The seal people – the Selkies, have been long in the mythic history of the people living along the Celtic coasts. They are magical beings capable of changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin. Most of the myths involving Selkies recount the tales of female Selkies who were forced into relationships with humans by someone stealing and hiding their sealskin.
When Duncan cut a seal with his knife,
out sprang a girl that he took for his wife.
And though they lived he thought happily,
he sometimes caught her looking out to sea.
A year passed by and she was with his child,
so, he kept her secure by lock and key,
less she returned again back to the wild.
When her time came she was not to be found,
for she had heard the seal-people calling;
so, he followed her footprints to the sound,
where he stood, gazing – out to sea.
There he saw a group of seals gathered round,
a young female, who before leaving turned
to look back at him – full into his face.
Thereafter he wandered that lonely shore,
the memory of her his only grace,
as he mourned his lost love now nevermore.
Until, years later, now old and wrinkled,
his gaze went out to where he saw a ripple.
They had returned, bringing her to him
so he stripped – and set out to swim
© D G Moody