Scottish myths 8

The Seal-People

There is supposed to be a similar creature as the Loch Ness Monster in Loch Duich. Researchers affirm that film exists in a secret trust showing them in both locations..
There are even some who still believe that mermaids and mermen exist. There are certainly many legends including several Celtic myths, and one connected in particularly with Loch Duich where one can see the splendid Eilean Donan Castle..

One night three brothers who were fishing near the bank of the loch were amazed to see three seal-maidens who had reached the shore and had taken off their furs revealing themselves to be beautiful, young women. They gracefully danced in the light of the full moon.
The three brothers were completely enchanted. Determined to claim the maidens for themselves, they rowed to the shore and crept within reach of stealing the seal-maidens' furs. This prevented the maidens from reassuming their former appearance, and from swimming away to rejoin their families.

The three brothers were determined to claim the seal-maidens as their wives, but the youngest brother, growing truly in love with his maiden, but overcome by her distress, finally renounced his claim. He returned her seal-fur and allowed her to go back to the loch and swim away.

On the ninth following evening, when the youngest brother was seated on the shore sadly gazing across the water, several seal-people returned. Among them was the seal father of the maiden he had released. Somehow knowing he would be there, he had come to tell the young man that his daughter was as much in love with him, as he was with her, and that without fail she would return to him on every ninth evening. 

The two other brothers were far less sensitive. In order to keep their maidens they began by locking them away. When the maidens seemed to be more obedient, they were allowed more liberty. The second brother's maiden used her freedom to find her fur and then the opportunity to escape to return to the loch and swim back to her family. He never saw her again.

To prevent this from ever happening to him, the elder brother decided to burn his maiden's fur. When she saw what he was doing, the young seal-maiden was so desperately distressed that she sacrificed herself to the flames in trying to retrieve it.

The youngest brother and his seal maiden however, were deservedly more privileged and lived very happily together for the rest of their lives.

Scottish myths 9
Scottish myths 7

Retelling and images (Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Duich) © Mirino. Ocober, 2011

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