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The Third Branch of The Mabinogion: Manawydan, Son of Llÿ r

Manawydan was on of the seven that survived Bran's attack on Ireland. But his cousin Caswallawn had taken the Kingship and now Manawydan did not wish to go home. At this time Pwyll had died and Rhiannon was a widow and Pryderi ruled Dyfedd. So Pryderi offered Rhiannon's hand in marriage and a place at Dyfedd for Manawydan.

Manawydan agreed and they went to Dyfedd where Rhiannon and Manawydan met and fell in love.

These four became such great friends that they were inseparable.

One day they went to sit on the enchanted mound, Gorsedd Arbeth. A mystical mist surrounded them and when it withdrew the land was desolate around them. No one was to be found anywhere.

Eventually they went to Britain to learn a trade. Manawydan became such a good saddle pommel maker that the other saddle makers could not rival him and plotted to kill him. Luckily they got wind of it and moved on.

They went to shield making. But the same thing happened. And again with shoe making.

So they returned to Arabeth, to hunting to survive. One day Pryderi and Manawydan followed their dogs to the forest where a boar led them to a fort that they had never seen before. Pryderi didn't want to lose his dogs so he followed them into the fort. There he became trapped.

Manawydan hadn't wanted to go into the fort so he returned home and told Rhiannon what had happened. She ran back and found Pryderi and they both disappeared along with the fort.

Manawydan and Cigfa, Pryderi's wife, returned to England. There they grew grain and again Manawydan's grain was the best but the day that he went to harvest his first field it had been stripped clean overnight. The same happened the second night, so the third night he reasoned that the thieves would come back and so he watched and waited.

The field was overrun by mice. All escaped him except one. He captured it and threatened to hang it. Cigfa tried to stop him but he wasn't to be deterred.

He returned to the mound and began to set up gallows. When he had the first two sticks up an old clerk appeared and begged for the mouse's life. Manawydan refused.

As he got the cross bar set up a priest approached. He too begged for the mouse's life but Manawydan would not be deterred. As he set up the noose a bishop appeared and begged for the mouse's life.

Manawydan knew this man was not a true bishop so he said that in exchange for the mouse's life he wanted the enchantment removed from Dyfedd and return Rhiannon and Pryderi.

The bishop agreed and told Manawydan that the mouse was his wife and that she was with child.

The bishop returned Rhiannon and Pryderi and restored Dyfedd to its former state.

Manawydan released the mouse and the bishop tapped her with his stick and it turned into a beautiful woman and they went off.

Everyone returned to their homes.

Category: The Four Branches of Mabinogion | Added by: obiflo (22 October 10)
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