The Sealwoman

This story is about a sealwoman who has her sealskin stolen from her by a lonely fisherman. He promises to return it after 7 years as long as she lives with him for this time. The woman agrees and returns to his home. The sealwoman has a child and although content enough, she feels increasingly uncomfortable in the outer world. Her hair starts falling out, her eyelids start peeling and her skin cracks.

One night the child wakes up to hear arguing. It has been 7 years and the sealwoman is demanding that she have her sealskin back. “I want what I am made of returned to me” cries the sealwoman. The husband refuses to give his wife back the sealskin for fear that she will lose him. The child goes to sleep but wakes up in the night to hear the sound of the wind and goes out into the dark. He comes upon his mothers’ sealskin and returns it to her. The sealwoman pulls on her sealskin, grabs her child and heads for the ocean. She breathes into the child’s mouth 3 times and then dives deep into the waters. Together they swim until they are home with her family.

This story is from Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

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