old tanned girl who loved being in the open Pacific Ocean waters. Langhet had long black mermaidsilky hair that reached her toned calves which was as wavy as the ocean tides. She had big round beautiful brown eyes that always shined with happiness and enthusiasm. She was very physically fit and energetic because of the fact that she loved being outdoors, but most of all, she loved to swim. Langhet lived with her parents, her father, Tasi which means ocean, her mother Pution which means star and her youngest brother Hoben which means young. Her father Tasi was a hard working man who fished and farmed daily to provide for their family. He was 6’3” tall and weighed nearly 200 pounds packed with muscles. Pution was just as beautiful as her name was and shined just like the moon did on a beautiful night. Putionn also had long black wavy hair that glistened under the sun and moon. She was responsible for their home and ensured that the children were raised properly with respect, discipline and cultural values. Pution was the core of her family and people who surrounded her just loved her. Her Youngest brother Hoben, was 12 years old, and was energetic and playful as any child would be. He was very aggressive and was very protective of Langhet. If anything bad happened to Langhet, Hoben was always there to comfort her and tried to make her smile. Langhet also had an older brother, Kiridu which meant the loved one. Kiridu was the oldest of the three, he was 22 years old and lived with his newly wedded wife Plumeria, just like the flower, not too far from the family. Kiridu, was always the most reliable of the three when it came to getting things done and looked exactly like their father Tasi.

One cool bright sunny day, in the middle of the month of May, Langhet had been helping her mother with cooking and cleaning. They had been working hard all Saturday long, ensuring the house was clean, expecting some friends and family over. They swept and mopped the house, dusted all the furniture, washed all the clothes and started cooking for the gathering. Pution then told Langhet to bring some of the cooked food to kiridu and Plumerias home because Kiridu had been working all day with Tasi. When Pution told Langhet, she emphasized to drop the food and hurry back home, just in time to greet her guests and father. She specifically told Langhet not to deviate from her route and hurry back home. Her mother told her to avoid the waters because she knew Langhet loved to swim, but Langhet couldn’t resist the deep blue ocean. While walking, Langhet whispered to herself, “I wish I could just swim all day, and not have to worry about anything.” There was an ancient Chamorro saying, “Yangin esta unsangan, maputpumanut tati i fino’mu. Hasu maulik antis di pula’ i fino’mu. (Be careful what you ask for. Once you ask for it you can’t take it back.) (Ramirez)

After dropping off the food to Kiridu as Pution instructed, Langhet walked bare-footed along the beautiful white sandy beaches of San Roque, the Northern part of Saipan. On her way home, she could not resist the waters and her body was tingling to get into the waters. She quickly took of her over garments and decided jump in for a quick swim. She splashed and splashed all around, swimming in circles and diving as deep as her breath could hold. She swam near the fishes, turtles and even held on to the dolphins as they swam. She floated around and enjoyed the warmth of the waters as the sun started to set.

During this time, Pution started to wonder and worry for Langhet, most of the afternoon had past since Langhet’s departure and hasn’t returned. As Pution continued to cook, Tasi arrived home holding up two large catches, one Blue Fin Tuna and one Mahi Mahi. He called for Langhet to start cleaning and prepping the catches so that the guest would enjoy such a treat, but Langhet didn’t answer. Pution knew how much Tasi would be so angry if she didn’t respond so she tried to distract him, in hopes that Langhet would return. She could only prolong the situation enough for Tasi to question Langhet’s whereabouts. Hoben couldn’t help but to worry as well, so he started to spark up another conversation, hoping Langhet would arrive. Again, Tasi called for Langhet but still no answer. The fishes were placed in the sink, untouched and started to lose its freshness. By this time, Tasi grew impatient and forced Pution to explain where Langhet was. Pution gave in and explained that she had tasked her to drop some food over to Kiridu. Immediately, Tasi knew where to look. On his way to Kiridu’s house, he started to wonder if Langhet had been hurt or lost. He started to pray to himself hoping that Langhet was ok and that she just lost the track of time conversing with Plumeria. Finally, while crossing the beach, he saw Langhet sitting on a rock that surfaced the beach waters. He yelled, “Langhet, sigi magi pagu’ gua.” (Langhet, get over here right now) As Langhet worriedly swam ashore, Tasi whispered to himself “keep this up my daughter, and soon you will turn into a fish”, not knowing as the sun settled, a spiritual ocean goddess overheard Tasi. Before Langhet could reach the shore, she noticed she couldn’t stand, the more she tried, the more she tripped and fell forward. As the sun settled and the horizon darken, Tasi could only see Langhet still laying in the waters. As he yelled for her to get out and hurry, Langhet started to cry and state that she couldn’t stand up. For a second, Langhet thought she had been in the water for so long that her legs cramped, not allowing her to stand. As she started to rub her legs and massage the cramp away, she felt a smooth scaly feeling. Shocked, Langhet started to yell and cry so loud that Tasi panicked and immediately stumbled his way to her. Tasi could not believe his eyes, he started to cry and ask for forgiveness, hoping that it was all a dream, but as Langhet cried louder and louder, he knew it was real. Simultaneously, Pution and Hoben arrived at the beach, Pution immediately fell to her knees yelling “Tasi!!! Hafa bida mu’, hafa bida mu’” (what did you do? what did you do?) As Hoben rushed to comfort Langhet, she slowly drifted back towards the deep waters crying out “dispensa yu’ nana, pot fabot’ dispensa yu” (forgive me mom, please forgive me) Hoben called out for his sister, the last thing he saw was a fish tail go underwater, never to see his sister again.tail


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