Red and White: Part 3

Last week King Lludd was driven to desperation by three plagues that ravaged the land.

“Lludd came to the court of France and was warmly greeted by his brother, who ran out and flung his arms around him. A great feast was spread for him by Llefelys (for of course the plagues had not reached France).”

“On that first night, when the first courses were over, and the men sat around drinking, Llefelys asked what the purpose of Lludd’s journey was. And Lludd told him the story of the three plagues.”

“Indeed, I have heard in vague terms of your trouble,” nodded Llefelys. “I have sent messengers to you, offering help, but it seems none of them arrived. But now you have come we can put our heads together. You say these fearsome race of invaders can hear anything that is said anywhere in Britain?”

“Yes,” said Lludd. “To be honest, I don’t know how far away one has to be to be out of their hearing. They may be able to hear us now.”

“I see,” said Llefelys. “Wait here”

He was soon back with a brass tube. “Put your ear to one end.”

Lludd, bemused, did as he was told.

“Now we can talk,” Llefelys’s voice echoed to him down the pipe. “No-one with magical abilities will be able to hear us.”

“Really?” cried Lludd. “That’s amazing!”

“So I believe I can help you,” called Llefelys. “For the first plague: I have some insects which should do the trick. You must steep them in water, and then find some pretext for calling all of the invaders together, perhaps some kind of peace conference. Fling the water over them, and every one that the water touches will vanish. They will not die, they will return to their own place.”

“As for the second plague, the shriek, it is caused by two dragons fighting. There is one red dragon and one white dragon. While the red dragon represents the Britons, the white one is foreign, a prophecy of times to come. You need to find the center point of your kingdom, your own province, dig a hole, and fill it with mead. Then spread a white cloth over the top of the hole. When the two dragons are tired with fighting, they will come to rest on the cloth, and drink the mead. Then they will go to sleep on the cloths. Wrap them up, and bury them in a secure place, somewhere in Wales.

“The cause of the third plague…”