In two weeks I’m leaving for Scotland so I’m collecting the more information I can about it and the sorrounding area: while looking for films, music and reading books I bumped into this legend: Gelert, the hound.
We are in Wales, the village of Beddgelert in Gwynedd. The story is set during the Middle Ages: the village is under the control of the well respected prince Llewelyn the Great. His beloved princess had died in childbirth and on her death-bed she made Llewelyn promise to cherish the boy, their son, and so he did. The man adored his son, both his consolation and support, the one with whom he could have shared his passions, above all hunting.
One day, still too young to ride,while his father went for a hunt, the little boy was left home, protected by a fearless hound named Gelert. It was Llewelyn favourite hunting dog, but he preferred to leave him behind to serve as loyal body guard for his son.
Once done the hunting, the prince came home: he entered the little boy’s room and.. the horror! Gelert was covered in blood, the kid not to be found: sheets, floor, everything was red. Llewelyn first thought was that the hound had devoured the innocent baby. Frantic with despair and wrath, the man drew his sword and thrust the hound.
The dog yelled in pain, when the prince heard the cry of a baby: Llewelyn gently picked up his son. Too late, he turned to see the half covered body of a huge wolf lying dead on the floor. Gelert had saved his son’s life.
The prince buried its body outside the castle walls, close to the river. The huge stone slab, inscribed with Gelert’s name, still marks the grave and the village nearby still carries the name ‘Beddgelert’ – Gelert’s grave.
As for the prince, it is said that he never smiled again.