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Faeries, Elves and Other Kin

Selkies

The Selkies are placid creatures, seals by day women and men by night. Also known as Selchies, Sea People or Water Kelpies; In their mortal form the Selkies are described as having a characteristically unearthly magnificence with dark eyes and hair. Noiselessly they appear from the sea shedding their skins and frolicking along the sandy beaches. Like the merrows (the Irish and Scottish equivalent to the mermaid) their toes and fingers are webbed (When no signs of webbed fingers are present their palms are wider than their human counterparts’ showing hints of their watery beginning) however, if a mortal man or woman finds their skin, the Selkie is obliged to obey them until such a time as they find their skin. Selkie women have been said to make exceptional wives. Nevertheless, it is the Selkie women’s they nature to be quite and solitary. Frequently they will roam from their earthly homes back to the cliffs down by the sea to sing their mournful songs and reflect. When their husbands (fisherman) have been lost at sea, they sing their melancholy songs from high upon the cliffs in an attempt to lead them home.  If and when the she finds her seal skin again, she, too, will return home to the sea. However, dissimilar to the merrows, the Selkie never stops thinking about her mortal family and are oftentimes seen swimming near the seas shore watching over them for generations to come.
A Selkie Song
An earthly nurse sits and sings,
And aye, she sings by lily wean,
And little ken I by bairn’s father,
Far less the land where he dwells in.
For he came one night to her bed feet,
And a grumbly guest, I’m sure was he,
Saying “Here am I, thy bairn’s father,
Although i be not comely.
I am a man upon the land,
I am a Selkie on the sea,
And when I’m far and far frae land,
My home it is in Sule Skerrie.”
And he had ta’en a purse of gold,
And he had placed it upon her knee,
Saying: “Give it to my little young son,
And take thee up they nurse’s fee.”
“And it shall come to pass on a summer’s day,
When the sun shines bright on every stane,
I’ll come and fetch my little son,
and teach him how to swim the faem.”
“And ye shall marry a gunner good,
And a right fine gunner I’m sure he’ll be,
And the very first shot that he e’er shoots,
Will kill both my young son and me.”
~Anonymous

Bibliography and Works Cited
A Selkie Song, (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2009, from
http://echoes.devin.com/selkie/selksong.html