It had been an exceptionally hot day in Jupiter. Sitting around was misery in this heat, so naturally the mermaid of the cabinet of curiosities had decided to go for a swim in one of the surrounding rivers. Not only did it help her cool off, but the activity always relaxed her before shows. Swimming in a expanse of water was a lot different than swimming in a tank. One was play the other was work.

Swimming below the water, she propelled herself with ease. Though her legs were useless when it came to walking, in the water they were her greatest asset. Even in Florida with the many dangerous animals lurking about in the lakes and rivers, she had no fear. She could easily out speed anything that gave her trouble.

When she’d covered a good deal of distance, she surfaced to catch her breath and simply admire the area around her. For a fairly swampy state, Florida had its beauty. When she saw someone sitting on the bank of the river she was surprised. Was that some sort of clown? She’d always liked them as a child, having fond memories of the few times a circus troupe had come by the orphanage to give the unfortunate kids a few rare moments of childhood wonder. Still it was a little odd that a clown was sitting by himself in such sweltering heat. As she was in the middle of the river, she felt safe enough to call out to him.

“Hey there! Awfully miserable day isn’t it? You thinking about going for a swim too?”

Swampy’s #Florida Historic Photos: The Palace Soda Fountain Shop, early ’20s, Tampa.

This photo is from Floridians at Work: Yesterday and Today’ by Margaret G. Wilson, page 77.

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