Denmark: Cutting Up with a Mermaid

Once upon a time, in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, there lived two boys named Per and Mike. As they sat quaffing ale after ale one fine day, they happened on a picture of a sight beloved of all Danes: the bronze statue of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid in the city's harbor. Twenty springs earlier, this winsome lass had lost her head to vandals. On this summer evening, Per and Mike lost theirs. In the dead of night, the two boys stole up on the sculpture and sawed off her right arm.

In the sober light of morning, the...

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