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Debbie Dabbles In Her Dream To Be ‘The Little Mermaid’

When Debbie Soh was three years old, she would ask her mother to read to her "The Little Mermaid" every night as she readied for bed. As she closed her eyes to sleep, she would imagine herself swimming in the ocean with creatures of the sea, surfacing to enjoy the sunshine but shying away from humans - just like "Ariel". 

Ten years on, she was offered the chance to play the role of "Ariel" at Wild Wild Wet, a water theme park in Pasir Ris, which was hosting the National Library Board's mobile story-telling series on 30 and 31 July 2011. On the night when her mother broke the news to her that she had been chosen to play the role of "Ariel", Debbie couldn't sleep.

"Would I be wearing a mermaid costume? What colour would it be? Would the "tail" restrict my movements? I was so excited that I couldn't sleep at all," recalled the Secondary 1C student-athlete from the Swimming Academy (Synchronised Swimming).

Swimming downstream the Ular-la River was effortless. But when she had to swim against the motorised current, she struggled a little.

"I'm sure there were times when Ariel had to swim against the current, too," Debbie said with a laugh.

How Debbie, dressed in a customised blue and white costume, mesmerised her young audience, many of who believed she was a mermaid and wanted to touch her. As they couldn't, they had to settle for posing for photographs with her from the other side of the glass.

Sometimes, little girls' dreams do come true.