"...in 1450 a beautiful Celtic mermaid named Asenora swam ashore on the coast of Cornwall where a Benedictine monastery had recently been established. After removing her fish tail and hiding it among the rocks, she explored the area on foot and discovered the community of men. She made many clandestine visits – -
....Suspicious that Asenora was no ordinary woman but a mermaid, and greatly alarmed by her presence, the abbot of the monastery hid himself by the water and waited. He witnessed Asenora swim ashore, remove her fish tail and hide it in a niche in the cliff.
When she wandered off in the direction of the abbey, the shrewd abbot retrieved the fish tail, bundling it into his robe. He tucked it inside a secret compartment hidden under the seat of his chair, in the church. Without her tail, the poor mermaid could never go back to the sea, and soon the wildness of it drained out of her. Asenora was converted, and eventually became Saint Senara...”
excerpt from “The Mermaid Chair” a novel by Sue Monk Kidd @ 2005