Martok
May 23, 2011
Martok the goat
Photo by Sue Weaver

Mom is snuffling and sneezing because she has pollen allergies. Guess what she’s allergic to? The nice oak trees that make our yummy leaves! Because she’s feeling down, Uzzi and I decided to share our favorite goat story with her (and you).

The story is called “Cadwaladr’s Goat” and it’s from British Goblins: Welsh Folklore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions by Wirt Sikes, an English book that was published in London in 1881. You can download it for free from Google Books if you like. It’s packed with great stories, but the one I’m going to share with you is the best. When Uzzi and I read it, we get goosebumps!
 
Cadwaladr owned a very handsome goat named Jenny of which he was extremely fond and which seemed equally fond of him. But one day, as if the very diawi possessed her, she ran away into the hills with Cadwaladr tearing after her, half mad with anger and affright. At last, his Welsh blood got so hot, as the goat eluded him again and again, that he flung a stone at her, which knocked her over a precipice, and she fell bleating to her doom.

Cadwaladr made his way to the foot of the crag. The goat was dying, but not dead, and licked his hand—which so affected the poor man that he burst into tears, and sitting on the ground took the goat’s head on his arm. The moon rose, and still he sat there. Presently, he found that the goat had become transformed to a beautiful young woman, whose brown eyes, as her head lay on his arm, looked into his in a very disturbing way. “Ah, Cadwaladr,” said she, “have I at last found you?’”

Now Cadwaladr had a wife at home and was much discomfited by this singular circumstance; but when the goat—maiden—arose, and putting her black slipper on the end of a moonbeam, held out her hand to him, he put his hand in hers and went with her. As for the hand, though it looked so fair, it felt just like a hoof.

They were soon on the top of the highest mountain in Wales and surrounded by a vapoury company of goats with shadowy horns. These raised a most unearthly bleating about his ears. One, which seemed to be the king, had a voice that sounded above the din as the castle bells of Carmarthen used to do long ago above all the other bells in the town. This one rushed at Cadwaladr and butting him in the stomach, sent him toppling over a crag as he had sent his poor nanny goat.

When he came to himself after his fall, the morning sun was shining on him and the birds were singing over his head. But he saw no more of either his goat or the fairy she had turned into, from that time to his death.

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