Have you ever seen a seal bobbing in the water, watching you? If you have been to the north of Scotland you may have.
Seals swim in the Pentland Firth, to the north of Caithness, and out to the Orkney Islands. They catch fish and lie basking on the rocks.
The stories tell us that sometimes they shed their seal skins and walk on the shore on two feet as selkies! A fisherman might fall in love with the soft brown eyes of a selkie woman, hide her seal skin and make her his wife
The 'selkie folk' appear in tales around the coasts of Scotland. In the famous ballad 'The Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie', collected at Snarra Voe on Shetland, the Great Selkie tells a woman:
'I am a man, upon the lan,
An I am a silkie in the sea;
And when I’m far and far frae lan,
My dwelling is in Sule Skerrie.'
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