Last week Branwen found a magical friend…

The letter was soon written, deep in the night a few days later, by the light of the full moon. A feather was soon found, which she had cut with one of the kitchen knives, but she had had to steal paper and ink from the scribes chamber.

She tied the letter around the bird. “Now, please,” she whispered into the golden feathers. “Take this to my brother, the High King of Britain. His name is Bran, and he is a giant – well, a small giant. He should be in Caernarvon or Harlech. Please!”

The little bird flapped its wings and landed on the windowsill. It nodded its head once, then soared away, flying strongly towards the sunrise.

At once, the call came to start lighting the fires. “Branwen!” yelled the butcher, storming towards her. His blow on her temple felled her to the ground.

The tears sprung to her eyes as she thought of the little bird winging its way across the sea. I hope it makes it. At least, if it doesn’t, I won’t be any worse off than before.

Over in Wales, Bran strolled along the Menai Strait, along with Manawyddan and the rest of his nobles. He peered into the distance. What was that golden speck, growing ever larger?

It came closer. It had wings. A face. A golden bird! And something white tied round its neck!

Around Bran there were gasps of wonder. They all knew whose bird this was.

The little bird flew right up to Bran’s shoulder and landed there, fluttering its wings and nuzzling up to him. Bran smiled slowly. “Do you have a message for me, little one?”

He gently took the creature in his huge hand and pulled the letter from its neck. Setting it in his lap he opened the crackling page.

The nobles watched Bran’s eyes scan the page with interest. Suddenly he gasped, his mouth hardening in a thin line. His eyes narrowed as his fists clenched on the paper.

“Gather the armies!” he barked suddenly. Everyone jumped. “We fight for Princess Branwen and the honour of Wales!”