Header photo by Andreas Trepte,www.photo-natur.de.
Today’s post comes from Clyde in Mankato
Well my stars and garters! Why I never!
I gave it no credence when I first read it. I would not spread such an unfounded rumor, except the more I think about it . . .
I stumbled upon the rumor in my recent trip to Greece. While high in the Taygetus Mountains in the Mani I first heard the tale, but many a lie and many an eerie story have arisen in the remote regions of the land of Homer, where poetic licenses were first issued.
Excuse me, that isn’t quite true. It is only that Patrick Leigh Fermor is such an excellent travel essayist that his book Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnesse made me think I was there. Why would Fermor repeat an unfounded and libelous tale from Ireland in remote Greece? Does he sense the strong similarities between the two nations that many Irish believe?
But my arduous research reveals this entry in Wikipedia quoting from Irish Names and Surnames (Woulfe, 1923): “Many traditions, connecting these harmless animals with the marvellous, are related along our western shores. Among these there is one of a curious nature, viz., that at some distant period of time, several of the Clan Coneelys (Mac Conghaile), an old family of lar-Connaught, were, by ” Art magick,” metamorphosed into seals! In some places the story has its believers, who would no more kill a seal, or eat of a slaughtered one, than they would have a human Coneely. It is related as a fact, that this ridiculous story has caused several of the clan to change their name to Conolly.”
There it is, you see, the possibility that Dale Connelly has seals as relatives. But it carries an aura of bona fides when I think about Dale: the ability to keep many balls in the air at once, his eagerness to clap his hands in applause, his sleek manner of passing through the world with barely a ripple, his migration from dry cultured Illinois to watery backwoods Minnesota, the innate ability to entertain the crowd, the gleam in the eye and the bark in the voice, the faint odor of fish.
Well, not that last one. I have never actually met Dale, you see.
Maybe Dale should do a double billing with Sparky at Como Zoo. Oops. Sparky is a sea Lion, not a seal. So maybe the rumor is false and I should not repeat it, Dale being more of a lion than a seal.
Would you do a DNA test? What do you think might be found grafted onto your family tree?