THE SELCHIE'S SEED by Shulamith Oppenheim


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The seed of the selchie (seal people) has long been carried in the clan MacCodrum, and thus Marian's mother is not surprised when it flowers in the lovely, sought-after fifteen-year-old gift now hopelessly smitten by a glorious white whale who has appeared in an inlet near her Scottish island home. But Ursilla, the mother, though she's feared this moment for fifteen years, now refuses to let her husband burn the trunk full of clothing she's kept in the attic since her marriage. And so, when the trunk is dumped at sea instead, the whale somehow finds the gray fur belt and brings it to Marian, who slips into her other skin, away from her family, and off to sea with the whale. Oppenheim does a good job, with an atmospheric assist from Goode's soft gray windswept pictures, of maintaining a storm tossed, spell charged air that inhibits embarrassing questions.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1975
Page count: 83pp
Publisher: Bradbury