04 March 2004

A Bit of "Great Skerry"

Just for funsies:

"You all know, I'm sure, of the rocks up Blackstrand way that we call the Skerries? Only one of them boat-hazards can make any claim to be called an island, and that only just. That's Great Skerry, though it's great only in comparison to its brothers. It's there the seals live and, some say, the seal folk, the Selkies who can take the shape of man or seal depending on whether they're walking the land or swimming the sea."

Lir smiled. He had named his boat for that legend.

"Well now, these past months—nobody's sure how long, really, as we don't often sail near there—these past months smoke's been seen rising from Great Skerry. My fisher friend—" The man indicated his silent companion. "—decided to see what's what. Maybe somebody shipwrecked, he thought. But what should he find but a little stone house with an upturned boat for a roof. And a man with a long scroggly beard who wanted to talk of nothing but seals.

"Tried to bring the man back did good master Sigrson, but the hermit would not hear of it. 'Leave me be,' he said. 'Leave me with my seals.' He'd not even say who he was or where he'd come from. Trey Sigrson here thinks the hermit's sweater was Cobbleshore knit, but the wool was so felted it was hard to say for certain."

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