In the Icelandic myths, seals are believed to be condemned humans. One ancient story from the south of Iceland is about a farmer who early one morning finds a seal pelt lying on the beach. In a cave nearby, he hears voices and music. He takes the seal pelt home and hides it in a wooden chest. Later that day he returns to the beach and finds a crying, naked young woman sitting on a rock. He brings her to his house, where she stays, but he never tells her about the pelt. As time goes by they get married and have children. But the young woman is restless and often stares quietly out of the window at the ocean. One day when the farmer goes fishing, his wife accidentally finds the key of the chest, opens it and discovers the missing pelt. She takes leave of her children, puts the pelt on and before she dives into the ocean she says: “I am very anxious, with seven children on land and seven in the sea.” She never comes back but the farmer misses her terribly. Later when he goes fishing there often is a seal near his boat and its eyes are filled with tears. It is said that the farmer becomes a very lucky fisherman. And when his children play at the beach there often is a seal swimming close to land. Sometimes it brings them beautiful stones and colorful fishes. But their mother never returned.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Posted by Brian Foley at 4:26 PM