Silver of the Moon

Conor O’Loughlen Lord of Gleninagh Castle and Prince of the Burren had for all of his life spent as much time as possible on the Rynne Peninsula, walking, reading and watching the wildlife and in summer swimming with the seals. Once while walking at the end of the Rynne he saw cattle grazing, some honey coloured, others dark red lay resting on the grass. Nearby he saw darker clumps like rocks until one of them moved. They were seals, this was the first time he saw them on land. They started to sing. They had beautiful voices, sweet, high, lyrical, a song more beautiful than he had ever heard before. A few days later when he was swimming in the sea, he saw a group of seals nearby. He started singing to them. The seals came up close to him. They were very curious, and they did not seem to be a bit scared of him. He thought they had the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen, a deep brown with really long eyelashes.
On another walk sometime later, among the rocks he saw a beautiful woman sunbathing on the beach. Seeing her he fell instantly in love. He knew of the folk tale which told that seals were capable of changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin. He spotted her skin lying on a rock beside him. She tried to get to her skin, but he was closer to it. Conor stole her skin. He brought her back to the Castle where he hid her seal skin in a rock crevice of the fulacht fiadha (ancient cooking place) beside the castle. Then he forced her to become his wife. Selkie grew to love him and sometimes they would sing together. As the years passed, they had three children, two boys and a girl. Then came a summer day when Conor took the boys out in his boat to see the seals on their breeding ground on Oilean Lugha (Illaunloo Island). Nessa their 10-year-old daughter while playing in the fulacht fiadha found something unusual. She came running into the castle calling for her mother. She explained what she had found, it was black and shiny, but she could not reach into the crevice to remove it. Selkie went with Nessa to the fulacht fiadha reached into the crevice and removed her seal skin. She explained to Nessa what it was they had found. Later when Nessa was in bed Selkie left the Castle and went to the Rynne. She donned her seal skin and slipped into the sea. As she went deeper into the waves she looked up and saw a shimmering sliver of the moon. Looking at the moon Selkie made a promise that she would return to her human family every summer when the seals came to Oilean Lugha.