Albion, Folk Tale, symbolism


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At the utterance of this accusation king Rhydderch turned

his face from Ganieda but she merely laughed,

“Why do you turn from me my love, am I to believe

that you take the words of a madman as truth?”


Now there were in the hall many boys and, catching sight

of one of them, the ingenious woman thought of a ruse

by which she might prove to her husband that Merlin was lying.


Ganieda called the boy over and presenting him

to Merlin asked him to predict what death the lad would endure.

“My dear sister,” said Merlin, “the boy will die by falling from a high rock.”


Amused by these words Ganieda ordered the lad away,

but then in secret she had him cut his hair and change

his clothes and re-present himself as before.


The lad having done this, Ganieda again asked Merlin how he would die.

“Why this lad will, meet with a violent death in a tree,” said Merlin.


Then Ganieda again sent the lad away but this

time she bade him return to her dressed as a girl which he did.

“Now, dear brother,” smiled Ganieda, “can you say how this

pretty lass shall meet her end?”

“Lass or no,” said Merlin “She will die by drowning in a river.”


At this king Rhydderch laughed aloud and bade them

desist from their sport.


It looked like Merlin had predicted three different deaths for the same boy,

and the king was no longer minded to accept Merlin’s claim about the

leaf in his wife’s hair.

3 thoughts on “Ruse…”

  1. Ah ha, I did not get it at first, but I had missed the earlier post, and when I went back and read it, it all became perfectly clear to me what was happening. It is interesting that through all of the questions, the king did not seem to get the point, but he did not see the leaf in her hair. It was interesting how Merlin did not trick the king with magic, but with the power of observation. All’s well that ends well, and I guess everyone other than Merlin got their just desserts.

    Liked by 1 person

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