Saturday, June 11, 2011
The Origins of the Selkies
Alright, I have a good understanding of the original selkies tail now (PUN!), so here it is!
Long ago, there lived a beautiful woman named Britta. She was taller than most men and more beautiful than the stars in the sky. She was the most sought after woman in all of the Orkneys, and had suitors calling day and night. But she did not love any who called. And she would not have someone who she could not love.
As her father was the ruler of the island, he had to produce and heir to keep his line in power, and Britta was his only child. So he selected a man named Ronald a seal hunter with blood red hair* who was handsome enough, but Britta still did not love him.
Her wedding was a solemn affair, where Britta was sullen and silent.
On the fifth and the last night of the wedding celebration where everyone became very durnk, she ran to the seal caves at Nettle Gee She sobbed, crying seven tears into the sea until a chocolate brown seal came to her.
"How can I serve you, O Lovely One?" he asked her.
And Britta cried through her tears "Seal in the sea, Seal in the sea, come forth from the tides and salvage me!"
The seal hauled outon the rocks near the crying girl, the veil fell to her feet, and he saw the purple and yellow bruises that spotted her fair face and caused her to frown.
Dane, for that was the seals name, caressed Britta's face.
"Return here on the seventh tide of the seventh tide," Dane replied and slipped into the sea.
Britta did as she was told. She bore her cruel life with Ronald until the seventh tide of the seventh tide, and early that morning, lighthearted with hope, she made her way to the cave at Nettle Gee ti wait for her savior, but the sea remained quiet. And Soon she lost all hope as the minutes became hours and there was no sign of him.
Then, when the sun was at its highest peek, and BIrtta had shed her woolen cload to enjoy it's warmth on her bare arms, she saw the sleek body of a seal swimming into the shore.
"Join me in the sea and we will make a life the likes of which has never known by human or animal We will have as wide as the two oceans and as high as the hawks that fly up to the sun."
Although Britta was terrifed aof the sea, like all the island folk, she fixed her eyes on his and believed the promise blazing there, she removed her wedding ring and threw it as far as she could into the sea. Dropping her gown onto the rocks, she walked naked to the water, into Dane's embrace, and together they dived deep into the sea and down, down into the waters below.
And during their journey, a miracle transformed them both. Britta bame part seal, and Dane became part human each sharing half of the other, so that they understood the other's narture as none ever could.
Britta loved her mate with her whole self, and when they touched, it was with a tenderness that healed all she had deared at the hands of her human husband. Britta bore her chosen husband many children, each as lovely as a sea anemones. Then, in the secenth year of their union, Britta's skin becan to grow thick and rough. Her fur fell in patches and she grew listeless and disinterested in feasting. Healers were brought together at the ebb of the tide, the time of the greatest portent and they prescribed that Britta must return to the land.
At first, Dane refused to let her go. For he frated that if she returned to the land, he would lose her forever. But the healer said that was the only way she could be saved. If she remained in the sea, she would die.
So Dane took his wife and propelled them moth up to the surface swimming to the csve at Nettle Gee where they had first met. Their children paddled hopefully behind. Carrying her limp body on his back, Dane hauled out on the beack and laid Britta fently on the sand. The moment her sofy underbelly touched the land, Britta shuddered once, then transformed before her husband's eyes into the elegant woman she had been so long ago. A great moan escaped Dane as he thought she was lost. But as soon as he and their children came to land, they too shed their pelts and joined Britta on the shore, dancing and leaping.
Far above the famliy, a fisherman saw the family and alerted Ronald he had seen Britta on the beack with seals, and Ronald was filled with rage. He rushed to the beach with a club, ready to kill them all.
But Dane stood on his human legs and took the a piece of driftwood and struck Ronald on the head, killing him. Britta and her children cheared, freed of a hunter.
So the family wrapped their shed pelts around their shoulders and transformed as they stepped into the sea to live happily for years.
Kind of dark, huh? This was paraphrased from Laurie Brook's Selkie Girl that I mentioned in the other post. She tells it much better than me. I hope you enjoyed!