“Gee, Ariel, you look so sad.”

“I’m sorry, Flounder. I just don’t understand why nobody likes me anymore.”

“That’s not true. I like you, Ariel. And Sebastian over here is crazy about you. Right, Sebastian?”

“I never said dat! Don’t you be puttin’ da words in my mouth, ya little trouble-maker…”

“Um, so anyway, Sebastian and I like you. And lots of people are really excited about your new movie.”

“Then why are they saying I ‘ruined their childhood’? Why are they saying such mean things about the colour of my tail – and the colour of my skin? What does ‘Not My Ariel’ mean? I’ve ALWAYS been Ariel. Who else could I possibly be?”

“Now, don’t you be getting’ ya fins in a twist, my girl. Dere’s always gonna be somebody tryin’ ta stir da pot. Trust me on dis one – I’m a crab! Most of my brudders and sistas spend dere lives lookin’ for a toe ta pinch. Me, I just sing me a happy sea song and serve da king. Dat’s da way YOU should live, not spendin’ ya time worryin’ about a bunch o’ whiners.”

“I know, Sebastian. But this still hurts. I just wish I had somebody to help me. Someone who knows how I feel.”

“Right here, girlfriend!”

“Oh, my goodness! Where did you come from? Who ARE you?”

Pictured are (from the left): Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; Washington, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY.; and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

“We’re THE SEA SQUAD! I’m Alexandria, and these are my friends Rashida, Ayanna and Ihlan. We came from the swamp known as Capitol Hill, but we’d much rather help a mermaid sister swim out of the darker waters into a brighter lagoon.”

“Sebastian, do you recognize these mermaids? I’ve never seen them around here before.”

“Oh, I heard o’ dem. EVERYBODY’S heard o’ dem by now. But I never knew dey was mermaids. I thought dey were all two-legged land-lubbers.”

“Sure, we’re mermaids! We’re the new wave of powerful Democratic Congressional leaders, and we can be anyone we want to be. Yesterday, I was a unicorn! And Rashida over here was Optimus Prime! Tomorrow, we’ll all be Power Rangers. Or maybe Ninja Turtles. Or maybe both at once! After all, we’re THE SEA SQUAD!”

“That’s incredible! You can really be anything you want?”

“Well, almost anything. Lately it seems like we can’t be friends with Nancy Pelosi. But we’ll worry about her some other time. We came here to help you, Ariel.”

“That’s very nice of you. But nobody can help me. Just because I don’t look like I did 30 years ago, everybody thinks I’m a fraud.”

“Girl, you just PROVED that you need our help. You gotta stop listening to the ‘Send Her Back’ crowd. Who ever told you that there was only one kind of mermaid, and that she had white skin, red hair and a specific body type?”

“You mean…There are OTHER mermaids out there that look like me?”

“All over the world, Ariel! Over in Africa, you’ve got the legend of the water spirit Mami Wata. They even have a feast day for her every June. Then there’s the Nigerian water goddess Yemaja, the Indonesian water spirit Nyai Roro Kidul, and the Caribbean mermaids Aycayai and River Mumma.”

“Wow, Flounder! There really ARE other mermaids that look like me! Even if you DIDN’T see them in my first movie!”

“I knew it, Ariel! I knew they were out there! The sea is such a colourful place, after all – it doesn’t make sense for all of us living beneath the surface to be one single hue!”

“Preach it, little fish! You’re getting the message! Hopefully, those kelp-for-brains right-wingers back on land will hear the Sea Squad mantra too.”

“On land? But that’s where Prince Eric lives. He’s so dreamy! Even with all those ‘Not My Ariel’ people, I couldn’t picture the land being such a bad place.”

“Well, sometimes it is, Ariel. That’s why we took to the sea. Down here, you can’t here the chants of the knuckle-draggers at political rallies. And since there’s no Wi-Fi underwater, we can’t go on Twitter and see King Trump telling us to ‘go back where we came from.’”

“I thought you said you came from that swampy place, Capitol Hill.”

“Well, technically we did, Ariel. And three of us were born in America, while Ilhan, here, became an American citizen in 2001. But it’s easier for King Trump to swing his big trident around and smash things up, rather than actually draining the swamp and doing the other things he said he’d do.”

“But we’re standing our ground! Well, I guess you can’t really ‘stand’ in a fish tail. Let’s just say the Sea Squad is here to stay. And so are you, Ariel!”

“Thank you all so much. I wish I knew how to pay you back.”

“Hmmm…Are you old enough to vote?”