Fenella sat in the shallows, her flippers sinking as each wave passed through. She watched her mother as she lowered her muzzle into the water and closed her eyes. A flash of sparkling light–like the stars on the clear nights of the full moon–swam toward her. Before she could retreat in skepticism, it jumped to her, pulling at each of her fins and tugging her whiskers. A cold feeling rushed over her body like an icy morning wave.
Then, she felt different. Her flippers were cold, and they seemed to move around much too liberally. Opening her eyes, Fenella realized that her fins weren’t present any longer; she had feet! She wiggled her toes and giggled. Her arms felt heavy, but she picked them up and waved them in a giant circle.
Oh, the freedom! she thought.
“Fenella,” her mother called, “Enjoy your walk. Return soon, yes? And do not misplace your skins.” Fenella wrapped her arms around her mother’s seal neck and kissed the top of her head. Her family swam away so she could continue inspecting her new body. She noticed her seal skin cloaked her, which must have been normal for humans. She had only seen a human twice before now, and they seemed to wear similar garments.
Standing was one obstacle with which the selkie magic helped. Bracing herself with both of her long arms, Fenella pushed herself onto her knees and finally lifted slowly until she stood tall. Feeling a little too confident, she stuck one foot out and took a brave step, which caused her to fall directly back into the sand. She grumbled, “Humans always seem so graceful when they walk. Why can’t I do it? It can’t be so hard.”
She tried several times more before she was finally able to carry herself, on buckling legs of course. Once on the hard dirt path, Fenella was much sturdier than on the beach. When she turned around, she saw her family’s rolling backs as they swam through the waves. Oh how she missed them already.
It was dark by the time she reached the forest. It would have been much more helpful to have come midday when there was sunlight. The selkie shivered as a chilling wind breathed by. She pulled her skins tighter against her bare skin. So fragile, human skin was, she thought. Perhaps that’s why they wear these clothes.
“Yow!” she hissed, picking a twig off of her foot. “Yes, definitely fragile.” Being human was already so very annoying.