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Script by G Clarke

Illustrations by JAI Gendall

To choose another story?

There was once a very large and troublesome river monster called the afanc living near to the small village of Betws-y-Coed.

While the sun shone the afanc slept, buried in the cool mud at the bottom of a deep and gloomy pool. But when the rain fell and the night came the afanc enjoyed himself.

He whipped up such tormoil in the water, chasing the fish and the duck - and his own tail by mistake - that the river rushed madly down towards the lights in the valley, poured over its banks and flooded the green pastures.

In the morning, when the rain ceased, the village wept.

The villagers determined to rid themselves of the monster by dragging it to a lake far away in the mountains. So they entreated the help of Hu Gadarn, the fearless leader who had led the Welsh people to the Island of Britain many years before.

Hidden amonst the trees surrounding the pool, Hu and his men stood in silence, behind them a pair of long-horned oxen, at their feet coils of heavy iron chains. On the riverbank sat a brave and beautiful village maiden, singing a haunting melody, for everyone knows that a sad song and a sweet face will sooth the most savage beast.

Quietly, the afanc swam to the siren, laid his head on her lap and fell asleep. As the maid sang and the afanc slept, Hu and his men bound the monster with chains of cold iron yoked to the oxen.

But the afanc's peaceful dream had been broken, and the song became a scream. For as the beast fumbled back into the river his claws ripped open the breast of the pretty singer.

Together, the men and the oxen dragged their angry burden from the muddy middle of the Conwy. Then fearless Hu Gadarn led the procession along the leafy river-valley and up into the mists of Moel Siabod.

The journey was so long and the afanc so heavy that at the top of the mountain pass one ox dropped an eye. The pool formed by the animal's tears was named after him - "Pwll Llygad Ych" (the Pool of the Ox's Eye) - in honour of his suffering.

Down the steep mountainside to the Gwynant Valley the travellers scrambled, men and oxen weeping, the afanc still raging. Then came a final climb past Llyn Llydaw towards the highest peak of all - Snowdon - the home of the golden eagle.

In the blue lake of Glaslyn, beneath the mountain and the moon, the afanc was released. And when it rains and the night comes, or so I'm told, the afanc enjoys himself to this very day.