The mysteries associated with bodies of water have been the source of many traditional tales. Andrea Spalding uses the seal stories of her youth to create a modern Celtic tale, Seal Song (Orca Book Publishers, 2011). The centerpiece of her story is a selkie- a seal that can alter its shape to human form and live on land with people. This transformed creature will be forced to return to the sea if salt water touches its skin.
Finn, a Canadian boy, is enamored with the idea of swimming with seals. Whenever Finn can slip away from his obligation to fish with his dad, he finds his way to a hidden cove. One day, he miraculously saves one of the seals. It was trapped in an old fishing net. Nursing the seal back to life becomes his top priority. After a special bond develops between the two, Finn wishes that the seal could live on land.
Magically, a young girl named Sheila appears. A land based friendship deepens even though the locals are afraid the girl will bring misfortune. Sheila’s aversion to water is quite clear. She avoids it. Despite her protests, Finn ventures out to fish when a vicious storm is approaching. No one is able to rescue Finn from the surging waters. Sheila returns to the sea to save her friend. By doing so, she will never be able to return to land.
Award winning artist, Pascal Milelli adeptly uses his creative skills as an oil painter to capture the essence of the waterfront and the mystical nature of the story.
- Mysteries or superstitions associated with seas or oceans
- Saving a life
- Obeying and disobeying parents
- Celtic tales and traditions
- Superstitions- good and bad fortune
- Life of a fisherman
- Can you share another Celtic tale?