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Loch Druich Mermaids

There is a story connected to Loch Druich and three brothers who happened across a troupe of merfolk. One night the brothers were by the loch side when they saw a group of seals come up onto the beach and shred their furry skins. Beneath the skins were naked people, who danced together on the shore.

The three brothers were captivated by the beauty of three of the mermaids and decided that they wanted to marry these girls. They crept down to the shore line and stole the seal skins left by the maidens. When the merfolk started to return to the loch, the three mermaids were stranded and their family were heart broken to have to leave them behind. In came the brothers to the rescue, each taking a mermaid back to his home, taking care of her and marrying her.

The youngest brother saw his wife was extremely sad and unhappy for she longed to be back with her people. He loved her so much that he could stand to see her pining for her family, so he gave her back the seal skin he had taken and allowed to leave. Nine nights later the merfolk returned with the mermaid. She introduced the youngest brother to her father, who explained that his daughter was equally in love with the brother, therefore they struck a bargain, that the mermaid would be allowed to return to him on each ninth night.

The mermaid bride of the second brother found the seal skin that her husband had hidden away and stole it back. She returned to Loch Druich and he never saw  her again.

The eldest brother was told what had happen and was terrified that his wife may find a way to steal back her own skin and leave him alone. He decided that the best thing to do would be to destroy the skin, so he set it on fire. He had not however realised the bond between a mermaid and her seal skin and by setting it on fire he burnt his wife alive.

The description of the mermaids in this tale would actually better suit the Scottish Silkie better.

Image Copyright: 
Andy Paciorek

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