The White Seal

Oh! hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o'er the combers, looks downward to find us
At rest in the hollows that rustle between.
Where billow meets billow, there soft be thy pillow;
Ah, weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas.

You mustn't swim till you're six weeks old,
Or your head will be sunk by your heels;
And summer gales and Killer Whales
Are bad for baby seals.
Are bad for baby seals, dear rat,
As bad as bad can be.
But splash and grow strong,
And you can't be wrong,
Child of the Open Sea!

Rudyard Kipling

The Harbour Seal

The common seal (also known as the harbour seal), whilst quite sociable, mostly enjoys its own company. It will have a few favoured well-kent spots where it will haul ass for a few hours of its favourite game of banana.

They will sport and opportunistically hunt for sand eel, cod, herring, sprat, flatfish, octopus and squid, diving up to 100 metres for half an hour or more. Though perfectly well mannered, mostly speaking only when they are spoken too, like most salty sea-dogs when required, they can give you an earful.

Incurably inquisitive as they bottle and noodle around the Scottish coast, it is ironic that this cat-like mammal has its own Gaelic songs as they don’t have external ears to enjoy them. Once mother has had enough of carrying them around, they will live for up to 35 years before returning to the ocean’s democracy.

The envy of fishermen - much to their own detriment - and often mysteriously prone to anthropogenic threats, the harbour seal is becoming less common. Outwith the rising threat of an orca assassin it seems it will be human interests that will seal their fate.