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‘“Surely,” said Eddi, with his mouth full, “God has made the seal the loveliest of His creatures in the water. Look how Padda breasts the current! He stands up against it like a rock; now watch the chain of bubbles where he dives; and now—there is his wise head under that rock-ledge! Oh, a blessing be on thee, my little brother Padda!”


This is from “The Conversion of St Wilfrid” in Rewards and Fairies.

Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, and his Chaplain Eddi, have been out fishing with their friend Meon, a pagan chieftain, whom Wilfrid would like to convert to Christianity. He has a tame seal, Padda, whom Eddi sees as a child of the Devil. But when they are wrecked, out fishing, at peril to their lives, they are saved by Padda, and Eddi changes his mind.