was once a very large and troublesome river monster called the afanc living
near to the small village of Betws-y-Coed.
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
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.
the morning, when the rain ceased, the village wept.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.