Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Twrch Trwyth

I was sure that Cors Fochno, marsh of the pigs, was once the home of the great boar Twrch Trwyth and his seven giant, warlike piglets.

Once there was a prince called Culhwch. His wicked stepmother told him to marry her daughter, but he refused, so she put a spell on him so he could marry no one but Olwen, daughter of a giant called Ysbaddaden.
So Culhwch went to King Arthur’s court at Celliwig in Cornwall and Arthur sent six of his finest warriors to help. They arranged a meeting and Olwen and Culhwch fell in love.
But Ysbaddaden set Culhwch some almost impossible tasks before he was allowed to marry. One was to retrieve a razor, scissors and comb from between the ears of the massive boar Twrch Trwyth, a wicked king who was turned into a great boar for his sins. His seven sons became huge, wild piglets. They went on a rampage and destroyed a third of Ireland.
Arthur's enchanter made himself into a bird and tried to snatch the treasures from the boar, but was poisoned by its bristles and had to fly home. Another of Arthur's men tried to negotiate, but in vain.
Then Twrch Trwyth swam to Cors Fochno. Arthur and his men chased him across Wales until he turned and killed eight of Arthur's warriors, though he was wounded himself. They had another four battles but with no success and great loss of life, and they lost track of the boars.
Then two of Twrch Trwyth's piglets surprised some of Arthur's huntsmen near Ammanford. When Arthur and his men fought back Twrch Trwyth came to defend his sons and then fled into the Brecon Beacons, where three piglets were killed. At Dyffryn Amanw, two more piglets were slain and eventually the last two, but only at great loss.
Then Arthur asked the men of Devon and Cornwall to help and together they drove Twrch Trwyth into the River Severn and grabbed the razor and shears.
Next the boar swam to Cornwall. Arthur followed and the comb was seized and Twrch Trwyth was driven into the sea and never seen again.

Some say he drowned, but I think he swam home. He’s still there, hiding in Cors Fochno. He probably lives at Glanwern farm.

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