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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Trellyffaint -- a good place for strange tales

Since we are talking about Trellyffaint and strange tales, here is a gentle reminder of the most famous tale from that locality-- told originally by Giraldus Cambrensis almost a thousand years ago:

Once upon a time, a strange young fellow called Cecil Longshanks lived at Trellyffaint, not far from Nevern.  He was frightened by lots of different things, and he was especially scared of toads, because they were black and had warts on their skin and moved very slowly.  He thought that they were poisonous and that they lived for hundreds of years.......    One day Cecil fell ill, and straight away toads started to move into his house.  At first there were just a few, and then there were scores of them, and then hundreds, and then thousands.  Nobody had ever seen such a pestilence.  Cecil was angry, and his friends gathered up the toads and threw them out of the house, but they kept on coming and after a few days they were everywhere, in the cupboards, all over the kitchen floor, and under the beds and tables.  By now Cecil was terrified, and became quite certain that the toads were intent on eating him up.  His friends did not know what to do, and in the end Cecil pleaded with them to put him inside a big leather bag, and to hang the bag by a rope from a tall tree in the yard.  They all thought that was a very strange request, but they did as they were asked, and when it got dark they all went home, leaving Cecil fast asleep in the bag, hanging from the tree.  In the morning they returned, planning to take Cecil down and give him some breakfast.  But what did they find?  They found that the toads had climbed the tree and eaten every single leaf and most of the bark as well.  And hanging from a branch of the tree was a leather bag full of white bones, which rattled as the bag swung back and forth in the warm summer breeze.  

By the way, Trellyffaint means "Toad Hall" --- in the vicinity there is much wind but not many willows.

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