The Seal (story by R.C. Peris)

We were starving. The population and migration of animals fluctuate from year to year. But in this year, 1901, there were few animals to hunt and eat. I decided I was going to hunt for a seal. I hadn’t eaten much in two days. I was ravenous and so was my family. I caught two Chars yesterday and my wife harvested seaweed this morning. It was all given to the children.

In my kayak, I searched for a seal. Usually, there were plenty swimming in the freezing ocean water but after an hour paddling, I didn’t see any. I stayed out for another hour. I was frigid and it was snowing. Snowflakes were caked on my face.

And then I saw something in the water. Moving gracefully. It was a seal but it had human arms. I was scared and alarmed. It was a Milikit. I paddled hurriedly to shore. Milikit’s can live in the water and move on ice. Not land. They can transform into any animal.

I pulled the boat onto the ice and the Milikit emerged. Half seal. Half human. I wielded my knife and moved to land as fast as I could. As I stepped on hard soil, I turned around and stabbed the Milikit.

“I will curse your whole family,” it breathed and then died. It transformed back to a seal.  A fat seal who could feed my family for days. I left it on the ice.

I went home and told my wife. We packed to leave. I was afraid of the curse. I left the seal to rot. I could never eat something that was half man. I had lost my taste for seal when I saw its arms.

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