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The Seal Wife: A traditional Hebridean Tale retold by Lizzie Gates

Every year, on the Isle of Berneray South of Harris in the Hebrides, young seal people – selkies – leave the sea. For one day only, we take off our sealskins, and dance on the white sands at the water’s edge. We laugh and run and feel a freedom we do not know in our own form. We play at being humans. And – although only for one day – it feels good.

But, for many generations, our seal mothers and fathers have told us, “Beware the humans who live on these wild islands. They long to be like us – to survive in the sea and know no cold – to play in our world as we can in theirs.”

But we – being young – are not afraid.  We always believe we will win. But – oh, my children – now I must tell you the story of how I almost lost you. And of the other grief which came to me instead. (more…)

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