: Celtic Folk And Fairy Tales
Prince Llewelyn had a favourite greyhound named Gellert that had been
given to him by his father-in-law, King John. He was as gentle as a
lamb at home but a lion in the chase. One day Llewelyn went to the
chase and blew his horn in front of his castle. All his other dogs
came to the call but Gellert never answered it. So he blew a louder
blast on his horn and called Gellert by name, but still the greyhound
did not come
At last Prince Llewelyn could wait no longer and went
off to the hunt without Gellert. He had little sport that day because
Gellert was not there, the swiftest and boldest of his hounds.
He turned back in a rage to his castle, and as he came to the gate,
who should he see but Gellert come bounding out to meet him. But when
the hound came near him, the Prince was startled to see that his lips
and fangs were dripping with blood. Llewelyn started back and the
greyhound crouched down at his feet as if surprised or afraid at the
way his master greeted him.
Now Prince Llewelyn had a little son a year old with whom Gellert
used to play, and a terrible thought crossed the Prince's mind that
made him rush towards the child's nursery. And the nearer he came the
more blood and disorder he found about the rooms. He rushed into it
and found the child's cradle overturned and daubed with blood.
Prince Llewelyn grew more and more terrified, and sought for his
little son everywhere. He could find him nowhere but only signs of
some terrible conflict in which much blood had been shed. At last he
felt sure the dog had destroyed his child, and shouting to Gellert,
"Monster, thou hast devoured my child," he drew out his sword and
plunged it in the greyhound's side, who fell with a deep yell and
still gazing in his master's eyes.
As Gellert raised his dying yell, a little child's cry answered it
from beneath the cradle, and there Llewelyn found his child unharmed
and just awakened from sleep. But just beside him lay the body of a
great gaunt wolf all torn to pieces and covered with blood. Too late,
Llewelyn learned what had happened while he was away. Gellert had
stayed behind to guard the child and had fought and slain the wolf
that had tried to destroy Llewelyn's heir.
In vain was all Llewelyn's grief; he could not bring his faithful dog
to life again. So he buried him outside the castle walls within sight
of the great mountain of Snowdon, where every passer-by might see his
grave, and raised over it a great cairn of stones. And to this day the
place is called Beth Gellert, or the Grave of Gellert, and men say, "I
repent me as much as the man that slew his greyhound."