The Seal People

          There are many tales arising from the sea coasts of Ireland and Scotland about seal people, or selkies, as they are called. These seal people have the ability to magically shed their skins and take on the form of a human being. It is not a straight away transformation from seal to human. The seal skin remains and must be carefully hidden for if a female selkie's skin be found by a human man he can take her seal skin and claim her and take her to his home as a wife.

          The selkies in their human form are said to be good wives and bear healthy beautiful human children, but they ever want for the sea, and if they should find their seal skin where their human mate has hidden it, without a thought they will take it and race to the waters edge, transform and return to the sea. It is a sad state for all the family but the selkie, with her seal skin in her possession, she cannot resist the draw of the sea. How sad, why not a few happy stories?

          Now, how do I draw a Selkie shedding or transforming? The imagination's answer is, 'the moment between moments'. One cannot truly see the shedding/transformation with the human eyes and mind set because it happens between the moments of earthly time, a blur, a twirl, and the seal skin lies limp upon the ground and a beautiful dark eyed maiden stands on the rocks, the breezes playing in her long flowing hair. She is still alert to her surroundings, her nose lifted to the air in much the same posture of the seal and then, if she is wise she hides her skin.

          As I am sketching this drawing, other ideas and questions come up! What is this place she is in? It looks like a cave, a cave with paintings on the walls, picture stories of the selkies. Who has made these drawings? The seals outside seem to be watching out for her. And there, I see a secret hiding place, there behind that big flat rock where the selkie can put her skin while she is in human form. Is her story of the past or of the current times? Who made the pictures on the walls? Where will the maiden go? What will she do in her human body?

          Make up your own story about a selkie. Look for books at the library and on the internet to get more information. Draw and color your own pictures of selkies.

Selkie Coloring Page
Coloring Page

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