Culhwch ac Olwen, a Celtic Fairytale Part1

Once upon a time there were a king and a queen. One day the queen gave the king a son and they were as happy as they could be, till the queen fell ill. On her deathbed she made the king promise to not take a new wife till a rosebush would bear two flowers on her grave. In secret she asked her footman to clean the grave twice a year. Eventually the queen died and the king was unconsolable. Every week he would visit her grave. Year after year the grave was kept clean of any growth. But after two years the footman failed to preform his task, and a rosebush grew on the grave. As soon as the bush bore two flowers, the king ordered his subordinates to search for a woman fit to be a queen. They came back with a woman, who was the most beautiful of all women on the Isle of the Brave. She was the widow of a high king and had a wonderful daughter. A splendid marriage was organised and no expanses were spared. On the first evening of their marriage the woman asked the king if he had any children. He answered that he had one son, called Culhwch, after the pigstall in which he was born. The next day he took his new wife to meet his son. The new queen was very pleased with the boy and told him to marry her own daughter. ‘There are many things I am interested in, O glorious queen,’ he said, ‘but your daughter is not one of them. I will not marry her now, nor will I ever.’ The queen was furious and cursed him. ‘If my daughter is not good enough for you than no woman will be good enough for you except for Olwen daughter of Ysbaddaden, Chief Giant.’ Suddenly a flame burned in the heart of Culhwch. After hearing the name of the woman he loved best, he could not think of any other. ‘I will search for the girl you name, O beautiful queen, because she is and always will be the woman I love best.’

To be continued……

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