In the beginning, the story goes like this: a fisherman brings home a selkie wife. He spies the maidens bathing in the salt-cove by the sea, their great, glistening seal skins heaped on a stone. When the sun begins to slip from the sky, the sisters slide into their coats, transforming from lovely women into sleek, dark seals who dive into the water and away: all, of course, except the youngest and loveliest, who runs from one place to another, naked and distressed, unable to return to her skin and the sea.