|Gelert – an impressive hound!|
This hothead Welshman jumps to the immediate conclusion that Gelert must have got bored and, with (alleged) pit-bull-terrier-like enthusiasm, has ripped the kid to shreds. So, cursing and raging, he plunges his sword deep into Gelert's side. We listen as the poem describes the dying process in fair detail, and then Llywelyn goes to the nursery to see if there's anything left of his one and only heir to scrape up.
Of course he comes across his kid sleeping like... well... a baby; totally undamaged goods, and a monstrous great wolf dead beside him. Gelert had fought the wicked wolf for I don't know how long but I'll bet it was hours, and finally despatched him. And now we have reams of verses, or so it seems, describing Llywelyn's anguish at what he'd done to the faithful Gelert through not bothering to take a peek into the kid's room first.
If I'd have known Llywelyn was a Welshman at the time I would have been annoyed at the Welsh for decades, but fortunately I've met some nice Welsh people in my time and they aren’t all bad. (Hi, Avril and Jerry!)
But Llywelyn… it's a silly name anyway, isn't it? What's with Aberystwyth and Betws-y-Coed, and llanfairpwllgwyn-gyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch? The Welsh language is ... interesting. Lucky we stuck mainly to Ten Pound Poms of the English sort as immigrants in the 1950s. At least we could spell their names.
I had no idea where Wales was anyway. Probably next to where Mazeppa came from.
I guess, looking back, we did learn a vast amount from those Readers, and every story and poem had some sort of moral lesson in it, including these horror tales I detested so much. There is a common element in all but one, and I'm sure you can see what it is.
Fearsome tales in our Readers 1: Introduction [1000 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 2: The Daisy and the Lark [256 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 3: The Little Match Girl [206 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 4: The Crocodile and the Bull [280 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 5: Escape from the wolves [444 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 6: Mazeppa's Ride [438 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 7: A Tale of Two Cities [336 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 8: Gelert [343 words]