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The Art of Raven's Shire
A gallery of art inspired by the stories of Raven's Shire

Raven's Shire Fairies Tales
The Sealkie

Muireall snatched a fish away just before her love could grab it and let out a seal-like giggle in a burst of bubbles as she flipped her flippers and darted away. The boy chased her though he wasn’t truly angry. The seals circled each other until at last he caught half the fish in his own mouth so that their noses touched as he tore the fish in half.
Muireall gave the boy a coy smile that told him to wait for her while she joined her friends who were swimming up to the beach to play under the moonlight. She swam up onto the sand and stripped off her seal skin. She stood for a moment enjoying the odd sensation of the sand filled waves running between her human toes. The wind caressed her body before she placed her skin on a rock and ran off with her friends.
They danced and played on the beach until the morning cock crowed and then ran back to their skins each dressing in turn, all but for Muireall.
“I can’t find my skin,” she said frantically after her friends had swum out into the waves.
She looked and looked, her heart racing, but it was no where to be seen.
“Hello,” a man greeted her as he stepped from the bushes where he’d been peeping and Muireall felt her heart sink as she turned to face him. She already knew from the way he approached her that he had her skin, her immortality. Her life in the ocean and the future with her love were all contained within it.
“Give it back!” she cried. “Please give it back,” she pleaded. But he stood immovable as she cried for him to return her life.
At last with no other choice but to hope he would eventually slip and reveal the location of her seal skin, she followed him home where he laid his head in her lap. It felt heavy and she ached and cried silently.
From that day on Muireall acted as a faithful wife should, cooking, cleaning, holding her husband’s head in her lap and baring a daughter named Grainne.
Then one day while her daughter was playing out in the field near their house she came across a box buried in the dirt with a seal skin inside it.
Muireall laughed for joy when she found it and stripped off her dress as she snatched it up and ran towards the water. Behind her she could hear the man who captured her trying to keep her there with his false love. She laughed with hatred in her heart. Did he think she was stupid or as desperate as he was? She had a love, one she hoped would still be waiting for her when she transformed into a seal and dove back into the ocean. She still had an immortality to look forward to.
However, Muireall found that in the years she had been gone her love had found another and her friends had moved on. The stench of the man she’d been with still lingered on her, so none would approach her. So she had no choice, she returned to the land and made her home in the slate grey castle on the top of the mountain.