A man walked along a beach one morning, when he heard a voice singing from behind some rocks. He sought out the source of the song, and found a grey seal, lying alone in the cave, crying silver tears and singing so sad a song that the man pitied the beast. He wrapped the seal in his own coat and sang along with it as the sun rose in the sky.
The seal’s silver tears soaked into the man’s coat, giving it a shimmer, so that as night fell and the seal’s song ended, the coat fair glowed in the moonlight. The man brought the seal to the water’s edge and sent it into the waves, promising to return the next day. He wore the coat home, and when his friends asked what had happened at the beach he replied “I met a friend, and we sang the day away”.
The next day he returned to the beach, but the seal was not there. The man searched, and eventually saw a fishing boat on the horizon. He ran to fetch his own rowing boat and met the fisherman. The fisherman said his net was caught on something, so the two men pulled together, but the net didn’t budge. The man saw his seal friend bobbing in the waves, and he knew what to do. Still wearing his silvered coat, he jumped into the water and swam to the sea bed to free the net. The net was caught on the prow of a sunken ship, but as the man reached out to untangle it, he noticed his hand had turned to a seal’s flipper. He saw his friend beside him, and together they freed the net.
As the man rose to the surface he returned to human form, but his coat was no longer silvery.
He told the fisherman of the sunken ship, and the fisherman spoke of a local legend about a long lost ship, that sank in ages past. All had been rescued except a little girl who had been asleep in a bunk right at the bottom if the ship. It was said that on starlit nights, she sang to travellers to guide them home.
The man then understood, and swam back down to the wreck, where he found a doll, long lost on the sea bed. He brought it to the surface, rowed it to shore, and left it in the cave where he first met the seal. He waited until nightfall in the cave, and the seal returned.
“I found your doll”, he said to the seal, and as the seal touched the doll, she turned into a little girl, and when the little girl looked up at him, her eyes were like the seal’s eyes, and silver tears dried on her cheeks.
The man took the little girl home to his own family, and they lived Happily Ever After