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1001 Stories Collection

The Gull Girl

1001 gullgirl
Added on 04th July 2020

Oral tradition Siberian folktale

Russia Animals Folk and fairy tales Magic
1001 , Audio , Text

A shape-shifting folktale about a gull girl who leaves the kingdom of the birds to marry a man.

Story

Every year the gulls come to the lake and shed their feathers. A young man and a gull girl fall in love. She leaves the gulls to marry the man and they have two children but the girl’s mother-in-law finds fault with her constantly and in the end the girl takes the children and leaves. The man must follow her to the kingdom of the birds and with the help of the eagle try to win her back.

Why we chose it

Gull Girl was one of the stories chosen by Geraldine McCaughrean for our World Stories project with St Ebbes School in 2016. The stories were represented on fabric hangings made by artist Ally Baker which can still be found hanging in the museum.

Where it came from

The Gull Girl is a Chukchi story from Siberia.

Where it went next

Geraldine McCaughrean’s own version of the story can be found in her 100 World Myths and Legends.

Associated stories

Traditional stories about shapeshifting creatures who can shed their skins and become human, can be found all over the world. Some like Gull Girl and the seals in the Selkie stories from Scotland and Ireland can simply transform by shedding their skin.

Added on 04th July 2020

Oral tradition Siberian folktale

Russia Animals Folk and fairy tales Magic
1001 , Audio , Text

Story Resources

  • The Gull Girl story text PDF (38.042 KB)
    Download