DEVIL’S BRIDGE —–PANT-AR-FYNACH
A frail old woman looking across a ravine with its tumbling, raging waters at her cow, her only source of nourishment, had during the night taken a long detour to feed on the other side. Where the grass is always greener, as the saying goes.
The old woman feeling the aches from her decrepit old legs, said to herself,”if only there was a bridge”,when a person hidden under a monk’s garb mysteriously appeared and proclaimed “I can quickly build a bridge for you but you have to promise that I can have the first living thing to cross the bridge.”. She agreed.
Whilst the mysterious stranger was building the bridge, she returned to her cottage, there collected her dog to help shepherd the cow back.Full of doubt and suspicion for the stranger, she struggled back to the ravine, where the stranger still hidden under the monk’s cowl, greeted her “there your bridge now keep your promise.” The old dear smiled, pulled out a chunk of stale bread she had secreted in her shawl, threw it across the bridge and said to her dog “fetch!”He faithfully run across the bridge and retrieved the piece of bread.There’s your first living thing to cross the bridge an d you are welcomed to him. “I have no use for your old dog” the stranger yelled; realising that it was he who had been outwitted disappeared and has never been seen again.
My next tale is from the 4th century and was first recounted by Giraldus Cambrensis in the 12th century in his famous journey around Wales. It is about a young boy training to be a priest and magical fairies. Tell you more next month