Pryderi of Dyfed returns from the Irish War as one of its few survivors, to reunite with his mother Rhiannon, and his wife Cigfa. He brings with him his beloved war comrade, Manawydan, the heir to the kingship of all Britain. But Manawydan’s rights as heir to Britain have been usurped by Caswallon, and he does not want more war. Pryderi establishes him as the lord of Dyfed, including marriage to Rhiannon, a union which both partners welcome. The four of them, Pryderi, his wife Cigfa, Rhiannon and her new husband Manawydan, become very good friends indeed, and travel the land of Dyfed admiring how bountiful it is.
Together they sit the Gorsedd Arberth, as Pwyll once did. A clap of thunder, a bright light, and magical mist descend. Afterwards the land is devastated of all other life except wild animals. The four live by hunting, but after two years they want more, so they travel to England. In three towns in turn they craft saddles, shields and shoes of such quality that the local craftsmen cannot compete, so their envy becomes dangerous. Pryderi dislikes the lower class way of life, and Manawydan stops him from fighting their enemies. Instead Manawydan insists on moving away. After three attempts like this, they return to Dyfed.
Once more living as hunters Pryderi and Manawydan follow a shining white boar to a strange castle. Pryderi, against Manawydan’s advice, follows his hounds inside to become trapped there by a golden bowl. Manawydan waits, then reports to Rhiannon who rebukes his failure to rescue his friend. But when she follows her son she too becomes trapped. Alone with Cigfa, Manawydan reassures her he will respect her virtue. After another attempt in England as shoemakers, the pair return to Dyfed, and Manawydan farms three fields of wheat next to Gorsedd Arberth. But his first field’s harvest is cut down by thieves, and his second. He sits vigil at night, and sees a horde of mice eating the ripe corn. He catches a slow, fat one. Against Cigfa’s protest he sets up a miniature gibbet to hang it as a thief.
A scholar, a priest and a bishop in turn offer him money if he will spare the mouse which he refuses. When asked what he wants for the mouse’s life he first demands an explanation. The bishop tells him he is Llwyd, friend of the wronged Gwawl, the mouse is Llwyd’s shapeshifted wife, and the devastation of Dyfed is to avenge Gwawl. Manawydan bargains to release of Pryderi and Rhiannon, and the lifting of the curse on Dyfed.
A Study in Biscuit
Masterclass in Upper Foot Painting.
Have a wonderful week. Keep sparing a smile for those faces that don’t bear one and if a hug is welcome, make sure you hug. Don’t forget to ask for plenty yourself too.
My apologies but I will be off the radar for a while so you’ll have to get someone else to bore you but I will be checking up on those smiles. Though I will get to individual emails I won’t be commenting on blogs or tweeting anything. No promotions I’m afraid but it doesn’t mean I don’t care for you all. I just need some time.