THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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330 THE ESCAPE OF THE MOUSE
' The spell must be taken off Rhiannon and Pryderi,' said Manawyddan.
' That shall be done.'
' But not yet will I loose the mouse. The charm that has been cast over all my lands must be taken off likewise.'
' This shall be done also.'
' But not yet will I loose the mouse till I know who she is.'
' She is my wife,' answered the bishop.
' And wherefore came she to me ? ' asked Manawyd­dan.
' To despoil thee,' replied the bishop, ' for it is I who cast the charm over thy lands, to avenge Gwawl the son of Clud my friend. And it was I who threw the spell upon Pryderi to avenge Gwawl for the trick that had been played on him in the game of Badger in the Bag. And not only was I wroth, but my people likewise, and when it was known that thou wast come to dwell in the land, they besought me much to change them into mice, that they might eat thy corn. The first and the second nights it was the men of my own house that destroyed thy two fields, but on the third night my wife and her ladies came to me and begged me to change them also into the shape of mice, that they might take part in avenging Gwawl. Therefore I changed them. Yet had she not been ill and slow of foot, thou couldst not have overtaken her. Still, since she was caught, I will restore thee Pryderi and Rhiannon, and will take the charm from off thy lands. I have told thee who she is ; so now set her free.'
' I will not set her free,' answered Manawyddan, ' till thou swear that no vengeance shall be taken for this, either upon Pryderi, or upon Rhiannon, or on me.'
' I grant thee this boon ; and thou hast done wisely to ask it, for on thy head would have lit all the trouble. Set now my wife free.'
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