The Selkie.

The Selkie is a mythical sea creature of Scottish folklore. In the sea a Selkie is a seal, but when they occasionally come onshore they take the form of a beautiful woman. Men should be wary in case they are beguiled and end broken-hearted when a Selkie they’ve met returns to the sea. What surprise awaits my Selkie when she falls for a special man she meets on land?

It’s a challenge to record audio with other contributors in these plague straightened times. I hung my story on the Selkie legend and produced a solo drama combining faerie tale and love story.



Here are definitions of some Scots words used in the drama.

  • Ba’ heid: Pejorative although often affectionate term of mild abuse.
  • Boorach: A midden or untidy heap.
  • Chiel: A fellow.
  • Claes: Apparel.
  • Dook: Wild swimming, formerly known simply as swimming.
  • Een: Eyes.
  • Freens: Close acquaintances.
  • Hoolie: A boisterous party involving music, dance and the liberal consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Machar: A strip of mostly sandy land between the beach and cultivated fields distinguished by specific plants, birds and other wildlife.
  • Mortlach: A renowned yet rare single malt whisky from Dufftown on Speyside.  Once reputed to be the best whisky in Scotland.
  • Roaster: A person of uncomfortably heated demeanour.
  • Selkie: A mythical sea creature of Scottish folklore.  Did ye no listen?
  • Shooders: Plural. The space between the neck and the upper arm.
  • Slainthe: “Slanj” The Gaelic toast meaning, “Health”.
  • Smoored: Arranged neatly without creases.
  • Tangle: Coarse seaweed that grows between the tides and often gathers in dried bunches along the wave-line.  Bladderwrack.
  • Weans: Children.
  • Whins: Dense, prickly bushes with needle-like, salt tolerant leaves and coconut scented, yellow flowers.


I’d like to thank Jill Korn for her expert direction and help to edit the text. Wilma Stark gave me story guidance and massive moral support.


“Campbell’s Farewell to Redcastle”. Traditional.
Played by The Arran Ceilidh Band and used by kind permission of Donal Boyle.
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