Page:More Celtic Fairy Tales.djvu/62
Celtic Fairy Tales
Gwent Is Coed, and he was the best man in the world. And unto his house there belonged a mare than which neither mare nor horse in the kingdom was more beautiful. And on the night of every first of May she foaled, and no one ever knew what became of the colt. And one night Teirnyon talked with his wife: "Wife," said he, "it is very simple of us that our mare should foal every year, and that we should have none of her colts."
"What can be done in the matter?" said she.
"This is the night of the first of May," said he. "The vengeance of Heaven be upon me, if I learn not what it is that takes away the colts." So he armed himself, and began to watch that night. Teirnyon heard a great tumult, and after the tumult behold a claw came through the window into the house, and it seized the colt by the mane. Then Teirnyon drew his sword, and struck off the arm at the elbow: so that portion of the arm, together with the colt, was in the house with him. And then, did he hear a tumult and wailing both at once. And he opened the door, and rushed out in the direction of the noise, and he could not see the cause of the tumult because of the darkness of the night; but he rushed after it and followed it. Then he remembered that he had left the door open, and he returned. And at the door behold there was an infant-boy in swaddling clothes, wrapped around in a mantle of satin. And he took up the boy, and behold he was very strong for the age that he was of.
Then he shut the door, and went into the chamber where his wife was. "Lady," said he, "art thou sleeping?"
"No, lord," said she: "I was asleep, but as thou earnest in I did awake."