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Main > Celtic folktales > Fairy tale "The wooing of Olwen"

The wooing of Olwen

Throughout all Wales did Arthur follow him, and one by one the young pigs were killed. At length, when he would fain have crossed the Severn and escaped into Cornwall, Mabon the son of Modron came up with him, and Arthur fell upon him together with the champions of Britain. On the one side Mabon the son of Modron spurred his steed and snatched his razor from him, whilst Kay came up with him on the other side and took from him the scissors. But before they could obtain the comb he had regained the ground with his feet, and from the moment that he reached the shore, neither dog nor man nor horse could overtake him until he came to Cornwall. There Arthur and his hosts followed in his track until they overtook him in Cornwall. Hard had been their trouble before, but it was child's play to what they met in seeking the comb. Win it they did, and the Boar Truith they hunted into the deep sea, and it was never known whither he went.

Then Kilhuch set forward, and as many as wished ill to Yspathaden

Penkawr. And they took the marvels with them to his court. And Kaw of

North Britain came and shaved his beard, skin and flesh clean off to

the very bone from ear to ear.

"Art thou shaved, man?" said Kilhuch.

"I am shaved," answered he.

"Is thy daughter mine now?"

"She is thine, but therefore needst thou not thank me, but Arthur who hath accomplished this for thee. By my free will thou shouldst never have had her, for with her I lose my life."

Then Goreu the son of Custennin seized him by the hair of his head and dragged him after him to the keep, and cut off his head and placed it on a stake on the citadel.

Thereafter the hosts of Arthur dispersed themselves each man to his own country.

Thus did Kilhuch son of Kelython win to wife Olwen, the daughter of

Yspathaden Penkawr.

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