Selkie Picture

A deviation for entering *lucias-tears's Sea and Sky Competition [link]
Model is Lucias-tears'

Selkies (also known as silkies or selchies) are mythological creatures in Irish and Scottish mythology that can transform themselves from seals to humans, where "selkie" is simply the Orcadian word for "seal". The legend apparently originated on the Orkney Islands.

Selkies are able to become human by shedding their seal skins and can revert to seal form by putting their selkie skin back on. Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. A human and a selkie fall in love, but after a while the selkie becomes restless, and decides to return to the sea. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. Other times the human will hide the selkie's skin, thus preventing them from returning to seal form. The Grey Selkie of Suleskerry is a ballad typical of the former, while The Secret of Roan Inish is a movie telling the latter tale. "Seal Child" is a children's novel by Sylvia Peck which details a modern telling of this myth.

There is also a connotation that if a man steals a selkie's skin she is in his power, to an extent, and does not wish to leave him. But if her skin is found she will be unable to keep herself from returning to her home in the sea. Male selkies are supposedly unattractive, which is why the female selkie tries to lure the human to herself.

For other aquatic mythological creatures of Celtic origin see:
Morana's Harvest
Wulver
Selkie
Lamia Myth Monster Hat Entry
Escila