The Horse

Last week Rhiannon took a penance for supposedly killing her son.  This week we are introduced to new characters, in a different area of Wales…

Teirnyon, lord of Lower Gwent, carefully pushed open the stable door.  The interior was dark and homey, filled with the crunching of hay and the soft snorting of the horses as they greeted him.

He smiled as he passed through his old friends, giving a pat to one and a soft word to another, until he came to one particular mare in the corner.  Her sides bulged as she sluggishly chomped hay.

Teirnyon quickly examined her.  All was well.  It was the twenty-ninth of April, and she was due to foal on May-eve.

He slowly closed the stable door and made his way back to the house.  She was a strange horse.  For the past two years, she had always given birth on May-eve, with no trouble, and yet, when Teirnyon had gone to check on her, the foal was nowhere to be found!

The smell of warm baked bread greeted him as he re-entered the house through the kitchen.  A beautiful woman in her late twenties stood up from before the fire as the door shut, and turned. “Just in time for dinner, husband.”

Teirnyon smiled as he kissed his wife, “You know, we have servants enough to do this work for you.”

“I like the work,” she beamed back at him.

They took their food to a small table in their bedchamber, disliking the noise and bustle of the hall.

“Well,” said Teirnyon, breaking off a piece of bread and dipping it in his soup, “I have just been thinking.  Tomorrow night is May-eve.”

“And that mare will give birth?” his wife questioned.

“Indeed,” he nodded.  “And it is very stupid of us not to get any of her foals!  I’m going to lie in wait tomorrow night, if that is alright with you, to see what happens and get the foal back if I can.”

His wife nodded slowly, “Yes, I see it’s the only thing which can be done.  But please take care!  You have no idea of what is at work.”

“I most certainly will,” he agreed seriously.  “As you say, it could be anything.”