Tag Archives: Selkie

Mythological Beasts and Spirits: The Fear of a Farmer

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: Robert Lambert Jones III).

Here is my recap of the creatures I used in my story poem, The Fear of a Farmer: Valkyrie, Norns, Water Horse, Selkie, sea serpent, and Cherubim. As I did for The Staff in the Tree, I have chosen to show certain illustrations with some accompanying verses. I’m a bit more pleased with the visual quality in this particular book. And now…

“So know, as you tremble with eyes open wide,                                                                          I’ve come to commission the hero inside.”

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From out of the darkness, a trio of Norns                                                                                Gave such admonition as righteousness scorns.

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Norns from The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: Robert Lambert Jones III).

Its profile was equine but horribly so,                                                                             Distorted, and much like a fish did it go.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

He turned to discover a striking surprise,                                                                                      A womanly creature with ebony eyes.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

“I said I would love and return to the deep.                                                                                   A promise I make is a promise I keep.”

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

Respectfully, Einar stood up in the stern.                                                                                      The guardian lowered its head in return.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

“What’s this,” chuckled Asger, “that falls on my ear?                                                                  You give him the wrong appellation, I fear.”

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

Their power was awesome, as often was proved                                                                        By flashes of lightning whenever they moved.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

“Be careful,” said Anni. “Arise, but don’t speak.”                                                                         She stood and positioned her hand on its beak.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

The Fear of a Farmer has just been made available on Amazon. You may find out more about it by clicking HERE.

Mythological Beasts and Spirits: Selkie

Selkies are found in Celtic mythology, including Irish and Scottish folklore. They are also featured in Icelandic folklore. I will add here that there are threads of relatedness between Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Icelandic, and Norse legends. Selkies are creatures which exist as seals in the ocean or as human beings on land. They evidently become human by shedding their seal skins. In a number of accounts, Selkie women are trapped into  marriages when men steal and lock away these seal skins. The stories are often romantic tragedies which end in a Selkie recovering her skin, forsaking her human family, and returning to the sea. Of course, opinions on whether such events are tragedies vary since the Selkie was essentially held captive in a forced marriage. Any male inclination to “force now, persuade later” is best avoided.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

For my epic story poem, The Fear of a Farmer, I chose to portray the Selkie as a changeling who simply alters her form when she moves between land and sea. Here, I must confess my lack of internet skills, despite which I was still surprised and frustrated by my inability to find classic paintings of this popular legend. Most of what I found was more modern and tended to fall into the following categories: naked women on rocks, naked women on rocks with seals, naked women with seals in water, naked women with seal eyes, and naked women stripping off seal skins. These generally don’t interest me, and I find many of them rather creepy or even grotesque. In the above picture, I chose to represent a Selkie as a naked woman wrapped in her own hair for the sake of modesty (mine). The background scenery is reminiscent of what I saw when I was on the southern coast of Oregon. Very large rock formations were both on the beach and offshore. Below is a facial close-up to develop her visual character.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

I did find some other images which seemed to have that something extra which tickled my imagination. Unfortunately, I was unable to find credits for all of them. Those I could find are captioned. These next two show a powerless yearning to return to the sea. They are also distinctive in that the women are dressed.

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Likewise for this one. It is dramatic and poignant since the Selkie has recovered her skin and is obviously preparing to escape back to the sea. The effect is intensified by the furtive, resentful, or regretful look she is casting over her shoulder.

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From A Selkie Story (Copyright: 2009 Kate Leiper).

Here is a photo of a statue. Can you identify the category?

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Statue called Selkie or Seal Wife, village of Mikladulur, Kalsoy.

Incidentally, The Fear of a Farmer has finally been formatted and should be available for purchase on Amazon by the publication date of this post or soon thereafter.  Here is where I have to show my requisite illustration of a seal. This is similar to the view I was afforded in Bandon, Oregon, where I saw a harbor seal swimming roughly 10 yards off shore and paralleling my progress as I walked along the beach.

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From The Fear of a Farmer (Copyright: 2017 Robert Lambert Jones III).

I still have a couple more creatures to go…