Morgana Sheldon had grown tired of waiting tables. She wanted something fun, before starting night classes. Like dozens of other young Hernando County women, the 19-year-old turned to a recurring childhood memory: the beautiful sea creatures that for decades have enchanted visitors to the tourist attraction along U.S. 19 _ Weeki Wachee mermaids. Since the age of 5, Morgana had wanted to be one, and last year she decided to try. For three months, the Times followed her journey in discovering that there is more to childhood dreams _ and mermaid life _ than pretty tails. Above, she practices using a breathing tube.
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