An Embarrassing Correction of Mythical Proportions

I was lured into a blog post at Eros Blog – lured, as a girl typically is, by a sex story about a satyr. While Bacchus only provided a snippet, it was enough to wet my erotic curiosity. Upon reading the full story by E.T. Costello, I was left… unfulfilled. Not because of the story or the writing (it is excellent!) — but because I was now confused.

You see, Bacchus had claimed that the satyr’s partner was, in his opinion, a silkie. And that rather blew my mind. I had pictured a kelpie! But you know what? After a deep dive down a rabbit hole, my mind is blown. Not because Bacchus is likely correct about his identification of the satyr’s sex partner; Bacchus usually is correct. No, my mind is blown because after all these years I have conflated silkies with kelpies!

How on earth did I do that?!

While a deep dive into mythology on the Internet was helpful in proper identification of silkies (also known as selkies) and kelpies, it could do nothing to illuminate my inaccurate ruminations on kelpies. And I really do ruminate — even identify — with kelpies. (I have a whole blog tag for them, for Pete’s sake!)

Well, at least, I thought I was all about the kelpies. But it turns out it’s been selkies this whole time!

And it has been a very long time. For as long as I can remember…

My love of the seal-like creatures began with stories my great-gran used to tell me. My favorite one was that of the Seal Maiden. It is a poignant story, filled with dark, aching loneliness, cold water, and featuring an enchanting woman with long, dark hair, and soulful brown eyes. Just my type. *wink*

But had great-gran misnamed or mispronounced the sea creature’s name? How else could I have it wrong in my head?

As great-gran has passed a number of years ago, I can no longer ask her. …It’s been so long now, that I can’t quite recall the sound of her voice telling me the stories… (I can, however, recall the warm, affectionate, magical feeling of being in her presence and being mesmerized by her stories. Where, no doubt, my love of stories and storytelling began too.)

With great-gran gone, the only hope I had for information on this was my mother. But being that it was the darkest hours of the night, my calling her would have to wait.

I consoled myself as best I could – by listening to Seal Maiden: A Celtic Musical by Karan Casey & Friends (also on YouTube). Nearly an hour of delight only blighted by me wishing I could share this spectacular blend of storytelling and music with my great-gran.

Once morning came, I called my mother to ask her about great-gran & her stories of women from the sea. At first, mother was a bit dismissive, saying, “You would know better than anyone what she said – you were re-lent-less in having her tell stories!”

But once pressed, Mom did recall great-gran calling them selkies.

“Did great-gran have a weird pronunciation?” I asked, still puzzled.

“No, not really… Most of her accent was gone by the time you were born… Or maybe I just got used to it..?”

I tried to bring her back to the task. “So she definitely said ‘selkie’?”

“Yes,” she replied with growing annoyance.

In sheer frustration, I blurted out, “But then how did I get the idea they were kelpies!”

My mom laughed and said, “Honestly, I have no idea!”

There was a moment of silence and then mother hit upon something. “You know… you did become a huge horse fan. Perhaps in your little girl mind, you changed or shape-shifted the seals to horses in the water…”

And that’s where we left it.

Now, I am not convinced, mind you; but it’s the only excuse or explanation I have.

At the moment, anyway.


And now I leave you (likely shaking your head as well?) whilst I go and fix all those mentions of kelpies to their proper selkie-selves.

After that, I plan on rereading that erotic story by E.T. Costello again. This time, I plan on more than my curiosity getting wet.

Image Credits: Selkie II by Kitsmumma.

3 Responses to “An Embarrassing Correction of Mythical Proportions

  • Snap – I’ve been obsessed with the legends of the selkies since my childhood – we would holiday on the coast of Scotland or sometimes in Northumberland. I was a Kelpie in the brownies and I think I blended the 2 together as well!
    I find the legends surrounding the selkies as epic lovers and devoted mothers sexy and poignant. I have been chewing over a story idea for a while too, nothing firm enough to write yet though. Thanks for this!

    • Hello Posy! This comment was nearly lost in spam! So sorry for the slow reply — especially as we seem to be selkie kin! Let me know if you do write that story :)

      • Oh whoops! Comments can be elusive things to post! I shall definitely give you a Twitter shout out if I create the selkie tale that is bumping about in my brain. Do you read Lascivious Lucy – she writes brilliant ‘other worldly’ and mythological erotica. Yummy!

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