THE LADY of the LAKE and THE PHYSICIANS of MYDDFAI

Nestling in the hills of North Carmarthenshire is a small village called MYDDFAI . Nearby is a small lake Llyn Y Van or Van Pool.
Once upon a time on a small farm in this wild and desolate countryside lived a peasant woman and her son Rhiwallon.
Every day Rhiwallon would take the livestock to graze on the hillside and one evening on returning home, he stopped in astonishment seeing a herd of oxen coming out of the lake. They were driven by a swan that before his very eyes turned into a beautiful maiden.
It was love at first sight for Rhiwallon, forgetting his shyness he asked her to marry him. She agreed on the one condition that if he struck her three times she would have to return from whence she had come. He could never imagine ever striking the woman he loved, and so they were married. She brought with her the magical herds from the lake , the farm prospered, during this happy marriage she gave him three sons.
Some years later, the happy couple were at the local church attending a christening. After the ceremony Rhiwallon was anxious to return to the farm. In order to summons his wife he tapped her on the shoulder with his glove. “Beware Rhiwallon, the old warning” The Lady of the Lake said in great distress. “You have stuck me once”.
Time went peacefully by. Rhiwallon had again forgotten the old warning when he and his wife went to a wedding. All the guests were merry except The Lady of the Lake. She cried bitterly, for in a vision she could see nothing but the troubles and sorrows that lie ahead for the newly weds. Rhiwallon scolded her, touching her lightly on the arm, bidding her to join in the merriment of the party. “Rhiwallon “” she exclaimed through her tears “you have struck me twice, only once more remains”. Rhiwallon promised he would take great care not to strike her again. Many years passed and all was well.
His friend in the neighbouring farm died. At the funeral all were sad whilst the Lady of the Lake was laughing at the sorrowful faces around her. For she knew that her husband’s friend was now in a happier place with all his sorrows behind him. Rhiwallon new that laugh, he rushed to his wife’s side telling her to show more respect, in doing so he tapped her lightly on the arm.
The Lady of the Lake grew thin and pale. She said, very faintly ” Farewell my dear dear husband, you have struck me the third and last time. I must return from whence I come”.
Rhiwallon saw her as he had first seen her then she vanished.
He ran to the lake, hoping to overtake her. He called and watched but saw no trace of her.months and years went by but no sign of the lady beloved so much.
Grief stricken, Rhiwallon visited the lakeside continually, but to no avail. Often his sons waited with him for they too felt great sorrow.
One night the sons were watching alone by Van Pool, when out of the mists their mother appeared. They met her with great delight and kneeling before her, she blessed saying “My sons, your work is to become great physicians and heal the suffering. Have no fear I will tell you of the healing herbs and guide you to where they grow” Having said these words, the Lady of the Lake grew thin and vanished.
The sons hurried home to tell their father, who told them that they must obey their mother and he would take care of the farm.
Rhiwallon’s sons walked the hillsides, guided by their mother, collecting herbs to heal the sick. They became the help of the Lady of the Lake very skilful and reports of their healing spread far and wide. Many honours were bestowed on them. When they died their children became skilled doctors. For many generations their skill was preserved within the family.
Some of their knowledge was written down in a book called The Physicians of MYDDFAI.
Many of the cures seem very strange but whom am I to dispute them when they were suggested by The Lady of the Lake.