Thursday 16 August 2012

Seals and Selkies

Walking near the Smugglers' House on Rathlin, I heard the loud and unmistakable sound of snoring.  I could see some seals in the water, but it couldn't be them - because the sound persisted even when they went underwater.  I looked around for some stray smugglers who might have sampled too much of their wares, but there were none to be seen.

Eventually (and because one of them moved) I realised that what I thought were piles of driftwood were actually lounging seals.  They had arranged themselves on the rocks and in the rock pools.  Some were entirely out of the water, others had their noses and the tips of their tails out - but their bellies submerged.  They were snoring and sighing and snuffling and calling to each other in very human-like tones.

And the legend of the selkies - creatures who are seals in the water, but abandon their skins or cloaks on land and take human form - made perfect sense to me.  I could see the seals becoming human - or I could imagine myself putting on a seal cloak and diving under the waves.

Would it be to much to ask, in my selkie life, for a seal husband who doesn't snore?

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