The Deptford Mice Wiki

I present Zenna, she who is enamoured of the cold murk which lies in the northern waters and who prefers skulking in stagnant grottoes to singing in the sun and weaving shells in her hair.

Zenna was a sea maiden, the seventh daughter of the king under the sea. She was princess of the remote cold regions, ruling over the ice-locked north and the southern wildernesses.


The creature Zenna most resembles is a mouse, but with fin-like ears and webbed paws. Her hair is long, black and sleek with no decorations in it. In comparison with her glamourous sisters, her appearance is more drab and sombre.


Zenna is kindhearted and caring, but her tendency to be aloof and gloomy makes her the subject of ridicule amongst her sisters. She is very shy and quiet, enduring the taunts she receives in pained silence. When Woodget stands up for her, she is incredibly grateful, becoming fiercely loyal to the fieldmouse and falling in love with him.


Zenna was called to the surface of the water by her sisters, who wanted her to meet Thomas and Woodget who were watching from the deck of the Calliope. The sea maidens joked that Woodget would make a good match for Zenna as they were both awkward. They continued to taunt Zenna, explaining to Woodget and Thomas how different she was from them and how gloomy and ugly they found her. She endured their jibes until Woodget could take no more and told them to stop. Zenna was captivated by the fieldmouse who spoke up in her defence, and thereafter followed the Calliope, hoping to catch another glimpse of him.

When a storm began that would endanger the ship, Zenna raced to her father's halls and pleaded with him to still the waters. But because the storm was not his doing, he was powerless to stop it. Returning to the Calliope, she witnessed its destruction but managed to rescue Woodget from drowning. The little fieldmouse was barely clinging to life, so Zenna poured forth her powers, singing a beautiful, wordless song to restore his health. Having succeeded, she stopped her song, knowing that if she continued it would erase his memory. Zenna took Woodget back up to the surface of the water to reunite him with Thomas, kissing his nose before she disappeared back beneath the waves.

After Thomas, bewitched by the evil magic of Mother Lotus, pushed Woodget into the river in Singapore, Zenna found him and once again rescued him. This time she sang her songs in full, causing Woodget to forget everything about his past life. She cared for him for many days, finally bringing him to the city of Hara, where he became the new Holy One.


  • Zenna is named after the daughter of a librarian Robin Jarvis met when he visited her school in Shropshire. It is one of many "interesting and unusual" names he has collected to use in his books.[1]

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